Stephen King says 'Doctor Sleep' movie has 'redeemed' Kubrick's 'The Shining' for him

The Shining (Credit: Warner Bros)
The Shining (Credit: Warner Bros)

Famously, Stephen King hated the movie version of his classic horror novel The Shining.

Despite the revered Stanley Kubrick having made it, and it continuing to be cited as one of the best horror movies of all time, King would not be swayed.

Until now, it seems.

Thanks to the release of the movie adaptation of Doctor Sleep, his follow up novel to The Shining, he's now seeing Kubrick's work in a different light.

Read more: Why Stephen King hated Kubrick’s The Shining

He told Entertainment Weekly: “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.

PEN literary service award recipient Stephen King attends the 2018 PEN Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Stephen King (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“[Doctor Sleep director] 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'.

Read more: Mixed reviews land for Doctor Sleep

“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.”

(Credit: Warner Bros)
(Credit: Warner Bros)

Previously, King had been strident with his views on Kubrick's interpretation.

“What's basically wrong with Kubrick's version of The Shining is that it's a film by a man who thinks too much and feels too little; and that's why, for all its virtuoso effects, it never gets you by the throat and hangs on the way real horror should,” the writer once said.

King also objected to Jack Nicholson's performance.

He told Deadline: “In the book, he’s a guy who’s struggling with his sanity and finally loses it. To me, that’s a tragedy. In the movie, there’s no tragedy because there’s no real change.”

But for all King's praise, Doctor Sleep has received mixed reviews.

Starring Ewan McGregor as the grown-up Danny Torrance, the movie is out now across the UK.