Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is one of many horror fans' favorite Stephen King adaptations, which makes the upcoming sequel adaptation, Doctor Sleep, a highly anticipated event. Luckily, fans won't have to wait quite as long, as the film has shifted its January 24, 2020 release date up to November 8th of this year.
It is unclear what motivated the shift, though Deadline claimed, "The Burbank lot gives a major vote of confidence to the Mike Flanagan-directed Stephen King adaptation."
The release of Escape Room and Glass in January proved to be major successes for the genre this year, which is likely why Doctor Sleep was originally opening in that month. The move forward bodes well for the film, as November is typically when major awards contenders debut, with the film's successes possibly exceeding more than just genre appeal.
Stephen King's website describes the story, "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."
Flanagan has the difficult task of delivering audiences not only a compelling King adaptation, but he also aims to satiate fans who are looking for a follow-up to the 1980 Stanley Kubrick adaptation of The Shining. Complicating matters is that King himself has regularly slammed the 1980 adaptation for being so drastically different from his novel.
"[I wanted to make Doctor Sleep] out of nothing but love for the Kubrick family and for the original novel," Flanagan noted previously to Collider. "When I read Doctor Sleep, when it was first published, I was so taken with getting to spend time with Danny Torrance again. It touches on themes that are the most attractive to me, which are childhood trauma leading into adulthood, addiction, the breakdown of a family, and the after effects, decades later. It really speaks to a lot of my favorite stuff, so I was really, really fascinated by the possibility of being able to play in that world."
He added, "It's one of the most intimidating projects that I've ever done though, just because we're standing in the shadow of Stanley Kubrick, which could have been Jesus. That's a daunting thing. But the only way to get through it is to say, 'I'm not Kubrick. I'm never gonna be, and I'm not trying to be.' I'm gonna make my movie and see how people feel. I'll just turn off the internet for two weeks, when the movie comes out, and everything will be fine."
Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Bruce Greenwood, Zahn McClarnon, Alex Essoe, Jocelin Donahue, Jacob Tremblay, and Carl Lumbly will star in the film.
Check out Doctor Sleep when it lands in theaters on November 8th.
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