Promising fans a chance to re-enter the world of The Shining saga, writer/director Mike Flanagan’s film adaptation of Doctor Sleep is going to be long journey when compared to most movies on the market today. We know this because the film’s official runtime has been revealed to the public. If you’re one of those Stephen King fans waiting for this new film to hit theaters, be prepared to enjoy a two hours and 32 minute journey in the life and world of Ewan McGregor’s adult Danny Torrance.
This certainly isn’t the longest film of the year, mind you, as flicks like Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and The Russo Brothers’ arthouse classic Avengers: Endgame both cracked the three hour mark in their own way. But in terms of most films that have hit the multiplex this year, the bulk of features land between a brisk hour and a half and the slightly meatier two hour showtimes.
In that context, a two-and-a-half hour film like Doctor Sleep seems to be on the longish side when compared to 2019’s patterns of operation. AMC Theatres ran this information on their preview page for Mike Flannigan’s big feature film, preparing fans of both Stephen King’s book and Stanley Kubrick’s film versions to go without a little more sleep on opening night.
It's also worth noting that this isn't the first Stephen King movie in 2019 to not try and keep things short and sweet, as Doctor Sleep joins director Andy Muschietti’s IT Chapter Two in the rarified air of relatively long King adaptations. If you’re keeping score at home, Paramount’s Pet Sematary remake clocked in at one hour and 40 minutes, with Netflix’s In The Tall Grass being the shortest Stephen King movie of the year at one hour and 30 minutes flat.
Of course, what could be called ultimate metric is how Mike Flanigan’s Doctor Sleep stands against the running time of its predecessor, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The answer might surprise you, as the Kubrickian epic has a running time of 2 hours and 26 minutes – just a mere six minutes shorter than the sequel, which sees a grown up Dan Torrance fighting against the evil True Knot, which is a group that hunts people who shine.
Much like the previous film in the duology, Doctor Sleep has made some changes to the Stephen King’s novel, namely to fit in continuity with Kubrick's version of The Shining. In particular, the film returns to a still-standing Overlook Hotel while the book does not (as it was destroyed in a boiler explosion in King's tome). Also going through a bit of alteration will be the True Knot, run by Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat, which will be a bit different than how it was portrayed in the book.
All of the changes, as well as all of the details that are carried over from the source material, should add up to an experience that audience will have to check out for themselves in theaters. And knowing Mike Flannigan’s pedigree, both in horror and in Stephen King adaptations (Gerald’s Game), the two hours and 32 minutes is going to fly by like nothing.