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Doctor Sleep 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

It sounds absurd that someone would have the guts to make a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror masterpiece, "The Shining." Based off the Stephen King novel of the same name, the film originally split audiences but has since become a revered horror classic. It has permeated pop culture through endless parodies, as well as intensive theories regarding its themes and imagery. Kubrick's singular vision helped create a surreal horror experience that many have tried to duplicate, but none have succeeded in doing.

So when the 2019 sequel, "Dr. Sleep," also based on a King novel, was announced, fans were skeptical (to say the least). The follow-up focuses on a grown-up Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) who must protect another supernatural-powered individual named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) from the clutches of a power-consuming cult led by the devious Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson). The film was a box office disappointment, making only $72 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). However, it received favorable reviews (per Rotten Tomatoes) with critics admiring director Mike Flanagan's approach and the performances by McGregor, Curran, and Ferguson, even if it doesn't reach the status of its predecessor.

Nevertheless, the positive response to "Sleep" could potentially open a wider door to expanding the world of "The Shining" in one way or another. But will we be getting any sequels, especially after the film's poor box office performance? Let's open the doors of the Overlook Hotel and see what we can find.

Flanagan and King have had discussions

As of now, no official plans for a sequel have been announced. However, director Mike Flanagan and Warner Brothers were in serious talks about a follow-up at one point. When asked about that possibility by Den of Geeks in 2019, Flanagan said, "Absolutely. I would love it." 

He continued, "And when I met Stephen King, I asked him, is there more? Do you have anything else for Abra Stone? Because my God, she's so great. And he left it open. He said, you know, he hadn't thought about it before, but it was people asking questions like that made him write Doctor Sleep. He started to really think about Dan."

Flanagan's relationship with King would not only be limited to "Sleep." In 2017, Flanagan directed another King adaptation, "Gerald's Game" for Netflix. And the two are not done collaborating. In the same Den of Geeks interview, Flanagan said that he and King had actively discussed what other projects they could work on together. Between this and the general positive reaction King had to "Doctor Sleep" (via CNBC) it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume another "Shining" entry could be in consideration. 

Would it be an Abra Stone sequel? Or a prequel about "Shining" character Dick Hallorann? Either way, we can only wait and see what our next visit to the Overlook Hotel will entail, if such a project ever materializes. In the meantime, Flanagan is currently filming a non-King work, "The Fall of the House of Usher," for Netflix.