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Home > Stephen King, Mike Flanagan, & The Parallelism That Unites Them

Stephen King, Mike Flanagan, & The Parallelism That Unites Them

Mike Flanagan

Greatness Inspires Greatness!

Stephen King has been in the literary game for decades; his massive collection of works speaks for itself. And being the tireless creator he is, he continues to contribute. His latest work, entitled Fairy Tale, was released early fall of this year. King’s endeavors to get his ideas on paper and give his imaginings a voice have inspired many. One of those who have drawn significant inspiration from King has been none-other than Mike Flannagan. 

The Root of Flanagan’s Inspiration

Flanagan has always been open regarding his love for King’s work. In a 2019 interview, Flanagan revealed the origins of that inspiration. According to Flanagan, he first read King’s classic work It in fifth grade. From then, his love for the author’s craft of storytelling only grew. In fact, the aspiring director found many of King’s books impressive. As Flanagan also noted in his interview, “I have a lot of favorites, The Stand, The Shining, Salem’s Lot, and The Green Mile. But some of my true favorites are Lisey’s Story, Hearts in Atlantis, Misery, Dolores Claiborne, The Wind Through the Keyhole, and Gerald’s Game.

Unlike many fans of the literary giant, Flanagan has had the opportunity to work on some of King’s projects and he has received direct praise from the author. According to Suntup, Flannagan received a letter from Stephen King praising his adaptation of Gerald’s Game and rightly so. The adaptation of Gerald’s Game was no fly-by-night project and has been something Flannagan had held close to him for years. According to Flanagan, after reading the book and falling in love, he spent years imagining how to adapt it. In the producer/director’s words

“I carried it around for years and years, trying to envision what the film version could look like.”

Miraculously what he had envisioned for a significant portion of his life was realized. Flanagan’s incredible ability to adapt King’s work led to another project with links to Stephen King. He would also get a chance to work on Doctor Sleep, a continuation of King’s The Shining, which also garnered praise. 

Mike Flanagan

King’s Praise for Flanagan

Flanagan’s adaptations would be one of many of his projects to earn recognition from King who was so pleased with Flannagan’s The Haunting of Hill House that he extolled the writer on social media. Before the world, he called Flannagan’s series a work of genius.

This is quite an accolade especially given that The Haunting of Hill House is also known as one of King’s favorite literary works. So, given Flanagan’s love for the author and his books, it’s not hard to see why there is a great deal of parallelism between the two.

Midnight Mass: One Example of Parallelism

Of all Flanagan’s work, one that seems particularly inspired by King drawing significant parallels is Midnight Mass. While Midnight Mass is an entirely stand-alone work, its plot closely resembles Storm of the Century, with elements of Salem’s Lot. The parallelism is so overt some claim it is one step away from a carbon copy story arc. In both, powerful monstrous figures come to tiny islands with sinister agendas. The climatic points also mirror. In both, the intent of the occultist figure is made known in a public gathering of the townspeople. 

But there is much more at stake for the residents of the small town of Crockett Island and it is this one dramatic resolution that vastly sets the work apart.

What Does One Make of the Parallels?

The most important takeaway that fans of Flanagan’s work can glean from this is greatness inspires greatness. When another impassions someone, there are bound to be similarities. As the age-old adage goes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and if Flanagan’s work shows an undeniable imprint of greatness that can be seen in a master’s work, then that is applaudable.

For those who want to check out Flanagan’s Midnight Mass, it is currently streaming on Netflix, while Stephen King’s Storm of the Century currently streams on Hulu. 

Mike Flanagan

Midnight Mass (2021) Official Netflix Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Renae M. Richardson
I am a writing enthusiast and Entertainment journalist. I live life with unbridled passion. And I live by the mantra love what you do, and do what you love!