When Stephen King published Doctor Sleep in 2013, it felt inevitable that the book, a sequel to his beloved 1977 horror novel The Shining, would get a movie adaptation one day. After all, director Stanley Kubrick's big-screen version of the original, starring Jack Nicholson as alcoholic writer Jack Torrance, is widely considered one of the most terrifying movies ever made -- even though King himself has long taken issue with the changes Kubrick made to his story. An adaptation of Doctor Sleep, which follows a grown-up Danny Torrance, was a no-brainer. But who would want the tricky, intimidating task of walking in Kubrick's shoes?
Enter Mike Flanagan, the director behind Netflix's King adaptation Gerald's Game and last year's unnerving miniseries The Haunting of Hill House. After the box office success of It, which was also produced by Warner Brothers, Flanagan jumped aboard in early 2018 and Ewan McGregor was quickly cast as Danny. Now we've got our first glimpse at the movie, which also features Rebecca Ferguson, Bruce Greenwood, and Jacob Tremblay, and it looks pretty spooky.
The trailer opens with Danny staring at a friendly greeting on his wall, which eventually turns into that familiar "redrum" message. Though there's familiar imagery from Kubrick's original featured in here, including a chilling shot of young Danny on his bike in the hallways of the Overlook Hotel, the movie doesn't look like it's trying to imitate Kubrick's visual approach too much. Instead, it looks quite a bit like Hill House and Flanagan's other recent projects.
So, will the movie follow King's lead in ignoring specific plot points and changes from Kubrick's version of the story? In a recent interview, Flanagan answered the question by saying it was very complicated. "It is an adaptation of the novel Doctor Sleep, which is Stephen King’s sequel to his novel, The Shining," he said. "But this also exists very much in the same cinematic universe that Kubrick established in his adaptation of The Shining."
We'll find out exactly what that means when the movie arrives in theaters on November 8. That's only a couple months after It: Chapter Two debuts in September, making this fall King season at your local movie theater.