As a longtime lover of The Shining (the novel, feature film and the TV miniseries), you’d better believe that I’m right there with those of you who’ve been seemingly waiting an eternity for a sequel on the silver screen. Fortunately, the gargantuan success of IT forced Hollywood to fast track an adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 novel, Doctor Sleep.
For a short while, we’d been waiting on the studio to round out cast and crew, as Ewan McGregor (Danny Torrance) and Rebecca Ferguson (Rose the Hat) had previously been the only ones named to star in the picture directed by Mike Flanagan.
But now, we’ve received confirmation on two very important puzzle pieces falling into place, those being Dick Halloran and Wendy Torrance. Thanks to Deadline, it’s been revealed that Carl Lumbly (Supergirl) will play the former, with Alex Essoe (The Maestro) being enlisted as the latter.
Personally, I’m curious to see how the big screen version of Doctor Sleep will function as a sequel because, as you may know, King’s original Shining novel was a very different beast from the movie Stanley Kubrick made, which later prompted the scribe to pen the teleplay for the 1997 TV miniseries. If I were to hazard a guess, Flanagan’s flick will be a followup to Kubrick’s effort just for the sake of continuity in the same medium.
Likewise, I’m intrigued to find out how Halloran fits in because, though he survived a thrashing from a roque mallet in the book, the final cut of Kubrick’s take made it appear as if Scatman Crothers’ iteration of the character had met his end via Jack Torrance’s ax. That said, Lumbly will look pretty macho when he gets to run with the torch, as I imagine having metal in your rib cage is rather hard to shake off.
Either way, both Dick and Wendy will likely be contained to flashbacks, given their inclusion in the novel on which Flanagan’s joint is based, not to mention Essoe being younger in age. 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.