There is little doubt that Doctor Sleep was a terrifying movie but it also had one particular scene that proved to be too disturbing even for the man who wrote the novel. Mike Flanagan has just revealed that Stephen King had asked him to cut back on the brutal sequence involving Baseball Boy.
In Doctor Sleep, one of the True Knot's victims is Baseball Boy, who was played by Jacob Tremblay. In the scene, the unfortunate child is tied down and tortured by his captors before they ultimately feed off on his Shine. The theatrical cut in itself was already disturbing but Flanagan admitted that it was originally more graphic until King spoke to him about it during a screening.
"It was one of the only times he leaned over to me during the movie was when Tremblay got killed. He leaned over and he was like, 'That’s a little brutal isn’t it?'" Flanagan said during an episode of the Kingcast podcast. Not surprisingly, the feedback immediately made the filmmaker redo the scene.
"I was like, ‘Sh-t I gotta go back, I gotta go back and edit this. I gotta pull stuff out.' And we did, we changed it. We backed off. … I think when he saw it, we cut to Jacob two additional times. So there were two more stabs basically. And we took those out," Flanagan continued.
It's hard to imagine just how brutal the original scene may have been but if King couldn't stomach it, then there's a good chance we won't be able to, either. The crazy thing is, Baseball Boy's death still stands out as the most disturbing sequence in the film and if you think you can handle it, you can watch it below.
Flanagan and King are currently working on Revival.