'Doctor Sleep' Director's Cut Will Turn Mike Flanagan's Stephen King Adaptation Into A Three Hour Movie

Doctor Sleep was already a long movie to begin with, but it's about to get even longer. A Doctor Sleep director's cut is headed to digital and Blu-ray in 2020, bringing Mike Flanagan's Stephen King adaptation to a full three-hour runtime. Flanagan spoke recently about what to expect from the director's cut, which will apparently be even more faithful to the book and restore some character moments.

I thought Doctor Sleep was quite good, and was disappointed when it underperformed at the box office. Thankfully, Warner Bros. still has a soft spot for the movie, and are going all-in on its home media release. The sequel to The Shining is getting a special director's cut featuring 30 minutes of new, alternate and extended scenes, selected by director Mike Flanagan, not seen in theaters.

"I'm really excited that WB let me create this cut, much less release it," Flanagan told Collider. "They really supported it – to the point that they made sure all of the new material with VFX was fully finished, additional score was composed and orchestrated just for this cut, and we did a full mix as well. They really let us do this right – it's a finished, complete, fully polished new cut of the movie. Nothing in it is temp."

So what can we expect in this director's cut? Here's what Flanagan has to say:

There is new material throughout the whole film. Some of it is brand new stuff that was never included in the theatrical cut, and there's also a handful of extended (or altered) scenes as well. There was never any intention to release this cut theatrically, we always knew it was too long. But we worked on it alongside the theatrical cut throughout post, and it made it a lot easier to make hard decisions in the edit, knowing that some day this cut might see the light of day.

There are some big new scenes, for sure. I don't want to spoil any of that, but I can say that there is new material throughout (including in the final act at the Overlook). Some of my favorite stuff involved Young Danny and Wendy (there's some terrific material with Alex Essoe that I'm thrilled is restored here), and will be familiar to fans of the book. There's also a fair amount of new stuff involving young Abra in the film's first act, learning about her shine, and how it affects her parents.

Flanagan added that the director's cut "is more literary than the theatrical cut. It very much feels like reading a novel... and is even broken into chapters, which gave this cut a very fun structure."

The Doctor Sleep director's cut arrives on digital January 21, and on Blu-ray February 4. The following special features are included.

  • Return to the Overlook
  • The Making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision
  • From Shining to Sleep