Doctor Sleep (2019 film)

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Doctor Sleep
Against a dark backdrop, the word MURDER is displayed backward. The title DOCTOR SLEEP is displayed at the bottom, also backward.
Official teaser poster
Directed byMike Flanagan
Produced by
  • Trevor Macy
  • Jon Berg
Screenplay byMike Flanagan
Based onDoctor Sleep
by Stephen King
Music byThe Newton Brothers
CinematographyMichael Fimognari
Edited byMike Flanagan
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 30, 2019 (2019-10-30) (Worldwide)
  • November 8, 2019 (2019-11-08) (United States)
CountryUnited States

Doctor Sleep is an upcoming 2019 American horror film based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Stephen King, which is a sequel to King's 1977 novel The Shining. The film, set several decades after the events of The Shining, combines elements of the 1977 novel and its 1980 film adaptation of the same name directed by Stanley Kubrick. Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor as Dan Torrance, a man with psychic powers who struggles with alcoholism. The film also stars Rebecca Ferguson and Kyliegh Curran in her feature film debut. Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Alex Essoe, and Cliff Curtis also feature in supporting roles.[1]

The character Danny Torrance first appeared in King's novel The Shining as a child with psychic powers called "the shining". The child character also appeared in Kubrick's 1980 film. The novel Doctor Sleep and its film adaptation feature Dan Torrance as an adult. Flanagan said that the film Doctor Sleep is an adaptation of King's novel but that it would also exist "in the same cinematic universe" as Kubrick's The Shining. The director said he made an effort to reconcile the differences between The Shining novel and film.

Warner Bros. Pictures began developing a film adaptation shortly after Doctor Sleep was published. Writer-producer Akiva Goldsman wrote a script, but the studio did not secure a budget for the film until the box-office success of its 2017 horror film It, also based on a novel by King. Flanagan was hired to rewrite Goldsman's script and direct the film. Filming began in September 2018 in the state of Georgia, including Atlanta and the surrounding area, and concluded in December 2018.

Warner Bros. plans to release Doctor Sleep in theaters globally on October 30, 2019 and in the United States and Canada on November 8, 2019.[1]


Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the 'shine.' Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra's innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before—at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past.


Connections to The Shining novel and film[edit]

Doctor Sleep is based on the 2013 horror novel of the same name by Stephen King. The novel is a sequel to King's 1977 novel The Shining. The 1977 novel was adapted into a 1980 horror film of the same name by director Stanley Kubrick. King was critical of Kubrick's film adaptation to the point of writing and executive-producing a new adaptation with the 1997 television miniseries.[14]

While the film Doctor Sleep is intended to be a direct adaptation of the 2013 sequel novel, director Mike Flanagan said Doctor Sleep would still "acknowledge Kubrick's The Shining in some way".[15] Flanagan said, "It is an adaptation of the novel Doctor Sleep, which is Stephen King's sequel to his novel, The Shining. But this also exists very much in the same cinematic universe that Kubrick established in his adaptation of The Shining."[16] He explained working with all the sources, "Reconciling those three, at times very different, sources has been kind of the most challenging and thrilling part of this creatively for us."[17] He first visited the novel then had a conversation with King to work out adapting both sources. As part of the process, Flanagan recreated flashback scenes from The Shining with the exception of the elevator lobby scene where blood poured out of an elevator.[16] He also avoided the horror film trope of jump scares like The Shining did.[18]


Warner Bros. Pictures began developing a film adaptation of Doctor Sleep as early as 2014.[19] In 2016, writer-producer Akiva Goldsman announced that he would write and produce the film for Warner Bros.[20] For several years, Warner Bros. could not secure a budget for Doctor Sleep or for a prequel to The Shining to be called Overlook Hotel.[3] In late 2017, Warner Bros. released It, a film adaptation of King's 1986 novel of the same name, and its box-office success led the studio to fast-track production of Doctor Sleep. Warner Bros. hired Mike Flanagan in January 2018 to rewrite Goldsman's script and to direct the film.[21] Flanagan said why he was interested in directing Doctor Sleep, "It touches on themes that are the most attractive to me, which are childhood trauma leading into adulthood, addiction, the breakdown of a family, and the after effects, decades later."[22] From June to November 2018, the cast was assembled.[2][12]

Filming began in September 2018 in the US state of Georgia; locations included Atlanta and St. Simons.[23] In the area of Atlanta, specific locations included Covington, Canton, Stone Mountain, Midtown, Porterdale, and Fayetteville.[24] Production concluded in December 2018.[25] By January 2019, Flanagan was editing the film.[26]

The film score will be composed by The Newton Brothers (Andy Grush and Taylor Stewart), who also composed scores for Flanagan's previous works.[27]


