“Doctor Sleep” director Mike Flanagan confirmed on Twitter that a planned sequel to his 2019 “The Shining” sequel is officially dead. The filmmaker cited the dismal box office performance of “Doctor Sleep” as the main reason why Warner Bros. isn’t moving forward with a “The Shining” prequel film focused on the character of Dick Hallorann (played in Stanley Kubrick’s film by Scatman Crothers and in “Doctor Sleep” by Carl Lumbly.
“We were so close,” Flanagan wrote on Twitter about getting the Dick Hallorann movie made. “I’ll always regret this didn’t happen.”
Flanagan also shared a fan-made poster for his scrapped “The Shining” prequel. When asked by one user why his “Doctor Sleep” follow-up wasn’t going to be made, 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.”
“Doctor Sleep,” based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and starring Ewan McGregor as an older Danny Torrance, opened in theaters in October 2019 to mixed reviews but disappointing box office numbers. The movie opened to only $14 million at the domestic box office and tapped out at $31 million, far below its reported $45 million production budget. Worldwide, “Doctor Sleep” only earned $72 million.
Flanagan revealed in 2020 that his second “The Shining” movie was supposed to go into development right after he wrapped “Doctor Sleep,” telling the ReelBlend podcast (via Collider), “Hallorann was always more about Dick as a younger man learning about the shining. And the ‘Doctor Sleep’ novel tees up a prologue for it perfectly with the story of his grandmother and his grandfather. Which he tells a little bit of in this [movie]. But the idea was to open with him as Carl Lumbly, and then to find a way to go back into the past and kind of tell this other story that inevitably would, very much in the way ‘Doctor Sleep’ did, inevitably bring us back to a familiar hotel.”
A Flanagan-directed Dick Halloran isn’t the only “Shining”-related project that got killed after “Doctor Sleep” failed at the box office. A long-in-the-works series set at the Overlook Hotel was initially set to move forward as an HBO Max original but was officially dropped in 2021.