The runtime for Doctor Sleep has been confirmed, and it’s longer than The Shining. Published in 1977, Stephen King’s The Shining tells the story of an unstable author named Jack Torrance who goes over the edge, much to the dismay of his wife and son, while serving as the winter overseer of a remote mountain hotel. The story hit movie screens in 1980, with legendary director Stanley Kubrick at the helm, and went on to be considered a horror classic – despite King’s objections to the adaptation.
Of course, in addition to Jack, The Shining also introduced the character of Danny Torrance, a young boy imbued with psychic powers, who is terrorized by his unstable father but ultimately survives the Overlook ordeal. In 2013, King revisited the character for the Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, which sees an older Danny encountering another child with powers like his, and also going up against a cult of immortals who possess their own psychic abilities, and use them to prey on children. Like The Shining before it, Doctor Sleep is also getting a movie adaptation with Ewan McGregor as Danny and Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat, the leader of the mysterious cult.
As revealed by AMC Theaters’ website, the runtime for Doctor Sleep has now been confirmed at 152 minutes, making it longer than The Shining, which clocked in at 146 minutes. Doctor Sleep’s director Mike Flanagan seemed to acknowledge the movie’s lengthy runtime with a tweet in which he joked about fans not loading up on soda during the film. See the tweet in the space below:
Yeah, you may want to go with the SMALL soda... https://t.co/16ZYaehmbA— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) October 14, 2019
Doctor Sleep is definitely lengthy, but it’s still not as long as this year’s other big King adaptation IT Chapter Two, which came in at a whopping 169 minutes. But both movies still trail the longest King adaptation of them all, 1999’s The Green Mile, which clocked in at 189 minutes. By and large, adaptations of King’s novels tend to come in at reasonable lengths (even if the novels themselves tend to be bloated), so Doctor Sleep is definitely an exception in that regard.
It remains to be seen what effect the lengthy runtime for Doctor Sleep will have on the movie’s box office when it comes out later this year. Horror movies don’t normally run much beyond 2 hours, given the difficulty of sustaining tension for such a long time, so the movie will definitely test the boundaries in that regard. The original Shining is indeed one of the few lengthier horror movies that gets away with asking audiences to stay in their seats for an extended length of time, but much of that is due to director Kubrick’s gift for deliberate pacing. Marketing for Doctor Sleep is definitely playing up the Shining sequel angle, so the film is certainly not shying away from being compared to the original – for better or worse.
- Doctor Sleep (2019) release date: Nov 08, 2019