Ewan McGregor is playing a grown-up Danny Torrance in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining sequel novel, Doctor Sleep. Warner Bros. began developing the film version of King's Shining followup back in 2016, but it wasn't until last year's IT became a massive box office success that the studio put the project on the fast-track for development. Oculus and Gerald's Game director Mike Flanagan has since signed on to cowrite and helm the movie - having already expressed his desire to adapt Doctor Sleep for the big screen - and the film got an official 2020 release date from WB just last month.
Published in 2013, Doctor Sleep picks up with Danny several years after he was nearly killed by his own father in the haunted Overlook Hotel. Danny, who goes by simply Dan as an adult, has inherited some of his old man's figurative demons (namely, his anger and drinking problems) and now spends his days caring for the elderly at a hospice in small-town New Hampshire. While there, Danny is contacted by Abra Stone, a young girl who also has "shining" powers and finds herself being targeted by a dangerous cult of semi-immortals with similar abilities. Realizing that Abra will probably be murdered if he does nothing, Danny is forced to finally reckon with his traumatic past and "shine" once again.
Variety is reporting that McGregor is set to star in Doctor Sleep and has received King's blessing to play the role of grown-up Danny in the film. The report's author Justin Kroll further revealed on Twitter that Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner also met for the Danny role, along with McGregor and former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith. Ultimately, however, it was the Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, and Star Wars prequel veteran that walked away with the part.
The news that McGregor is joining Doctor Sleep's cast puts a wet blanket on the rumors that the actor is getting ready to start filming an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff movie later this year. While an Obi-Wan solo film led by McGregor may yet happen down the line, Lucasfilm has yet to confirm the project and might be re-thinking its approach to the Star Wars anthology movies in general at the moment, following Solo: A Star Wars Story's disappointing box office turnout. In the meantime, McGregor won't be hurting for work. He's starring in Disney's live-action Christopher Robin later this summer and will keep busy promoting that film in the coming months, before he sets to work on Doctor Sleep.
Having demonstrated his versatility as a character actor for years in film (and, more recently, on TV with Fargo season 3), McGregor reads as a great choice to tackle the role of the traumatized and tormented grown-up Danny Torrance in the Shining movie sequel. Further, Doctor Sleep is the type of character-driven supernatural horror film that ought to play to Flanagan's strengths as a storyteller and keep his win streak alive, when it comes to adapting King's books. All in all, this news is all the more proof that there's never been a more exciting time for Stephen King fans than the present.
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