Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Release date: 8 November, 2019
Running Time: – Minutes
Years following the events of “The Shining”, a now-adult Dan Torrence meets a young girl with similar powers as his and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.
Doctor Sleep is an upcoming 2019 American horror film based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Stephen King, which is a sequel to King’s 1977 novel The Shining and its movie. The film, set 40 years after the events of The Shining, combines elements of the 1977 novel and its 1980 film adaptation of the same name directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, it stars Ewan McGregor as Dan Torrance, a man with psychic powers who struggles with alcoholism. The film also stars Rebecca Ferguson and Kyliegh Curran in her feature film debut. Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Alex Essoe, and Cliff Curtis also feature in supporting roles.
The character Danny Torrance first appeared in King’s novel The Shining as a child with psychic powers called “the shining”. The child character also appeared in Kubrick’s 1980 film. The novel Doctor Sleep and its film adaptation features Dan Torrance as an adult, played by Ewan McGregor. Flanagan said that the film Doctor Sleep is an adaptation of King’s novel but that it would also exist “in the same cinematic universe” as Kubrick’s The Shining. The director said he made an effort to reconcile the differences between The Shining novel and film.
Warner Bros. Pictures began developing a film adaptation shortly after Doctor Sleep was published. Writer-producer Akiva Goldsman wrote a script, but the studio did not secure a budget for the film until the box office success of its 2017 horror film It, also based on a novel by King. Flanagan was hired to rewrite Goldsman’s script and direct the film. Filming began in September 2018 in the state of Georgia, including Atlanta and the surrounding area, and concluded in December 2018.
Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the ‘shine.’ Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra’s innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.
~ Warner Bros. Pictures
Connections to The Shining novel and film
Doctor Sleep is based on the 2013 horror novel of the same name by Stephen King. The novel is a sequel to King’s 1977 novel The Shining. The 1977 novel was adapted into a 1980 horror film of the same name by director Stanley Kubrick. King was critical of Kubrick’s film adaptation to the point of writing and executive-producing a new adaptation with the 1997 television miniseries. While the film Doctor Sleep is intended to be a direct adaptation of the 2013 sequel novel, director Mike Flanagan said Doctor Sleep would still “acknowledge Kubrick’s The Shining in some way”. Flanagan said, “It is an adaptation of the novel Doctor Sleep, which is Stephen King’s sequel to his novel, The Shining. But this also exists very much in the same cinematic universe that Kubrick established in his adaptation of The Shining.” He explained working with all the sources, “Reconciling those three, at times very different, sources has been kind of the most challenging and thrilling part of this creatively for us.” He first visited the novel then had a conversation with King to work out adapting both sources. As part of the process, Flanagan recreated flashback scenes from The Shining with the exception of the elevator lobby scene where blood poured out of an elevator.
Doctor Sleep: Movie Production
Warner Bros. Pictures began developing a film adaptation of Doctor Sleep as early as 2014. In 2016, writer-producer Akiva Goldsman announced that he would write and produce the film for Warner Bros. For several years, Warner Bros. could not secure a budget for Doctor Sleep or for a prequel to The Shining to be called Overlook Hotel. In late 2017, Warner Bros. released It, a film adaptation of King’s 1986 novel of the same name, and its box-office success led the studio to fast-track production of Doctor Sleep. Warner Bros. hired Mike Flanagan in January 2018 to rewrite Goldsman’s script and to direct the film. Flanagan said why he was interested in directing Doctor Sleep, “It touches on themes that are the most attractive to me, which are childhood trauma leading into adulthood, addiction, the breakdown of a family, and the after effects, decades later.” From June to November 2018, the cast was assembled.
Filming began in September 2018 in the US state of Georgia; locations included Atlanta and St. Simons. In the area of Atlanta, specific locations included Covington, Canton, Stone Mountain, Midtown, Porterdale, and Fayetteville. Production concluded in December 2018. By January 2019, Flanagan was editing the film.
The film score will be composed by The Newton Brothers (Andy Grush and Taylor Stewart), who also composed scores for Flanagan’s previous works.
Warner Bros. Pictures plans to release Doctor Sleep in theaters globally on October 30, 2019 and in the United States and Canada on November 8, 2019. It was initially scheduled to be released on January 24, 2020. Deadline Hollywood said the re-scheduling reflected Warner Bros. giving “a major vote of confidence” to the film.
Doctor Sleep: Movie Trailer