Doctor Sleep is the story of Danny Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor, who witnessed the horrors of Overlook Hotel as a child and has never really recovered from that trauma. In the trailer, we see that there are others in the world who possess the ability that Dick Hallorann once called the ‘shining’ and Danny’s powerful ability has come into play once again. We also see him heading back to the Overlook Hotel, the place that changed his life forever.
But what happened at the Overlook Hotel?
In case you have not seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, here’s a short recap for you. Danny and his parents arrive at the Overlook Hotel where his father has gotten a job as a caretaker for the winter. With the place getting snowed in, it’s only the three of them for the entire winter. His father Jack (Jack Nicholson) descends into murderous madness and eventually dies while he and his mother (Shelley Duvall) escape. The hotel has a lot of secrets too. Built on an ancient Indian burial ground, it has a long history of violence. The spirits of the hotel have always had a hold on Danny and he is still a hostage of that trauma.
Who are the other people who possess the ‘shining’?
The film’s plot rests on the fact that there are others who possess the same telepathic power that was shared by Dick and Danny. This power is being hunted down by the bad guys and to put an end to all this, Danny has to go back to the Overlook Hotel, where it all started for him.
Is Doctor Sleep a direct sequel to Kubrick’s The Shining?
Doctor Sleep is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name that was first published in 2013. King wrote it as a sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining and the book soon turned into a bestseller. It is widely known that King did not approve of Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation of his novel and was quite vocal about the same. As per King, Doctor Sleep is the sequel to his novel and not Kubrick’s adaptation.
Doctor Sleep is being directed by Mike Flanagan who has got the stamp of approval from King. In a recent interview to Entertainment Weekly, King said, “I read the (Doctor Sleep) script very, very carefully and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.'”
Flanagan recently said in an interview to Kino TV that this film is not a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s film but a “descendant” to it. While he has faithfully followed the novel, he has also recreated some imagery that has the Kubrick trademark on it. The director also acknowledged that he has incorporated some parts of Kubrick’s adaptation into his film.
So, one can say that Doctor Sleep has three source materials – The Shining novel, Kubrick’s movie and Doctor Sleep novel.
Doctor Sleep releases on November 8.