The Scrapped Stephen King And DC Movies Mike Flanagan Almost Made

Recently, acclaimed horror director Mike Flanagan confirmed once and for all that a project of his never ended up getting the green light. While this is unfortunately common for all creatives in Hollywood, this one might be particularly sad for anyone who loved the director's 2019 film "Doctor Sleep," the official sequel to both the Stephen King novel and the Stanley Kubrick film "The Shining." While exact details of the movie are unknown, we do know that Flanagan wanted to make a prequel centering around the character of Dick Halloran (Scatman Crothers in "The Shining" and Carl Lumbly in "Doctor Sleep"). Given the amount of potential such a movie could have, this confirmation hit particularly hard for both King and Flanagan fans.

"We were SO CLOSE," wrote the director on Twitter in response to a piece of fan art by Adam Perocchi. "I'll always regret this didn't happen."

However, this wasn't the first intriguing project of Flanagan's that somehow didn't get the green light. He has been open about pitches that never made it to fruition in the past, with two, in particular, being especially heartbreaking for how promising they could have been. Hollywood, let this man make whatever he wants!


In 2014, Stephen King published one of his most well-received novels of the decade, "Revival." The film centered around the relationship between the charismatic Methodist healer Charles Jacobs and the struggling addict Jamie Morton. The healer claimed to heal Jamie from his debilitating heroin addiction, but it came at an increasingly gruesome price. Tackling heavy themes such as the afterlife and religion, the novel seems perfect for Flanagan to adapt to the screen.

And for a while, he was supposed to do just that. He was officially signed on to adapt the novel in 2020 for Warner Bros., but for unknown reasons, the project was dead by the end of that same year. Given the original novel's heavy lean into cosmic and Lovecraftian horror, it might have required too big of a budget than what was originally agreed upon. This would also explain why other adaptations of the novel, including Josh Boone's attempt with Russell Crowe, also met similar fates. However, /Film's Eric Vespe did get some insight into the extremely bleak tone of Flanagan's version back in 2021.


However, this project's cancellation can easily be argued as more tragic than yet another Stephen King adaptation. This is because we could have gotten a DC Extended Universe entry centering around a woefully underutilized rogue.

Back in 2021, Flanagan revealed  in a tweet that he had pitched to DC a movie centering around the supervillain Clayface. According to him, the pitch never got the approval of DC executives, although he remained hopeful that they would explore the idea at a later date.

Like most DC rogues, there have been numerous different people to take up the Clayface mantle, but given his description of the film as a "horror/thriller/tragedy," it's likely that it would have centered around the original Basil Karlo incarnation of the character. Seriously, the Rebirth arc of this character gets really dark, and it would have been perfect in the hands of Flanagan. Unfortunately, if we were to wager a guess, DC executives likely thought it was too close thematically to Todd Phillips's "Joker." However, considering the DCEU is in a bit of a creative crisis right now, maybe Flanagan's "Clayface" pitch is worth revisiting. At least, I certainly think it is.