Those who enjoyed Doctor Sleep are probably going to be disappointed to find out that a sequel was already in development that will probably never see the light of day. The Stephen King adaptation, which serves as a sequel to The Shining, was released in theaters over the weekend and arrived with something of a messy thud. As such, Warner Bros. is going to do its best to simply mitigate its losses, so any talk of Doctor Sleep 2 will surely exist in the realm of what could have been, rather than what may be.

According to a new report detailing Doctor Sleep bombing at the box office over the weekend, Warner Bros. had a great deal of confidence in the project and director Mike Flanagan's vision. So much so, in fact, that studio chief Toby Emmerich had already inked a deal with Flanagan and his production company Intrepid Pictures to work on a sequel. The proposed follow-up was tentatively titled Hallorann, named for the key character who appears in both The Shining and the recently released sequel.

Warning: mild spoilers ahead for Doctor Sleep. In Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic The Shining, which is based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, Scatman Crothers plays the role of Dick Hallorann, who introduces Danny Torrence to the concept of Shining and helps explain what his power means. Unfortunately, Hallorann is killed by Jack Torrence in the movie's climax. Be that as it may, Mike Flanagan found a way to bring him back for the sequel, as portrayed by Carl Lumbly. Once again, Hallorann serves as something of a guide for Danny, this time played by Ewan McGregor, who is struggling with alcoholism.

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For now, there are no further details regarding the story. In the case of Doctor Sleep, it was based on Stephen King's 2013 novel. Hallorann would have been wading into uncharted territory. It's unclear if King would have been involved directly, but he's had nothing but kind words to say about Flanagan, who has adapted two of his novels. Flanagan previously adapted Gerald's Game for Netflix, a novel that was considered impossible to adapt for years, yet Flanagan's movie was met with near-universal praise. So, at the very least, we're guessing King would give his blessing.

Doctor Sleep, which had a production budget north of $50 million, pulled in just $14 million on its opening weekend. That's roughly half of what estimates had suggested it could make. Peculiarly, critics and audiences alike have been very kind to it, as the movie currently holds a 76 percent critical approval rating and 90 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Be that as it may, unless something dramatic changes in the coming weeks, this is going to lose somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million or more for Warner Bros. So any sort of follow-up is undoubtedly off the table. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott