Being a longtime fan of The Shining in its various forms, you’d better believe I was delighted to find the first trailer for Doctor Sleep greeting me this morning. Considering that decades have gone by since Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick each brought their unique tellings of the story to the table, one could certainly say a followup is overdue.
It probably goes without saying that the average moviegoers has yet to read the Doctor Sleep novel, so odds are they wouldn’t know what was going on in the aforementioned trailer. That said, it was a wise move to pepper snippets from The Shining throughout so that everyone be able to establish the connection.
Even having those flashbacks of sorts included, diehard fans may still wonder if Mike Flanagan’s picture is technically connected to Kubrick’s. Helping clear that up is the man himself, telling Collider he’s honoring both fictional ancestors:
“The answer’s really complicated. The answer to all of those questions for us has always been yes. It is an adaptation of the novel Doctor Sleep, which is Stephen King’s sequel to his novel, The Shining. But this also exists very much in the same cinematic universe that Kubrick established in his adaptation of The Shining.”
If you’ve both read King’s novel and seen Kubrick’s film, then you know they’re two very different beasts. That’s why I and many others have been pondering this very subject for years. This, of course, forced Flanagan to find a delicate balance, which he also spoke of:
“Reconciling those three, at times very different, sources has been the most challenging and thrilling part of this creatively for us. I went back to the book first and the big conversation that we had to have was about whether or not we could still do a faithful adaptation of the novel as King has laid it out while inhabiting the universe that Kubrick had created. And that was a conversation that we had to have with Stephen King to kick the whole thing off. And if that conversation hadn’t gone the way it went, we wouldn’t have done the film.”
Hey, as long as this turns out to be a creepy and enjoyable horror movie, we should have some unforgettable viewing experiences. Still, The Shining set a pretty high bar, so it’s an almost impossible task to live up to it. I guess all we can really hope for is that everything comes together well in the end when Doctor Sleep opens in theaters on November 8th.