The New Mike Flanagan Stephen King Movie Is Going To Break Our Hearts

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Updated

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Mike Flanagan’s handling of Stephen King’s work is well respected and for good reason. The director’s adaptation of Doctor Sleep, the horror maestro’s much-lauded sequel to The Shining, was a masterclass in respect for source material and modern filmmaking excellence. So fans of both Flanagan and King should be excited about the director’s upcoming venture, The Life of Chuck, which recently wrapped up post-production. It’s a project one of the cast members, the talented David Dastmalchian, has described as “heartbreaking.” Expect a touching tear-jerker, more Hearts in Atlantis than Cujo. 

The Life of Chuck Based On If It Bleeds

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The film is based on a novella from King’s relatively recent 2020 collection, If It Bleeds. Tom Hiddleston stars as Charlie’s “Chuck” Krantz, a man who dies of a brain tumor at 39 and who travels back in time. He relives his life in reverse, before eventually re-inhabiting a haunted house from his younger days.

Hopefully, Mike Flanagan will take advantage of this spooky scenario, which we’d more readily associate with Stephen King, to deliver some horror excellence. 

David Dastmalchian Calls It Beautiful

Dastmalchian, who recently starred in the celebrated retro-horror flick Late Night with the Devil, gushed about the movie.

Dubbing it “beautiful” during an interview with Gizmodo, the actor heaped praise on Flanagen’s noteworthy departure from pure terror, a deviation leading to more emotional depth backed up by the movie’s powerhouse performances. 

Mark Hamill And Others Involved

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Indeed, with such a spot-on cast, stellar acting is unsurprising. We’re talking Matthew Lillard, Karen Gillan, and even Mark Hamill, among others.

Audiences look forward to each thespian contributing their signature talents to the project, which merges indie cred with blockbuster allure. For his part, Dastmalchian highlighted an especially moving scene revolving around Lillard. 

The Next Shawshank Redemption?

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Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novella presents an emergent picture—a film relying on performances and narrative decisions that are impactful, heartfelt, and profound.

Considering the prospect of such an intensely emotional experience, fans will probably be reminded of The Green Mile or The Shawshank Redemption. 

In other words, of King’s woefully unsung knack for inducing the feels, big-time, in addition to—or instead of—his genius for horror

Mike Flanagan Already Did Doctor Sleep

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And who could be a better fit to adapt King’s source than Flanagan? His handling of Doctor Sleep, a haunting narrative wonderfully meditating on trauma, redemption, addiction, and the eerie echoes of the past, cemented the director as the shepherd of King’s work in Hollywood. 

Indeed, the way Flanagan depicted The Shine’s psychological, surreal, almost psychedelic terror in Sleep, in addition to the director’s presentation of the True Knot and the cinematography capturing the mental, mesmeric warfare between good and evil—was superb.

Mike Flanagan + Stephen King

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Mike Flanagan deserves every inch of the director’s chair when adapting Stephen King’s work because of how much he respects the source material.

After all, Rose the Hat, in Sleep, frightened in a direct, panic-inducing way. But the atmosphere of dread, regret, and dreamy strangeness Flanagan injected into the movie was equally compelling.

What resulted was a film equally indebted to and respectful of its novel source material while also impressively original and creative. 

While a release date for The Life of Chuck has yet to be announced, the project’s completion stirs considerable excitement, and there’s no wonder why.

We can’t wait to see what Flanagan does with it.

Source: GamesRadar