Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Gerald’s Game, a novel once thought unfilmable, was one of the highlights of the Stephen King tsunami that washed over movie theaters last year. (At the risk of inciting controversy, we’d even give it the edge over It.) And Flanagan, a self-professed King devotee, is staying in the Stephen King business with an upcoming film adaptation of King’s 2013 novel Doctor Sleep, according to Deadline. The project is being developed at Warner Bros., which made hundreds of millions of dollars on the King blockbuster It back in September, and Flanagan will rewrite a script originally adapted by Akiva Goldsman (phew).
But while that particular bullet may have been successfully dodged, there’s still potential for this whole thing to go wrong, given the source material. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining that follows Danny Torrence, now all grown up, as he meets and mentors a young girl who possesses the same psychic abilities as he does. And if the idea of a sequel to an all-time horror classic like The Shining wasn’t fraught enough, the book was poorly received by critics like The A.V. Club’s Tasha Robinson, who gave it a C- and called it a “disjointed, haphazard book that often feels unfinished.” So Flanagan’s got a tough assignment ahead of him. But hey—King liked the film version of Gerald’s Game, so he’s one step ahead of Stanley Kubrick there, at least.