Gerald’s Game director Mike Flanagan, who adapted one of Stephen King’s “unfilmable” novels to widespread acclaim, might be interested in tackling a few more Stephen King stories. In a recent interview with Lilja’s Library – where he talks about the process of adapting Gerald’s Game the right way – Flanagan talked about which Stephen King stories he’d adapt next given the opportunity.
There are so many. But the ones I’d want to do the most are Doctor Sleep and Lisey’s Story. In both cases, it’s because I identify with the protagonists so much. Lisey’s Story is a stunning piece of work, a beautiful exploration of marriage. And who wouldn’t want to venture back into the world of Danny Torrence?
Doctor Sleep is Stephen King’s recent sequel to The Shining, which was originally published in 1977 and adapted by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The new novel, published in 2013, follows a middle-aged Danny Torrance who struggles with the same alcoholism and anger that plagued his father. The novel was written after Stephen King took an online poll, asking his readers whether they’d rather read a sequel to The Shining or a new Dark Tower novel. Doctor Sleep won by a handful of votes, with 5,861 to The Wind Through the Keyhole‘s 5,812. Because the votes were so close, The Wind Through the Keyhole ended up getting published first on February 21st, 2012, with Doctor Sleep following just a year later on September 24th, 2013.
According to an official synopsis of the novel:
“Doctor Sleep takes place years after the events at the Overlook Hotel and focuses on the the now middle-aged Danny who is still traumatized. He’s followed in his father’s footsteps and has problems with anger management and alcoholism. He soon gives up drinking and settles in a small town in New Hampshire. While there, his psychic abilities start to resurface and he develops a psychic link with a 12-year-old girl named Abra Stone who he must save after he discovers her life is being threatened by a tribe of paranormals led by a man named Rose the Hat.”
As for Lisey’s Story, this one is a 2006 novel that blends psychological horror and romance elements, much like Gerald’s Game. In August of this year, King himself expressed an interest in having the story adapted as a TV show, which Flanagan could do as his follow-up to Netflix’s The Haunting on Hill House series, due out on Halloween 2018. According to the Wikipedia synopsis for Lisey’s Story:
Lisey’s Story is the story of Lisey Landon, the widow of a famous and wildly successful novelist, Scott Landon. The book tells two stories—Lisey’s story in the present, and the story of her dead husband’s life, as remembered by Lisey during the course of the novel.
It has been two years since her husband’s death, and Lisey is in the process of cleaning out her dead husband’s writing area. A series of events occurs that causes Lisey to begin facing certain realities about her husband that she had repressed and forgotten. As Lisey is stalked, terrorized, and then mutilated by an insane fan of her husband’s, Lisey begins recalling her husband’s past—how he came from a family with a history of horrible mental illness that manifested as either an uncontrollable homicidal mania or as a deep catatonia, how he had a special gift, an ability to transport himself to another world, which he called “Boo’ya Moon”, how Scott Landon’s brother was killed by his father when his brother manifested an incurable insanity, and finally how Scott Landon had to kill his own father to save him from the madness that had finally taken him over.
Both of these projects seem perfect for Flanagan and there’s no reason why he couldn’t do both. He’s a fairly prolific director who specializes in low-budget films that run less than 2 hours. Of course, The Haunting of Hill House will keep him occupied for the next few months, but working with Netflix probably gives him a bit more freedom to pick and choose projects at this point.
Flanagan has already collaborated with Netflix on Hush, Gerald’s Game, and now Haunting of Hill House. His first two Netflix originals have been very successful, and there’s no reason to think otherwise for his upcoming series. If the director keeps up his streak of low-cost hits, he’ll have the power to only do projects he really wants to do.
Images: Netflix, Warner Bros., Relativity Media