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Entertainment Weekly


Gerald's Game director hired for Stephen King's The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep

Scribner; Mike Windle/Getty Images

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Doctor Sleep (Movie)

release date01/24/20
Movie Details
release date01/24/20

Come play with us, Mike Flanagan…

The director of Gerald’s Game is heading back to Stephen King country by signing on to adapt Doctor Sleep, the author’s 2013 sequel to The Shining, Warner Bros. confirmed to EW.

The book picks up with little Danny Torrance all grown up, but still grappling with demons both real and metaphorical. He is haunted by his father, but not in the way you might expect. Middle-aged Dan Torrance is battling the same alcoholic tendencies that made his old man so susceptible to the malevolent forces of the Overlook Hotel.

But there are supernatural beings pursuing him, too. The True Knot is a group of immortals who nourish themselves on the energy of those with his kind of psychic power. Usually, their victims die agonizingly.

It’s largely a road story, as Dan finds himself protecting a young girl named Abra who shares his ability as they flee these otherworldly predators, ending up at a location in the mountains that we know well. A hotel once stood there.

The question for Warner Bros. as they adapt Doctor Sleep is: which path to follow?

As King himself told EW when the book was released: “One of the things — and I’m not sure if this is going to be a problem for readers or not — is that Doctor Sleep is a sequel to the novel. It’s not a sequel to the Kubrick film. At the end of the Kubrick film, the Overlook is still there. It just kind of freezes. But at the end of the book, it burns down.”

The movie could try to bridge the two destinations. Maybe at some point since the 1980 film Kubrick’s Overlook suffered a devastating fire?

Either way, it seems we’re going back to the Overlook. Between Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King, there are big footsteps to follow, but Flanagan knows the territory well. In addition to Gerald’s Game, he also directed the acclaimed Netflix thriller Hush and and eerie mirror horror film Oculus.

Read a tribute to the author on his 70th birthday last September that the filmmaker wrote, describing what it’s like to adapt King’s darkness for the screen.

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Mike Flanagan
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