Decades after his father suffered a psychotic break while his family was snowbound in the Overlook Hotel, an adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) uses his gift of extrasensory perception to help a young woman (Kyliegh Curran) evade the True Knot, a cult that feeds off psychic ability. Doctor Sleep is based on Stephen King’s 2013 book of the same name, a sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining.
Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Written by: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kyliegh Curran
- Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan had a formidable task ahead of him. His adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel novel needed to reconcile the differences between director Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and King’s original book. Among the more notable changes in Kubrick’s version was that the Overlook Hotel survives. In the book, it burns down. Flanagan sought King’s blessing to depict the Overlook in Doctor Sleep, which King granted. The Overlook set was built using the blueprints from Kubrick’s film. Whether it still burned down and Danny revisits it in visions or it somehow survived intact remains a mystery.
- The title refers to Danny’s nickname. Now working at a hospice, he’s able to use his “shining” to comfort people near death, sharing their feelings and thoughts. It's an ability that leads to patients calling him “Doctor Sleep.”
- Doctor Sleep was put into production quickly following the success of 2017’s It, another Warner Bros. King adaptation. With $327 million in domestic box office revenue, It is the highest-grossing horror film of all time.
- Ewan McGregor read both of King’s novels to prepare for the role of Danny Torrance, who survived his father’s rampage at the Overlook and is now struggling with post-traumatic stress and alcoholism—but he read them out of order. "I read, funnily enough, Doctor Sleep first and then have gone back to The Shining since then,” he said. “I haven’t completed The Shining, I’m still dipping into it as we go along.”
- Doctor Sleep will revisit at least two other characters from The Shining. Carl Lumbly will portray Dick Halloran, the caretaker of the Overlook who was killed by Jack Torrance in the film and was portrayed by Scatman Crothers. He survived in the novel. Alex Essoe will play Wendy Torrance, a role originated by Shelley Duvall in Kubrick’s film. It’s not known whether Jack Nicholson, who portrayed the unhinged Torrance family patriarch, will have any involvement in Doctor Sleep.
Warner Bros. will release Doctor Sleep in theaters on November 8, 2019.