Mike Flanagan found it “almost impossible” to recreate The Shining’s iconic Overlook Hotel for the sequel Doctor Sleep.
In the horror movie, Ewan McGregor stars as Dan Torrance, who has psychic abilities known as “the shining”, and he returns to the Overlook Hotel, where he spent time as a child, to confront demons new and old.
Flanagan and his team painstakingly tried to recreate the Overlook director Stanley Kubrick designed for 1980’s The Shining with 100 per cent accuracy, but they soon realised they had quite the task ahead of them.
“If someone else had made the (Doctor Sleep), I, as a fan, would be scrutinising every frame, I would be holding them to the standard that would be pretty insane, the level of detail, making sure they got it right,” he said during a Q&A in London. “We didn’t get it all right, I can tell you that, we tried, it’s really hard to do, it turns out.”
The Hush filmmaker had access to all of Kubrick’s blueprints for his designs, but the late director didn’t always stick to them, and they discovered the colour of the typewriter, an important prop, changed over the course of The Shining. Accordingly, he did a poll to find out what colour it should be for Doctor Sleep.
“The typewriter changes colour during the course of The Shining, we had it for one scene, so the question we would ask ourselves was, ‘How do you remember it, what colour is the typewriter?’” he recalled. “And we would poll everyone... If we had to make a decision, we made it based on how we who loved the film remembered it the most, with the hope that even though it might not be completely accurate for the film in its entirety, it would be close enough and kind of the way you guys remembered the film. I guarantee you we didn’t get everything right, it’s almost impossible.”
However, they managed to achieve the Overlook recreations and only resorted to using Kubrick’s footage to show a car driving up a canyon road with the permission of his estate.
Doctor Sleep is in cinemas now.