Warner Bros. Pictures has released the first trailer for their upcoming Stephen King big screen adaptation of Doctor Sleep. Directed by the very in-demand Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep serves as a sequel to the author’s iconic The Shining.
Ewan McGregor stars as an adult version of Danny Torrance, now an alcoholic whose attempt to get sober reawakens his “shining” powers. Torrance meets a young girl who shares the supernatural ability while working at a hospice center. The trailer states “Witness the Conclusion,” alluding to Doctor Sleep being the true ending to The Shining saga.
Check out the first trailer for Doctor Sleep below:
As much as this film was touted as an adaptation of King’s novel, Doctor Sleep now appears to be a sequel to Kubrick’s 1980 masterpiece (of which King was never a fan to begin with), the footage inevitably conjures comparisons and why wouldn’t it? Flanagan straight-up echoes footage using newly designed, carefully recreated sets out of the original film such as Danny on his bike, scooting along those iconic hallways as well as the creepy, murdered Grady twins. We also get some overhead shots of a car driving through a forest (much like how the 1980 Shining began) and we get to see “Redrum” written on a mirror while music from The Shining plays over the title card reveal for the film. And how could we not notice McGregor’s Danny looking through the infamous broken door that Jack tares down with an axe. It’s all pretty startling stuff for fans and non-fans alike.
Warner Bros. snatched up the rights to the book shortly after it was published and quickly began developing a film adaptation. Akiva Goldsman came aboard to pen the script but the studio couldn’t secure a budget for the film until the monumental success of another King adaptation in 2017, It. Flanagan was brought in to rewrite Goldsman’s script and to direct the film which started shooting in September of 2018 in Georgia.
The involvement of Flanagan behind the camera is a big attraction for horror movie fans, as the director has become a genre favorite after directing Oculus, Hush, and the incredibly popular Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House. Doctor Sleep is Flanagan’s second King adaptation after his work on Gerald’s Game, which also premiered on Netflix.
The film’s cast is of particular note. Ewan McGregor is playing the grown-up Danny Torrance, who has the ability to “shine,” a psychic power. Rebecca Ferguson is the head of a cult that feeds on children with Danny’s powers called the True Knot. Bruce Greenwood, who also appeared in Gerald’s Game, is Dr. John Dalton, the doctor to Abra Stone (played by Kyliegh Curran) who develops “the shining.” There are also two re-casting choices in the film. Dick Halloran and Wendy Torrance are both present in the novel and film. Carl Lumbly plays Hallorann, the former cook for the Overlook Hotel who first helped Danny come to terms with his “shining” abilities. That part was originally played by Scatman Crothers in Kubrick’s The Shining. Alex Essoe plays Danny’s mother, Wendy Torrance. That role was originally played by Shelley Duvall in the original 1980 film.
You can also check out the film’s poster, which is a stylistically attractive nod to the “Redrum” motif present in the Shining saga.
Doctor Sleep is slated to hit theaters nationwide on November 8.
Source: Warner Bros.