The new Doctor Sleep movie includes a cameo from Danny Lloyd, who portrayed Danny Torrance in The Shining. Taking place in different timelines, the narrative of Doctor Sleep follows the experiences of adult Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor), who’s a recovering alcoholic and struggles with traumatic memories from the Overlook Hotel; the primary setting in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining.
When Doctor Sleep begins, young Danny (Roger Dale Floyd) and his mother Wendy (Alex Essoe in Shelley Duvall’s original role) have recently moved to Florida. Doctor Sleep explores Dan’s attempts to move on from the past, and to protect a young shiner, Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), from a supernatural cult, the True Knot, led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson).
The original Danny Torrance makes a cameo in the film just before Doctor Sleep's most violent scene. In 2019, adult Dan is now sober and has communicated telepathically with Abra. Meanwhile, the True Knot travels to Iowa to kidnap (and torture) a shiner named Bradley Trevor (Jacob Tremblay). He first appears during a baseball game, and his father - located in the stands - is played by none other than Danny Lloyd, who was the son of Jack Nicholson's Jack Torrance in The Shining.
According to Doctor Sleep writer and director Mike Flanagan, he located Lloyd on Twitter and messaged him about a possible cameo. Flanagan told Variety that “He’s a schoolteacher, and a very successful one at that, like making the world better. He came back for a day, and we were thrilled to have him.”
Lloyd hasn’t exactly been in the public eye since appearing in The Shining, or at least hasn’t been involved with movies. Despite having a prominent role in Kubrick’s film - a performance full of now-iconic lines and moments - Doctor Sleep marks Lloyd’s first big screen movie role since his jaw-dropping 1980 debut.
In 1982, Lloyd portrayed young G. Gordon Liddy in the Watergate-themed television film Will: G. Gordon Liddy, and he recently appeared in the 2017 documentary Filmworker about long-time Kubrick collaborator Leon Vitali. Back in 1980, Lloyd was just a six-year-old kid that Kubrick hired for practical reasons. He wasn’t a child actor, or someone who planned to pursue a Hollywood career. Decades later, Lloyd is known for appearing in two of the most high-profile King adaptations ever produced. As for his role in Doctor Sleep, the original Danny adds a touch of nostalgia in a sequence that takes the sequel to the next level. When the son of Lloyd's character is killed, it causes adult Dan and Abra to take action, and ultimately leads them to the Overlook Hotel.