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Doctor Sleep’s Mike Flanagan Embraced His Inner Kubrick To Direct The Shining Sequel

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Director Mike Flanagan is on a horror hot streak unequaled since the days of ’80s masters like John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. In just the last five years, he’s made five acclaimed films (including Oculus, Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Gerald’s Game), completed a limited series adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (which debuts later this month), and landed the job directing the movie version of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King’s belated sequel to The Shining.

Regarding the latter—which stars Ewan McGregor as a middle-aged Danny Torrance—there’s one question everyone wants answered: will it reference Stanley Kubrick’s take on The Shining, a film King has despised for decades? “You do have to acknowledge that,” Flanagan said in a recent interview with Bloody Disgusting. “There is no version of the world where I am trying not to acknowledge one of the greatest films ever made. There’s no upside in shying away from that reality.”

However, Flanagan makes it clear that you should not go into Doctor Sleep expecting something akin to David Gordon Green’s homage-heavy Halloween sequel. “This is not The Shining,” he said. “It’s its own story and in a very specific way. If you’ve read the book, you know exactly why it’s so different, but it’s quite a tightrope that we’re walking I think. I’m having a great time doing it. I’m just going to get the movie out and then turn off the internet for two weeks and see how it all goes.”

Doctor Sleep arrives in theatres on January 24, 2020. Check out the notorious teaser for The Shining below.