Mike Flanagan felt like 'throwing up' while screening Doctor Sleep for Stephen King
Stephen King gave Mike Flanagan his blessing and "loves" the finished film.
Director Mike Flanagan was so nervous screening Doctor Sleep to Stephen King for the first time that he felt like vomiting.
The Hush filmmaker is a huge fan of the famed horror author's work and read his 2013 book Doctor Sleep, a sequel to 1977 novel The Shining, the week it was released - so he was incredibly nervous when he brought the finished film to Maine to show it to King in an empty cinema.
"I sat right next to him actually. I'm a fanboy first and that was paralysing," Flanagan said at a screening of the film in London. "I think I stared at my foot trying not to look directly at him during the screening, but I was mostly just acutely aware of every shift or sigh or anything he did, I was reading way too much into. I felt like throwing up for two and a half hours."
King doesn't hold back when it comes criticising the movie adaptations of his novels and was particularly scathing about Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of The Shining. Accordingly, Flanagan was nervous when he suggested using the film as a basis for his sequel.
"His opinions are absolutely well known, he's not shy about them at all, so it was nerve-wracking to go to him and say, 'Look, I really think the only way to make this right is to make it within the cinematic universe that Kubrick established.' His initial reaction was, 'No,'" Flanagan revealed. "The argument was: What I'd like to do is treat Kubrick's film as canon, we'd like to make this a direct follow-up to that film, but within that, I wanted to give him a chance to see some of the elements from the novel The Shining that Kubrick had jettisoned... (King) has been very specific about what upset him and that gave us a lot to work with... It was a nerve-wracking proposal and if he hadn't given us his blessing for that we wouldn't have made the film."
Luckily, King offered his approval and "loves" the finished film, as do members of the Kubrick estate, with Flanagan adding, "It almost doesn't matter at this point what happens now those two have spoken."
Doctor Sleep, starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson, is in cinemas now.
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