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Doctor Sleep ‘Redeems’ Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Says Stephen King

If you’re a fan of Stephen King, chances are you know about his disdain for The Shining. Okay, disdain may be a strong word, but the author famously wasn’t super stoked on the movie, as he felt it was quite cold in nature — which is a huge juxtaposition of the warmth he felt the novel had. As a result, King later wrote a TV adaptation that is much closer to the source material, for better and for worse.

Speaking with The Paris Review, he likened Kubrick’s The Shining to a Cadillac with no engine in it.

“You can’t do anything with it except admire it as sculpture. You’ve taken away its primary purpose, which is to tell a story. The basic difference that tells you all you need to know is the ending. Near the end of the novel, Jack Torrance tells his son that he loves him, and then he blows up with the hotel. It’s a very passionate climax. In Kubrick’s movie, he freezes to death.”

With that in mind, it’s interesting that the new Doctor Sleep film is setting itself up as a direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, as opposed to just a sequel to the novel. Speaking with EW, King discussed the care with which he handled the Doctor Sleep adaptation, which is based on the novel of the same name from a few years back.

“I read the script to this one very, very carefully. Because obviously I wanted to do a good job with the sequel, because people knew the book The Shining, and I thought, I don’t want to screw this up. Mike Flanagan, I’ve enjoyed all his movies, and I’ve worked with him before on Gerald’s Game. So, I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.”

RELATED – So, Doctor Sleep Looks Like It’s Going To Be Super Long

Director Mike Flanagan spoke to the pressure that came with pleasing King in the movie.

“He says, ‘The book is the book and I want the movie to be yours. I don’t want to interfere.’ But you know that, as soon as it’s done, he’s going to see it, and you know, because of what happened with The Shining, if he doesn’t like what you do, he’s not going to be shy. So, there’s this huge fear. Even though he’s not over your shoulder, there’s this sense every day that, yeah, he’s going to see the movie. Just as a fan, I didn’t know if I was going to recover if he watched the film and felt the way he felt about The Shining.”

Of course, The Shining is considered to be a cinematic classic, so whether or not the statements from King is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide.

King continued:

“I don’t want to get into a big argument about how great the Shining film is that Kubrick did or my feelings about it. All I can say is, Mike took my material, he created a terrific story, people who have seen this movie flip for it, and I flipped for it, too. Because he managed to take my novel of Doctor Sleep, the sequel, and somehow weld it seamlessly to the Kubrick version of The Shining, the movie. So, yeah, I liked it a lot.”

What do you think of all this? Are you happy to see that King is pleased with the end result? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: EW, Paris Review

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