A Doctor Sleep Sequel Had Reportedly Been In The Works

Ewan McGregor in Doctor Sleep

39 years after Stanley Kubrick adapted Stephen King's The Shining into what is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror movies of all-time, Mike Flanagan directed Doctor Sleep, the sequel that sees the character of Danny Torrance all grown up. While it may have taken a couple of generations to get a sequel on the big screen, it looks like Warner Bros. wasn't planning on waiting that long to turn the franchise into a trilogy.

While The Shining and Doctor Sleep were both based on Stephen King novels, it seems that the studio behind the Doctor Sleep adaptation wasn't going to wait fro the prolific author to write another book. Instead, THR reports that WB had commissioned Doctor Sleep writer and director Mike Flanagan to pen Halloran, a new movie following the character of Dick Halloran from both novels, even before Doctor Sleep was completed.

Of course, because the plan to make another movie was struck before the release of Doctor Sleep, any plan for another movie would seem to be up in the air at best, and left frozen to death in the snow at worst. Doctor Sleep opened to only $14 million at the box office when it was projected to make something close to twice that number.

With Doctor Sleep following Terminator: Dark Fate into the IP graveyard, it's two data points in quick succession that show that simply because a film may be connected to a recognizable brand, it doesn't mean that success is guaranteed. Dark Fate was another film that was at least considering future sequels that are highly unlikely to happen following the new movie's box office struggles.

Why Doctor Sleep fared so badly at the box office is a topic of debate and conjecture. There are certainly numerous different reasons, but basically all of them would be potential roadblocks to any further film being successful. Clearly, there was simply no audience for the new movie so it seems likely that this Halloran movie won't be happening anytime soon.

Beyond the fact that the new concept would have followed the character of Dick Halloran, nothing else is being reported about the movie. Dick is already an older gentleman when we meet him in The Shining, but he also has the same mental abilities as Danny Torrance, likely, the plan was to make a movie that would have followed him as a younger man, prior to the events of The Shining.

Doctor Sleep finished last weekend in second place at the domestic box office behind World War II action film Midway. If Doctor Sleep had performed as predicted it would have easily won the weekend.

Of course, even The Shining wasn't a smash hit when it came out in 1980, and now it's a revered film, so the same could always happen with Doctor Sleep. Maybe Halloran will get the green light somewhere around 2049.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.