Stephen King isn’t fond of Stanley Kubrick’s classic adaptation of his novel, “The Shining.” After decades of the filmmaker being criticized by the author, we all know this to be a fact. However, in a new interview with EW, the author explained that working on the sequel “Doctor Sleep,” based simultaneously on his own sequel novel and Kubrick’s film, has given him a new outlook on the 1980 classic.
For those that don’t know, “Doctor Sleep” tells the story of a grown-up Danny Torrance, who finds himself brought back to the world of mental powers and creepy hotels when he comes across a young girl that is being hunted due to her Shining ability. As mentioned, the story is based on the novel by King, but director Mike Flanagan clearly also wanted to honor Kubrick’s film by including recreations of famous moments from the original.
This meant that King would have to reconcile his feelings about Kubrick’s “The Shining” while working on “Doctor Sleep.” And apparently, that’s exactly what happened.
“I read the script to this one very, very carefully,” King said. “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.”
He added, “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.’”
After years of voicing his opinion on the film version of “The Shining,” the author isn’t keen on bringing up those old feelings once again. He is just happy that “Doctor Sleep” not only faithfully adapts his novel but also found a way to integrate with Kubrick’s film.
“I don’t want to get into a big argument about how great the ‘Shining’ film is that Kubrick did or my feelings about it,” explained King. “All I can say is, Mike took my material, he created a terrific story, people who have seen this movie flip for it, and I flipped for it, too. Because he managed to take my novel of ‘Doctor Sleep,’ the sequel, and somehow weld it seamlessly to the Kubrick version of ‘The Shining,’ the movie. So, yeah, I liked it a lot.”
“Doctor Sleep” arrives in theaters on November 8.