Warner Bros. Pictures plans to release Doctor Sleep in theaters globally on October 30, 2019 and in the United States and Canada on November 8, 2019.[1] It was initially scheduled to be released on January 24, 2020. Deadline Hollywood said the re-scheduling reflected Warner Bros. giving "a major vote of confidence" to the film.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Doctor Sleep - Official Teaser Trailer [HD]". YouTube. Warner Bros. Pictures. June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (June 13, 2018). "Ewan McGregor to Star in New 'Shining' Movie 'Doctor Sleep' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (June 28, 2018). "Rebecca Ferguson Joins Ewan McGregor in 'The Shining' Sequel (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  4. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 30, 2018). "'Doctor Sleep' Finds Its Abra Stone In Kyliegh Curran". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  5. ^ Staff. "Kyliegh Curran". Playbill. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Romano, Nick (August 30, 2018). "Doctor Sleep casts a 'shining' young star as Abra Stone". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 15, 2019. The Doctor Sleep movie has found its Abra Stone. Kyliegh Curran, the young actress who appeared as Nala in Broadway’s The Lion King and in the indie film I Can I Will I Did, has been cast in the key role for the film that's based on Stephen King's sequel to The Shining.
  7. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (August 1, 2018). "'Doctor Sleep' Gets Carl Lumbly For Dick Halloran, Alex Essoe For Wendy Torrance". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 1, 2018). "'Shining' Movie 'Doctor Sleep' Taps 'Westworld's' Zahn McClarnon to Play Crow Daddy (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 21, 2018). "'Doctor Sleep' Finds Its Snakebite Andi In 'Revenge' Actress Emily Alyn Lind". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 19, 2018). "Bruce Greenwood Boards 'The Shining' Sequel 'Doctor Sleep'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  11. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 2, 2018). "Karan Kendrick Cast In 'Just Mercy'; 'Doctor Sleep' Adds Jocelin Donahue". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Staff (November 9, 2018). "Jacob Tremblay Scores $100k Movie Deal for Sequel to 'The Shining'". TMZ. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (November 20, 2018). "Zackary Momoh Joins 'Doctor Sleep'; Ben Affleck's 'Torrance' Film Cast Rachael Carpani". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  14. ^ Fujitani, Ryan (October 30, 2018). "Every upcoming Stephen King movie adaptation". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 31, 2018. It’s no secret that King himself was critical of the 1980 Stanley Kubrick adaptation of his novel The Shining – so much so that he wrote and produced a new adaptation in the form of a TV miniseries in 1997.
  15. ^ Topel, Fred (October 1, 2018). "'Doctor Sleep' Director Mike Flanagan Talks Acknowledging Kubrick's 'The Shining' and Contacting Original Danny [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Polowy, Kevin (June 13, 2019). "The return of 'redrum': See the first trailer for 'Doctor Sleep,' the long-awaited sequel to 'The Shining'". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  17. ^ Evangelista, Chris (June 13, 2019). "'Doctor Sleep' Trailer Breakdown: Head Back to the Overlook Hotel With 'The Shining' Sequel". SlashFilm. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Sharf, Zack (June 13, 2019). "'Doctor Sleep' Director on Recreating Kubrick's Iconic 'Shining' Scenes and Banning Jump Scares". IndieWire. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 18, 2014). "'The Shining' Prequel to Be Directed by Mark Romanek (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2018. In 2013, King published a 'Shining' sequel 'Dr. Sleep,' which Warners is also trying to get off the ground.
  20. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (March 31, 2016). "Akiva Goldsman Adapting Stephen King's 'The Shining' Sequel 'Doctor Sleep'". Tracking Board. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (January 26, 2018). "Mike Flanagan To Helm Stephen King's 'The Shining' Sequel 'Doctor Sleep'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  22. ^ Radish, Christina (October 14, 2018). "Mike Flanagan on 'The Haunting of Hill House' & 'The Shining' Sequel, 'Doctor Sleep'". Collider. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  23. ^ Marc, Jonathan (July 10, 2018). "Ewan McGregor's 'Doctor Sleep' to begin shooting in Atlanta at the end of September". Geeks WorldWide. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  24. ^ Walljasper, Matt (October 29, 2018). "What's filming in Atlanta now? Doctor Sleep, The Banker, Stranger Things, Avengers, Watchmen, and more". Atlanta. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  25. ^ Nordine, Michael (December 1, 2018). "'The Shining' Sequel About Grown-Up Danny Torrance by 'The Haunting of Hill House' Director Wraps Production". IndieWire. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  26. ^ Schonter, Allison (January 28, 2019). "'Haunting of Hill House' Creator Mike Flanagan Updates Status of 'Shining' Sequel 'Doctor Sleep'". popculture.movies. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  27. ^ Couch, Aaron (December 6, 2018). "'Doctor Sleep' Sets Newton Brothers as Composers (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  28. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 30, 2019). "Warner Bros. Release Dates Galore: 'Doctor Sleep' Checks In This November, 'The Witches' Oct. 2020; 'The Suicide Squad' Returns In 2021". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 30, 2019.

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