Thanks to a sleepy box office, and definitely not the response to a particularly magic hat, Warner Bros. decided not to move forward with the Doctor Sleep sequel, and director Mike Flanagan would like us all to know that he really regrets it. Responding to some fan art for the proposed sequel on Twitter, Flanagan made it clear that there won’t be another one, despite being “so close.”
“We were so close,” Flanagan tweeted. “I’ll always regret this didn’t happen.”
As for why, well, no one needs “shine” powers to figure that one out. “Because of Doctor Sleep’s box office performance, Warner Bros opted not to proceed with it,” Flanagan said. “They control the rights, so that was that.”
The fan art features the character Dick Hallorann standing in the familiar halls of the Overlook Hotel. Hallorann, who was played by Scatman Crothers in Stanley Kubrick’s original film and Carl Lumbly in Doctor Sleep, would have been the focus of the film. However, unlike the poster, the movie was to be called Hallorann, not Shine.
In 2020, Flanagan detailed the film to Cinemablend. He said:
Hallorann was always more about Dick as a younger man learning about the shining. And the Doctor Sleep novel tees up a prologue for it perfectly with the story of his grandmother and his grandfather. But the idea was to open with him as Carl Lumbley, and then to find a way to go back into the past and kind of tell this other story that inevitably would, very much in the way Doctor Sleep did, inevitably bring us back to a familiar hotel. But I don’t know what we would do with it. I love it, though. And it was something we were real excited about. So I hope there’s a new life for it out there somewhere.
Looks like Rebecca Ferguson’s top hat will continue undisturbed, collecting dust atop Mike Flanagan’s hat rack.