Stephen King famously hated Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of his book ‘The Shining’, so he was obviously wary of plans to adapt the sequel novel ‘Doctor Sleep’. But the author says that all changed upon reading Mike Flanagan‘s treatment. As he divulged to Entertainment Weekly:
“I read the script to this one very, very carefully. Because obviously I wanted to do a good job with the sequel, because people knew the book The Shining, and I thought, I don’t want to screw this up. Mike Flanagan, I’ve enjoyed all his movies, and I’ve worked with him before on Gerald’s Game. So, I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.”
Flanagan admitted that he was cautious about ‘Doctor Sleep’, knowing how King felt about ‘The Shining’:
“After he’s exercised his approvals, he backs off, and he does it very intentionally. He says, ‘The book is the book and I want the movie to be yours. I don’t want to interfere.’ But you know that, as soon as it’s done, he’s going to see it, and you know, because of what happened with The Shining, if he doesn’t like what you do, he’s not going to be shy. So, there’s this huge fear. Even though he’s not over your shoulder, there’s this sense every day that, yeah, he’s going to see the movie. Just as a fan, I didn’t know if I was going to recover if he watched the film and felt the way he felt about The Shining.”
And speaking of how Stephen King felt about ‘The Shining’, here are the author’s own words from a 2006 interview with the Paris Review:
“[The Shining’ had] no sense of emotional investment in the family whatsoever… It’s certainly beautiful to look at: gorgeous sets, all those Steadicam shots,” King continued. “I used to call it a Cadillac with no engine in it. You can’t do anything with it except admire it as sculpture. You’ve taken away its primary purpose, which is to tell a story. The basic difference that tells you all you need to know is the ending. Near the end of the novel, Jack Torrance tells his son that he loves him, and then he blows up with the hotel. It’s a very passionate climax. In Kubrick’s movie, he freezes to death.”
Are you a fan of ‘The Shining’? If so, do King’s words make you more or less interested in ‘Doctor Sleep’?