Doctor Sleep Director Confirms Film Is Both a Stephen King Adaptation and Sequel to Kubrick's The Shining

Author Stephen King is considered by many to be one of the seminal writers in the horror genre, with his novel The Shining being one of the most celebrated of his catalog. Stanley Kubrick adapted the novel into a film back in 1980 and, while it received conflicting reviews at the time, has gone on to be one of the defining supernatural thrillers in cinema. King, however, wasn't a fan of the movie, leading him to develop a miniseries adaptation of the story in the '90s before crafting a sequel novel, Doctor Sleep. Mike Flanagan directed an adaptation of that sequel novel and, despite there being drastic differences between the novel and movie The Shining, the filmmaker confirmed he found a way for his film to serve as a follow-up for both narratives.

“It’s the most common question we’ve had since the project was announced, and the question that we couldn’t really answer until we had material to present,” Flanagan confirmed at a Q&A with press. “Because the answer is really complicated. The answer to all of those questions for us has always been, ‘Yes’.”

While it might seem like a given that the adaptation would continue both narratives, there are a number of differences between the two that presents challenges. For example, the book features the Overlook Hotel being destroyed at the end, while the film sees the building remaining intact.

“It is an adaptation of the novel Doctor Sleep, which is Stephen King’s sequel to his novel The Shining," Flanagan confirmed. "But this also exists very much in the same cinematic universe that Kubrick established in his adaptation of The Shining. And reconciling those three, at times very different sources has been kind of the most challenging and thrilling part of this creatively, for us.”

As seen in the first trailer for Doctor Sleep, Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) seemingly visits the Overlook Hotel, though the fragmented nature of the teaser makes it difficult to deduce whether the building actually exists or if this is merely a manifestation of the character's abilities.

“First and foremost the movie is kind of its own thing,” producer Trevor Macy clarified. “And has been embraced by the Kubrick estate and by King as such. But in a very real sense, we’re standing on the shoulders of literary and cinematic giants.”

Stay tuned for details on Doctor Sleep, which hits theaters on November 8th.

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[H/T Bloody Disgusting]

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