Doctor Sleep Director Tells Fans Not To Expect The Shining

Though fans are eagerly anticipating Doctor Sleep, director Mike Flanagan has warned them not to expect it to be another Shining.


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Inspired by the incredible success of It over at New Line, Warner Bros. is moving full steam ahead with a sequel to Stephen King’s other horror classic, The Shining (which was, of course, adapted by Stanley Kubrick to great success). And it’s already earned itself a release date: January 24, 2020.

Mike Flanagan (OculusGerald’s Game) has been hired to write and direct the adaptation of Doctor Sleep, King’s novel which dives into the troubled life of Danny Torrance (Redrum!) 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel. But for fans expecting something similar to Kubrick’s 1980 film, Flanagan has been eager to stress that this follow-up won’t be the same.

Speaking to Bloody Disgusting in a recent interview, here’s what he had to share:

“I think you do have to acknowledge it. There is no version of the world where I am trying not to acknowledge one of the greatest films ever made. There’s no upside in shying away from that reality. At the same time, though, this is not The Shining.”

“It’s its own story and in a very specific way. If you’ve read the book, you know exactly why it’s so different but it’s quite a tightrope that we’re walking I think,” the filmmaker noted. “I’m having a great time doing it. I’m just going to get the movie out and then turn off the internet for two weeks and see how it all goes.”


As fans will know, this particular King project, along with Shining prequel Overlook Hotel, has been trucking along in development for years at this point. But ever since It destroyed the box office, every studio under the sun has fast-tracked their Stephen King properties into development – and Doctor Sleep is no exception.

Already, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Greenwood and Rebecca Ferguson have been brought on board to star, along with a few others, and as the pic gets ready to head into production ahead of its early 2020 release, it’s certainly shaping up to be something with a lot of potential. But if you’d like to know more about what to expect, here’s a synopsis by way of Deadline:

Doctor Sleep begins as Torrance carries the trauma of the Overlook Hotel into adulthood. He’s become a reflection of his murderous father, with lingering rage and a drinking problem that dulls his pain as well as his “shining” powers. Those powers return when he embraces sobriety and uses his gift to help the dying at a hospice. He establishes a psychic connection with a young girl who shares his extreme abilities and is being targeted by a scary group with similar abilities. They’ve found that their powers grow if they inhale the “steam” that comes off others with the power to shine, when they are suffering painful deaths.

Doctor Sleep opens in theaters on January 24th, 2020.

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Matt Joseph
Matt Joseph is the co-founder, owner and Editor in Chief of We Got This Covered. He currently attends the University of Western Ontario and is studying at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He works on We Got This Covered in his spare time and enjoys writing for the site.