Stanley Kubrick’s seminal horror film The Shining left a traumatised young Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) and his mom Wendy (Shelley Duvall) fleeing for their lives from dad Jack (Jack Nicholson) following his murderous mental meltdown.
The Shining is full of creepily memorable moments. That image of Jack Torrance in the snow in the maze is something that stays with you forever.
Warner Bros. had been developing Stephen King’s sequel, Doctor Sleep, but had sat on the property for a few years, unable to secure funding. They were also considering a prequel, Overlook Hotel, about how the hotel became the damned and haunted place we see in The Shining.
Now it seems the success of last year’s reboot of another Stephen King classic, IT, has prompted studios to get their King back-catalogue out as a priority.
Variety reports that the sequel is going ahead with Ewan McGregor as a now adult Danny, known as Dan, still suffering trauma from his childhood run-in with the haunted hotel.
Like his father before him, Dan is full of suppressed rage and has become an alcoholic, which dulls both his rage and his psychic power, known as the shining.
The powers re-emerge when he decides to become sober again. He then uses the powers to help comfort the dying at a hospice, aided by a cat that can sense when people are about to die. There Dan is given the nickname Doctor Sleep.
Dan develops a telepathic link with a young girl, Abra, who also possesses the shining abilities. Dan realises that a group of immortals are after them, especially Abra, whose powers are much stronger than his. These immortals have discovered they become stronger when they feed off ‘steam’ – a psychic force released when a person with the shining dies in pain.
Dan must find a way to fight the group if he and the little girl are to survive.
Mike Flanagan is directing, and also co-adapting the story with Akiva Goldsman (Fringe, The Dark Tower). Flanagan also wrote and directed the excellent Absentia in 2011. It sounds like a good team, and should at least make for a watchable couple of hours.
Doctor Sleep is due out in cinemas in 2020.