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Mike Flanagan Sadly Confirms What We Suspected About His Shining Prequel

"Doctor Sleep" premiered in theaters in 2019, serving as a direct sequel to the landmark 1980 horror classic "The Shining." Mike Flanagan helmed the film, who at that point in time had previously directed the Netflix horror movie "Gerald's Game," also based on a Stephen King novel, and served as showrunner on the Netflix series "The Haunting of Hill House." Since then, Flanagan has also created and directed the critically acclaimed "Midnight Mass."

Fans took well to the film, to the point that "Doctor Sleep" took over the internet at one point nearly a year after its premiere when many users sang its praises online. Nevertheless, despite its warm reception, "Doctor Sleep" bombed at the box office. On its opening weekend, "Doctor Sleep" netted $14.1 million in the US, falling short of a projected $30 million.

Shortly after the release of "Doctor Sleep," Flanagan revealed that he also had the story for a "Shining" prequel in mind, titled "Hallorann," centered around the Scatman Crothers character Dick Hallorann from the original film (via CinemaBlend). At the time, Flanagan was unsure about whether or not the project would ultimately see the light of day. Now, as of September of 2022, Flanagan officially shared some bad news for those hoping to see the project completed.

Doctor Sleep's underwhelming box office performance means no more Shining prequel

Director Mike Flanagan and Stephen King, who authored the franchise's source material, began collaborating on a sequel to "Doctor Sleep" in 2019, the same year the film premiered. However, Flanagan has since revealed in a pair of Tweets that "Hallorann," the prequel he conceived about a young Dick Hallorann, is now officially dead in the water.

First, on September 18, Flanagan retweeted a fan-made poster for a hypothetical "Shining" prequel titled "Shine: A Dick Hallorann" story. Whether or not the poster's designer Adam Perocchi, who posts original film content under the handle @Readful_Things, was previously aware of Flanagan's prequel plans is unclear. In either case, Flanagan shared the poster with the caption, "We were SO CLOSE. I'll always regret this didn't happen."

Another Twitter user then replied to Flanagan's retweet asking for the reasoning behind this development. Flanagan responded, "Because of DOCTOR SLEEP's box office performance, Warner Bros opted not to proceed with it. They control the rights, so that was that."

Unfortunately for fans of "Doctor Sleep," the fate of Flanagan's "Shining" prequel is now confirmed to be exactly what those worried about its below-expected box office performance likely feared. "Doctor Sleep," then, looks to be the last "Shining" film for the time being, while Flanagan continues to work on unrelated horror projects moving forward.