Mike Flanagan, director of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, tackles a very different iconic ghost story with Doctor Sleep. Based on the novel by Stephen King (you may have heard of him), Doctor Sleep is the official sequel to The Shining, following a grown-up Danny Torrance dealing with a whole new set of supernatural problems, while also still grappling with his traumatic childhood. Our first look at the film is finally here, and it looks like fans won’t be disappointed. Watch the Doctor Sleep trailer below.
Doctor Sleep Trailer
I’m a major Stephen King fan, but I wasn’t too high on Doctor Sleep, his sequel to The Shining. But I am pretty damn excited for the film adaptation. For one thing, Mike Flanagan, one of the best horror directors working right now, is at the helm. For another, he’s assembled a killer cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Bruce Greenwood, Zahn McClarnon, and more. And finally, Flanagan has already confirmed he’s going to change things up a bit with this adaptation.
King is notorious for hating Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of The Shining, because it’s a very loose adaptation of the source material. As a result, King’s Doctor Sleep book is very much a sequel to the Shining book. When the film adaptation of Doctor Sleep was announced, I wondered how Flanagan would play things: would it be a straight adaptation of the book, and therefor completely ignore Kubrick’s iconic movie? Or would the film acknowledge Kubrick?
Flanagan put the question to bed himself. “I think you do have to acknowledge [Kubrick’s film],” the filmmaker said in a past interview. “There is no version of the world where I am trying not to acknowledge one of the greatest films ever made. There’s no upside in shying away from that reality.”
In Doctor Sleep, Dan Torrence (Ewan McGregor), who spent one terrifying winter as a child at the Overlook Hotel, “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.” Those powers are, of course, “the shining.” Kyliegh Curran plays the young girl, Abra Stone. And Rebecca Ferguson plays Rose the Hat, the evil leader of the True Knot.
Here’s the official synopsis:
“Doctor Sleep” continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh Curran star in the supernatural thriller, directed by Mike Flanagan, from his own screenplay based upon the novel by Stephen King.
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.
Doctor Sleep opens November 8, 2019.
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