Warner Bros. has released the first trailer and poster for director Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep adaptation. Based on Stephen King's sequel novel to The Shining (which he published in 2013), Doctor Sleep picks up with Danny Torrance as an older man who's still psychologically scarred by what happened to him as a child. Ewan McGregor stars in the film version as the grownup Danny, who decides to try and get sober - having spent many years drinking in order to suppress his shining powers - and starts a job at a hospice where he uses his abilities to provide comfort to dying patients (earning him the eponymous nickname).
The film marks Flanagan's second time adapting King's literature, following his efforts on Netflix's acclaimed big screen version of Gerald's Game in 2017. As for McGregor, he's joined by a cast here that includes Gerald's Game costar Bruce Greenwood, in addition to Rebecca Ferguson as the leader of a sinister cult (known as the True Knot) that hunts and feeds upon children with psychic powers like Danny's. And while Doctor Sleep's November release date is still a ways off, WB is getting its marketing up and running today, if only so its trailer can screen with the many big horror movies coming out in the next few weeks.
It was actually Flanagan who took to Twitter to unveil the Doctor Sleep teaser poster this morning, and confirm that the trailer would be dropping shortly after. The preview in now online, as you can see in the space below (followed by the one-sheet).
As one might expect, the Doctor Sleep teaser focuses heavily on connecting Flanagan's movie to The Shining - specifically, director Stanley Kubrick's iconic adaptation of King's horror novel. At the same time, it introduces the members of the True Knot and offers a small taste of the sequel's actual storyline. Also featured here is newcomer Kyliegh Curran as Abra, a young girl with shining abilities who reaches out to Danny when she finds herself being hunted by the vicious Rose the Hat (Ferguson) and her followers. However, in order to help her, Danny is forced to reawaken the (literal) ghosts of his past and revisit the terrible events that transpired at the Overlook Hotel, some forty years earlier.
Flanagan has indicated that Doctor Sleep is as much a Shining movie sequel as an adaptation of King's source material, and the teaser drives that point home by either revisiting or recreating some of the more infamous moments from Kubrick's film. It's probably the best approach, though, as many people are likely more familiar with Kubrick's adaptation than King's book (which are different in some major ways). At the same time, Flanagan doesn't appear to have strayed too far from the Doctor Sleep novel, as far as its general plot points go. That's encouraging to see, considering the book deals with a lot of themes (trauma, addiction, grief) that are firmly in the director's wheelhouse, as evidenced by his previous work on films like Gerald's Game and Oculus, as well as The Haunting of Hill House TV series.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
- Doctor Sleep (2019) release date: Nov 08, 2019