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The True Knot from Doctor Sleep

There are a number of familiar names and faces associated with Stephen King’s The Shining, and his novel sequel, Doctor Sleep. Even casual audiences will know the name Jack Torrance, as well as the caretaker’s wife Wendy and their son, Danny. But die-hard readers of King’s work – which he lovingly refers to as Dear Reader – will also know the name of The True Knot, and the group’s importance to the book's story in Doctor Sleep.

Well, get ready for some adjustments. Stephen King’s novel, Doctor Sleep, is making its way to theaters, as directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Gerald’s Game). The adaptation will tell the story of an older Danny Torrance (played by Ewan McGregor), who faces off against a predatory cult known as The True Knot. Essentially traveling vampires, the True Knot feed off of powerful children who exhibit the same powers Danny had as a kid. And they have a new target.

During a recent trip to the Atlanta set of Doctor Sleep, we spoke with Mike Flanagan about his adaptation of King’s work, and any changes he was bringing as he worked the story for the screen. We spoke of the True Knot – a cult group that sounds very colorful on the page – but Flanagan knew they needed to change in the film adaptation. He told CinemaBlend:

We're taking them in a bit of a different direction. Because they went for the kind of kitschy, polyester, RV culture that I think might be funny if we were to present that literally. And so Rebecca [Ferguson] and the cast really helped shape this new, very weird, interesting and darker version of them that I think is going to be a pleasant surprise for a lot of fans of the book. Because, as cool as I thought it was in the story of these kind of silver-haired, plaid, geriatric vampires… it's funny. And so, our cast is much younger because part of the appeal of that family as well, for me, is what if you can bring a family unit together like that with the promise of living young forever. Which is, I think, at the heart of all vampiric stories.

Mission: Impossible standout Rebecca Ferguson will lead the True Knot, playing the charismatic and wicked Rose the Hat. Yes, the other members in her entourage sport bizarre, carnival-worthy names, from Crow Daddy to Grandpa Flick.

Rebecca Ferguson in Doctor Sleep in the True Knot

Though they are semi-immortal vampires, the True Knot are presented in Stephen King’s book as older, with wispy hair and the terrible posture of the ancient. Mike Flanagan seems to have updated their look, especially based on that first trailer that arrived from Warner Bros.

The shift to the True Knot will be one of a handful of changes made by Mike Flanagan to Stephen King’s novel of Doctor Sleep, but all were made with the approval of King, and were done in an effort to connect his own movie to the legacy of Stanley Kubrick’s own The Shining movie. We have more on those changes on the site, as we continue to report from the set of Doctor Sleep.

In the meantime, look for the movie when it opens in theaters on November 8.

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