'Doctor Sleep' Director Warns Fans Not to Expect 'The Shining'

Stephen King's The Shining got a sequel with Doctor Sleep, a novel which director Mike Flanagan will be adapting into a film. Despite the direct connections between the two stories, the filmmaker warned audiences that they shouldn't be expecting his film to be too similar to The Shining.

“I think you do have to acknowledge that. 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,” Flanagan shared with Bloody Disgusting of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of the King novel. "At the same time, this is not The Shining.

Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film has had an interesting trajectory, with the film being both highly criticized and also highly praised. Films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange saw that the filmmaker could demonstrate a bold vision for genre films, setting expectations high for his approach to King's story. The director's cold, calculated, and psychological approach to the subject matter turned off a large number of audiences, including King himself.

In the decades since its release, fans have gained a new appreciation for the film, with many regarding it to be one of the best supernatural horror films of all time. Understandably, with the preconceived notion that Doctor Sleep will be a continuation of Kubrick's The Shining, Flanagan hopes audiences can approach his film with a different perspective.

“It’s its own story and in a very specific way. If you’ve read the book, you know exactly why it’s so different but it’s quite a tightrope that we’re walking I think," the filmmaker noted. "I’m having a great time doing it. I’m just going to get the movie out and then turn off the internet for two weeks and see how it all goes.”

Stephen King's website describes Doctor Sleep, "Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Danny Torrance has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant 'shining' power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes 'Doctor Sleep.' Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival."

Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Bruce Greenwood, Zahn McClarnon, Alex Essoe, and Carl Lumbly will star in the film.

Doctor Sleep is slated to hit theaters on January 24, 2020.

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[H/T Bloody Disgusting]