Doctor Sleep’s Mike Flanagan Is ‘Actively’ Talking With Stephen King About Another Adaptation

Dan Torrance walks the halls of the Overlook Hotel in Doctor Sleep

Mike Flanagan has spent the last decade proving that he is one of the most talented horror directors working today, and a big part of that has been done by making truly excellent Stephen King adaptations. More than a quarter of his filmography making features has been dedicated to big screen takes on books from the legendary author, including 2017’s Gerald’s Game and the upcoming Doctor Sleep.

It’s been wonderful watching Mike Flanagan operate with the source material, and it has earned him a lot of acclaim – which is why it’s extra exciting to learn that he’s not done yet. In fact, the writer/director is now in active talks to make a third movie based on a work by Stephen King.

This is news I learned last month when I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Mike Flanagan for an extended on-camera interview during the Los Angeles press day for Doctor Sleep. Noting that there aren’t many filmmakers who have directed two or more movies based on Stephen King books, I asked if he was game to return to that particular well in the future, and I was surprised to learn that wheels are actually already in motion. Said Flanagan,

[Stephen King and I] are talking actively about what's next, and we have a great idea for that I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but it's really cool, and yeah, I expect there will be another chance to play in that sandbox very soon.

He’s currently sitting comfortably with a club of directors that includes the likes of Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, Misery), and George A. Romero (Creepshow, The Dark Half), but he has the chance to tie the “record” set by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist), who is currently the only person who has made three feature film adaptations of Stephen King stories.

He also made the reasoning behind this direction very clear: adapting the work of Stephen King is something that he just really loves doing. Not only did he have a great experience making Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep, but he’s immensely grateful of the appreciation that King has shown for both movies, and he’s up for making as many adaptations as the author will allow:

It's been my dream since I was a kid to be able to adapt Stephen King, and he's let me play in that sandbox two times; I would be thrilled to do it again. He's been happy both times, which is still like [mind-blown gesture], as long as that keeps up, if he'll have me back, I'm there for the long haul. I'll do as many as he'll let me.

You can watch Mike Flanagan discuss his very interesting and exciting future with the bibliography of Stephen King by clicking play on the video below!

This revelation is obviously going to inspire a great deal of speculation – though it won’t exactly be easy to narrow things down given that Stephen King has written over 60 novels (not to mention hundreds of short stories). There are certain titles that are easy to eliminate because they were either recently made or are currently being adapted by other filmmakers, but that still leaves a number of possibilities on the board. And it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility that he winds up doing a remake of material that’s already been brought to life.

Personally, I’d really love to see him take on a new version of ‘Salem’s Lot. It’s true that the novel – which was the second published by Stephen King – has been adapted twice already for television (once in 1979 by Tobe Hooper, and again in 2004 by Mikael Salomon), but it’s material that Mike Flanagan could transform into a vampire-filled horror epic.

Hit the comments section below to tell us what Stephen King adaptation you’d like to see Mike Flanagan take on next, and be sure to check out Doctor Sleep when it hits theaters everywhere this Friday.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.