Few movies carry the weight of expectations this year as “Doctor Sleep,” the upcoming Stephen King adaptation from horror maestro Mike Flanagan. The film is a sequel to “The Shining” and casts Ewan McGregor as an adult Danny Torrence. Considering Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 “Shining” adaptation is considered one of the best horror movies ever made, there’s a lot of pressure on “Doctor Sleep” to deliver terror later this year.
“Doctor Sleep” picks up with Danny tormented from the events of childhood. The character is an alcoholic whose supernatural “shining” abilities reawaken when he tries to get sober. Danny’s journey gets complicated (and scary) when he meets a young girl who shares his gifts while working at a hospice center. Joining McGregor in the cast are Rebecca Ferguson, Carl Lumbly, and Alex Essoe.
Following Kubrick’s “The Shining” is certainly no easy task, but horror fans should feel confident with Flanagan behind the camera. The filmmaker has emerged as one of the best voices in horror after directing “Oculus,” “Hush,” and the Netflix horror series “The Haunting of Hill House.” Flanagan has already announced he’ll be back for the next season of the Netflix anthology series.
King famously did not like Kubrick’s 1980 movie, which took dramatic liberties with his text, but McGregor has assured fans “Doctor Sleep” will do the novel justice. “Our script is faithful to his novel. But for one thing,” the actor said. “And I’m not going to give anything away.”
To prep for the role, McGregor dove into King’s book more than he relied on Kubrick’s film. Danny was played by child actor Danny Lloyd in the movie. “I’m reading Stephen King’s novel every day and I’m really enjoying it,” McGregor told USA Today. “There are points where Stephen has written a bit, and I’m going, ‘Oh, that’s not right. I don’t think that’s quite [Danny]. Like, now I’m already thinking I know the character more than Stephen King.”
Warner Bros. is releasing “Doctor Sleep” in theaters nationwide November 8. The studio first debuted the trailer to rave reactions at CinemaCon in April. Watch the first official trailer in the video below.