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Mike Flanagan Wants To Bring Doctor Sleep Characters Into His Dark Tower Adaptation

Author Stephen King has long had a fondness for tying his seemingly disparate works together in ways that don't always make it into the screen adaptations of his books (although the concept of a shared Stephen King universe is essentially the premise of the Hulu series "Castle Rock"). The towns of Derry, Castle Rock, and Jerusalem's Lot are featured in a wide variety of King works, and he's even found ways of tying in his overarching mythos into his "Dark Tower" fantasy series.

Mike Flanagan, the filmmaker currently charged with the unenviable task of bringing "The Dark Tower" to the screen successfully, has some ideas on how to tie in "The Dark Tower" with "Doctor Sleep," the sequel to "The Shining" first written by King and then adapted as a movie by Flanagan in 2019. That movie was a bit of a commercial disappointment, making subsequent sequels or spin-offs unlikely, but Flanagan recently discussed the possibility of its characters and world returning in an unorthodox manner with the Script Apart podcast, and his ideas are intriguing for King fans, to say the least.

"The thing about the King universe is, it's all connected. And the nexus point of those connections is 'The Dark Tower,'" Flanagan pointed out. And the acclaimed filmmaker went on to explain that introducing connections to "Doctor Sleep" in a "Dark Tower" movie makes good sense even if they aren't found in the original books: "When you make changes to the source material to introduce characters who could have played a very important role in that story ... 'Doctor Sleep' was written after 'The Dark Tower' was finished."

Flanagan sees potential connections between The Dark Tower and Doctor Sleep

That alone would be enough to get your average King or "Dark Tower" fanatic excited for Flanagan's take on the material. But he offered up more detail on how exactly he could incorporate "Doctor Sleep" into his "Dark Tower" film. "Abra Stone in the 'Dark Tower' universe, as a Breaker, is really interesting," he said. He went on to add, "There's room in that world for the True Knot themselves, there's room for Rose the Hat. There might be room for Danny Torrance." 

He even alluded to having laid the groundwork for such a crossover in "Doctor Sleep" already, saying, "In our movie, Dick Hallorann all but points to 'The Dark Tower' in his last scene with Dan."

While Flanagan is currently attached to a new "Dark Tower" film adaptation and some sort of development deal with Amazon is reportedly in the works, there isn't yet a concrete green light for such a project as of now. But it's clear that as soon as he gets such a go-ahead, Flanagan isn't short of ideas for a movie or series, up to and including bringing back some familiar faces from "Doctor Sleep."