A 3 hour-long director’s cut of last year’s supernatural horror film Doctor Sleep can now be viewed on HBO’s freshly-launched streaming service, HBO Max. The cut, which encompasses the original, untainted vision for the film as conceived by its creator, Mike Flanagan, includes tons of extra content that fleshes out the characters and even introduces some new plot points.
Based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed thriller writer Stephen King, Doctor Sleep tells the story of an every-man who must protect a girl from being abducted by a cult that kidnaps children whom they believe to possess the secret to immortality.
The film, like the novel, was conceived as a sequel to another famous story titled The Shining. Best known not as a King novel but a 1980 movie directed by famous filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, that one follows a family waiting out a snow storm in a hotel while a sinister force slowly drives them insane.
Flanagan’s cut of Doctor Sleep, clocking in at precisely 180 minutes, is nearly half an hour longer than the theatrical version. In an interview with Collider, the director expressed thanks to distributor Warner Bros. for allowing him to create this new cut of the film, which he promises will offer fans an entirely different experience.
“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.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time HBO Max has offered to stream a hotly-anticipated director’s cut of a cult classic. A few weeks ago, the service announced it would also be acquiring the extended cut of the failed superhero film Justice League.
Directed by Zack Snyder, this new version of the pic promises to flesh out the story, improve CGI and even introduce new characters. All in all, it’ll compensate the errors made when Snyder was forced to leave the project halfway through post-production in order to process the unexpected suicide of his daughter Autumn.