Doctor Sleep is officially rated R, confirms director Mike Flanagan. The upcoming film is meant to be a sequel to both the Stephen King book, The Shining, as well as director Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 1980 film adaptation of King’s book.
King famously disliked Kubrick’s adaptation of his 1977 horror best-seller, taking issue with numerous aspects of the legendary director’s vision and approach. Then, in 2013, King released the novel Doctor Sleep, which was written as a direct sequel to The Shining. The new novel’s reviews were quite positive and it wasn’t long after its release that word spread regarding a film adaptation. The responsibility of adapting the novel to the big screen fell on director Mike Flanagan’s (The Haunting of House Hill) shoulders and it was soon revealed that because Flanagan wanted to make the film a direct sequel to Kubrick’s 1980 film, certain aspects of Doctor Sleep’s story would have to be tweaked and changed in order to maintain continuity between the two tales. The Shining was famously shocking at times, receiving a solid R rating.
With Doctor Sleep’s official release only a matter of months away, expectant fans have already been able to learn much about the new film as well as check out its first trailer. Now another new bit of information has arrived, from Flanagan himself. The Doctor Sleep director revealed via his Twitter account that the sequel has been given an R rating for its “…disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity and drug use.” This all appears to sit just fine with Flanagan, who all but gave the rating a thumbs up in the new Twitter post. You can check it out below:
DOCTOR SLEEP has officially been rated R by the MPAA for “disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity, and drug use.” Sounds about right...— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) August 21, 2019
Doctor Sleep catches up with Danny Torrance, now an adult (played by Ewan McGregor) and still reeling from the horrors unleashed upon his childhood in The Shining. Unable to fully cope with everything he’s been through over the years, Danny has turned to alcohol as a means of dealing with his demons and suppressing the visions that haunt him. But when he gives up drinking, the visions return and Danny channels them into a more positive outlet by utilising them as a comfort to dying patients in a local hospice. Soon Danny befriends a young girl called Abra (Kyliegh Curran), who also possesses the ability to shine. Together the pair learns of the existence of an organization called the True Knot, which is also made up of people with the ability to shine. The people in the True Knot, however, are not interested in doing good with their unusual abilities. Instead, they roam the country, looking for those who can shine and feeding off the “steam” that emerges from their bodies when they die in pain.
From the sounds of things, Flanagan has made much effort to connect the stories of The Shining and Doctor Sleep. The new film remakes some shots from the original film, though it does keep the original iconic Kubrick scene of blood cascading from the elevators in the Overlook hotel. For those who are eager to see a sequel to The Shining, this will likely be a great treat. However, for more diehard fans of Kubrick and The Shining, Doctor Sleep simply doesn’t appear to be in the same league as Kubrick’s film. That’s not a slight against Flanagan, it’s just that Kubrick remains one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema. Flanagan’s résumé is very sparse by comparison, and pulling off a sequel to one of the best horror films of all time is a daunting, gargantuan task for even the most experienced of directors.
- Doctor Sleep (2019) release date: Nov 08, 2019