Warner Bros. has launched a thrilling first trailer for Mike Flanagan’s Stephen King adaptation ‘Doctor Sleep’ which has more than a few respectful nods to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’.
In Flanagan’s film, Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) carries the trauma of the Overlook Hotel into adulthood and has 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 girl (Kyleigh Curran) who shares his extreme abilities, and who is being targeted by a cult who makes others like them suffer painful deaths in order to absorb their powers.
In the trailer, we finally get our first glance of McGregor’s adult Danny Torrance, still plagued by the horrifying images of his childhood. The protagonist of the film, he fights his own issues with alcoholism just like his father. Whilst we only get a brief glimpse of Rebecca Ferguson’s antagonist Rose the Hat, but from that moment alone she conveys a sinister aura just from the look on her face.
Whilst Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy wanted to establish that ‘Doctor Sleep’ isn’t a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece ‘The Shining’, a number of iconic images from the film are scattered throughout the trailer, all of which were recreated by Flanagan except the infamous elevator scene with the river of blood. Thanks to the close cooperation of the Kubrick estate these scenes were recreated from the original plans.
In regards to it being a sequel to ‘The Shining’ Flanagan stated “That’s enormously intimidating for one, but that also doesn’t represent what we are doing. We were really careful from the beginning to not identify as a straight sequel to either (the film or King’s novel), although, it absolutely honours and celebrates his [King] vision of that world. It’s kind of neither but both at the same time. It’s very much its own story”.
Fan’s of the Stephen King universe should also be delighted, thanks to Flanagan’s own love of the author’s work, the film will be filled with Easter Egg’s galore.
“There are definitely Easter Eggs from the King Universe in this movie, I just can’t help myself. I’m a King fanatic, I don’t know if you’ll see anything from any recent films. This was true of Gerard’s Game as well, I’m a constant reader, I’ve been a King fanatic since I was a child, I really can’t help getting stuff in there. There is stuff in there that fans of the Dark Tower are going to lose their minds over, little things like posters hanging in the movie theatre, really scrutinise buses, you’re definitely going to see something that will excite the right fan”
For anyone who knows how horrifying the book is and may worry about whether this big screen adaptation is watered down in any way, without going into too much detail both Flanagan and Macy confirmed that they expect an R rating to be placed on the film in the same way as ‘The Shining’ obtained an R rating.
“If you look at our work, what you don’t see is scarier than what you do, so it’s not going to be gratuitous or salacious in that way but it does tackle some challenging subject matter that should be organic to the story”
The trailer may not convey how terrifying this could actually turn out to be but we’re excited to see how this one plays out.
‘Doctor Sleep’ is out in UK cinemas on Halloween night, the 31st of October, 2019.
Here’s the trailer,