DOCTOR SLEEP—Back to the Overlook Hotel

Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) peeks through the infamous hole in the door from the movie's predecessor The Shining (1980) in the upcoming sequel Doctor Sleep (2019)

Ewan McGregor stars as Danny Torrance in the Stephen King adaptation Doctor Sleep, the follow-up to the widely acclaimed movie, The Shining (1980). We find the now grown Danny in his forties and still recovering from the trauma of his near-death at the Overlook hotel in his youth. Now an adult at rock bottom of a drinking problem, we learn that “He hasn’t used his ‘shine’ in decades,” as was told by the movie’s director, Mike Flanagan. He now uses his abilities at his job at a nursing home to comfort the residents—when Danny senses a patient is going to die, he uses his gift to ease them into a painless death, which gave him the name “Doctor Sleep.”

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From the trailer, it appears that Danny will be returning to the Overlook Hotel to confront the evils that haunt him, as well as his counterpart, Abra (played by Kyliegh Curran). The Doctor Sleep teaser trailer puts a major spotlight on the movie’s apparent connection to The Shining and even seems to reuse a lot of the iconic scenes from the classic movie. However, Flanagan admits that “The only scene we used from the Kubrick film was the bloody elevator,” while the rest of the scenes taking place at the Overlook were original shots by the new director. 

Doctor Sleep-twins
Grady Twins (Kk Heim, Sadie Heim) in Doctor Sleep (2019)

From the shots in the trailer, Flanagan and his team seem to have mastered the recreation of the Overlook Hotel, though these scenes were shot in a studio in Atlanta. Though these shots are heavily based on the Kubrick formula, Flanagan struggled to decide which to honor: Stephen King’s novel or Kubrick’s movie. Through a careful strategy, he managed to allow the movie to serve as a sequel to both King and Kubrick's versions of The Shining

Because Flanagan sees The Shining as a story focused around addiction, he wanted to make the key focus of Doctor Sleep to be about recovery, as Danny faces off with his demons—the ones within and the ones who have manifested to seek him harm. We still find that the story follows that of the book: Danny meets Abra, a girl who shares his extrasensory gift of the "shine,” and battles the True Knot—a cult whose members try to feed off those with the shine to become immortal. We are excited to see where Flanagan takes us, as he brings Danny back to the place where all of his problems began.