He's baaaack. Ewan McGregor's Danny Torrance returns to the Overlook Hotel 40 years after the events of The Shining in the final trailer for Doctor Sleep. The latest Stephen King adaptation opens in North America on November 8. This final trailer -- which goes full-on with The Shining references -- was released over IT: Chapter 2's big opening weekend in some nice Stephen King synergy. Check out the trailer:
The trailer emphasizes Danny's big return to the Overlook Hotel, and once again shows him talking to young Abra (Kyliegh Curran) about "the shining." Abra has the "shine" herself, and that puts her in the crosshairs of the merciless Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.
The first teaser trailer came out in June, introducing us to the now adult Danny, who sees his world turned upside-down by more Redrum terror. That trailer gave some flashbacks to young Danny at the Overlook -- very much mirroring Kubrick's The Shining -- and hinted to Danny's return, but this new trailer takes Ewan McGregor's character back to the Overlook as an adult.
Mike Flanagan (Gerald's Game, The Haunting of Hill House) directed Doctor Sleep from own screenplay. It's based on the novel by Stephen King, but this movie is operating as a sequel to both King's The Shining and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining film, which King has infamously panned. King seems to be a fan of the Doctor Sleep movie, saying it will "blow your mind" -- provided fans still have minds left after IT: Chapter 2.
One of the key differences between the movie and book versions of The Shining is that, in the book, The Overlook Hotel blows up, and in the movie it doesn't. So the film version of Doctor Sleep decided to go with the movie on that front, and to do that they had to get the blessing of Stephen King.
As director Mike Flanagan explained to CinemaBlend:
[The Shining is,] I think, one of the most influential, if not the most influential horror movie of all time. It would seem like such a wasted opportunity to revisit Dan Torrance and not revisit the Overlook Hotel. So that was a tough call and we needed to get Stephen on board. But when we explained how we wanted to do it, he actually was really enthusiastic about it. Which was a pleasant surprise. If he had not wanted to do that, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't have done the movie.
Mike Flanagan also talked about adapting The True Knot and "taking them in a bit of a different direction" in the movie version of Doctor Sleep.
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...
Stephen King adaptations have been dominating 2019 -- from Pet Sematary to IT: Chapter 2, and then Doctor Sleep. It's like King's own Marvel Cinematic Universe release schedule. Are all of the new movies good? That's always up to the individual viewer. Sometimes changes to King's source material can irritate fans. Other times, fans appreciate a change to something they thought maybe King didn't quite nail. Like destroying the Overlook?
We'll see how fans feel about Danny's big return when Doctor Sleep -- which is Rated R -- opens globally starting October 30 and in the U.S. on November 8. Meanwhile, IT: Chapter 2 is currently cleaning up at the box office.