Doctor Sleep director teases "ton of Easter eggs for die-hard Stephen King fans" in The Shining sequel

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Doctor Sleep (opens in new tab) has finally reached UK cinemas, coming 39 years after The Shining first played to audiences around the world. Mike Flanagan takes the helm for the sequel, which tells the story Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) who's still dealing with his Shining abilities. 

Flanagan, as avid horror followers will know, recently created the Netflix series Haunting of Hill House, which included a great many hidden ghosts in the background of each scene. GamesRadar+ and Total Film met with Flanagan to ask whether fans can expect the same amount of hidden references in Doctor Sleep.

"There are none of the hidden ghosts as we’re saving those for the second season of Haunting," he said. "There's going to be a lot more of them this season, actually. But there are a ton of Easter eggs within Doctor Sleep for die-hard Stephen King fans, especially fans of The Dark Tower series. In dialogue, production design, and even in the posters outside the movie theatre. There's a huge in-joke for fans of The Dark Tower."

The director continued: "I really respond to the kind of King Universe. It's one of my favourite things about being a constant reader. The more that I can kind of sneak into the movies, the more fun I have."

We also asked Flanagan whether he intends linking up his Stephen King adaptations (he previously directed a version of Gerald's Game) in a Marvel Cinematic Universe-style crossover. "I do think they're all spokes on a the same beam," he said. "In both Gerald's game and this one, we had little Dark Tower nods. So I feel like they are somewhat connected already, but I'd love to connect them even more. I think that's some of the delight of being a King fan is how interconnected it all is."

Flanagan also revealed that Haunting of Hill House season 2 will not only be based on The Turn of the Screw, but multiple Henry James' novels (opens in new tab). Doctor Sleep is in UK cinemas and reaches US theatres November 8.

Fancy a spooky watch right now? Then check out the best horror movies on Netflix (opens in new tab).

Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film