Stephen King famously disliked Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his book The Shining many years ago. Here’s hoping he feels kinder toward Mike Flanagan’s ( The Haunting of Hill House, Gerald’s Game) treatment of his 2013 book, Doctor Sleep, a direct sequel to Jack Torrance’s breakdown at the Overlook. By the look of this first trailer, Flanagan’s nailed it.
Doctor Sleep looks like it’s vibing nicely with both Stephen King’s original works and the Kubrick movie, using re-created shots from the 1980 film (and one pulled directly from it; see if you can find it) and even a snippet of the original score. Still, those who have read both books know the story of Danny Torrance’s adult life has much more to it than just treading old ground.
Ewan McGregor stars as Dan(ny), now in his 40s, haunted not only by memories of the Overlook but by what came after, especially his battle with alcoholism. He lives a quiet life working in a hospice, where he has the nickname “Doctor Sleep” due to his uncanny ability to tell when someone in his care is about to die, and to help them do it peacefully. All that’s shattered when a local girl with more of the shining than Danny ever had in his life comes looking for him for help. See, a bunch of fucking vampires led by a cool hippie named Rose (Rebecca Ferguson) are out there feeding on the energy of psychic children, and there’s no bigger meal than Abra (Kyliegh Curran).
Flanagan’s one of the best horror storytellers working today, and he’s just the person to make a movie this complicated sing. Not only will it have to work as a standalone film, it’ll have to build on both versions of The Shining. That’s not gonna be easy.
Doctor Sleep comes out on November 8.