If there’s one film adaptation this year that’s gonna be downright difficult to pull off, it’s Doctor Sleep. In spired by Stephen King’s novel of the same name, written and directed by The Haunting of Hill House helmer Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep picks up with Danny Torrance forty years after the events of The Shining, Which means Flanagan’s film has to find a way to honor King’s novel, Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1980 film adaptation, and navigate the bountiful differences between the iconography of the two.
Warner Bros. just dropped the first Doctor Sleep trailer, and now that’s we’ve had a look, it’s clear that Flanagan is definitely leaning equally into the legacy of both, including some very deliberate and recognizable homages to Kubrick’s film. We also get our first look at grown-up Danny, played by Ewan McGregor and his “shining” protege of sorts, a gifted young woman named Abra (Kyliegh Curran}, who turns to Danny when her powers draw her into conflict with a vampiric group of nomads called The True Knot, who feed on the shine of innocents.
There’s no doubt they are leaning in on the legacy of Kubrick’s film here, with a number of precisely recreated scenes (the blood elevator is the only shot taken from the original film) and plenty of callbacks. At the same time, if you’ve read Doctor Sleep, you know this is very much a different story, with a tone and ensemble of characters all its own, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the film itself uses a lighter hand with the references overall compared to the marketing campaign.
Doctor Sleep also stars Bruce Greenwood, Zahn McClarnon, Alex Essoe, Carl Lumbly, and Jocelin Donahue, and arrives in theaters on November 8, 2019. Watch the first trailer below.
Here’s the official synopsis for Doctor Sleep:
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, 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 ghosts of the past.