Doctor Sleep Is Getting A Crazy Long Director's Cut

Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat in Doctor Sleep

It hasn’t even been two months since Doctor Sleep was released in theaters, but there’s a much quicker turnaround with home media releases nowadays. So while some of you may still be able to catch the follow-up tale to The Shining on the big screen, the rest can look ahead to when you’ll be able to watch it in the comfort of your own home. Not only do we now know when that will happen, we’ve also learned a director’s cut of Doctor Sleep will be part of that rollout.

Writer and director Mike Flanagan announced on Twitter that the Doctor Sleep director’s cut will be available on digital (4K streaming) starting January 21, and on Blu-ray starting February 4. This cut of the movie runs at 180 minutes, i.e. exactly three hours, making it 28 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. Speaking of which, the Doctor Sleep director’s cut on Blu-ray will also come with the theatrical cut on 4K UHD. While Mike Flanagan doesn’t say anything about DVDs, presumably it will be easy enough for one to buy a copy of the theatrical cut in that format on the same day the Blu-ray drops.

So for those of you who wanted even more from Doctor Sleep, the director’s cut will provide almost a half hour of “new, altered and extended scenes” selected by Mike Flanagan. I’m curious why Warner Bros opted not to have the Doctor Sleep director’s cut available in 4K on the Blu-ray, but that’s a minor issue at best. As for what special features will be available on the Doctor Sleep home media release, Warner Bros didn’t provide any information in its official announcement, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Doctor Sleep isn’t the only 2019 horror movie to provide a director’s cut on home media. Midsommar was also given such treatment, although it had the benefit of also getting some time in theaters (digitally speaking, it’s an Apple TV exclusive). And while not a director’s cut in the traditional sense, IT Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti has expressed interest in putting together a “super cut” of both IT movies that includes some new scenes, but it’s unclear if this version will actually be assembled.

Taking place 40 years after the events of The Shining (and accounts for both the original novel and the Stanley Kubrick-directed movie, Doctor Sleep follows the adult Danny Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor, still struggling with the trauma he incurred during his time at the Overlook Hotel. However, he must use his supernatural abilities to protect Kyliegh Curran’s Abra Stone, who also has “the shining,” from Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat and the True Knot.

Critically speaking, Doctor Sleep did quite well for itself, ranking at 77% among critics and 89% among audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, and earning a B+ on CinemaScore. Commercially however, just like fellow November releases Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie’s Angels, it did not perform well, collecting only $71.1 million worldwide off a budget in the $45-55 million range.

Before Doctor Sleep had even been completed, Mike Flanagan had reportedly been commissioned pen a sequel that would have revolved around Dick Halloran, who appears in both The Shining and Doctor Sleep. However, following Doctor Sleep’s underwhelming box office haul, it seems unlikely that this project will moe forward, so folks will need to accept that this will be a two-movie saga.

Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Doctor Sleep and browse through our 2020 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater next year accordingly.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.