Doctor Sleep wraps filming, time to make an appointment


Fans are one step closer to seeing the film adaptation of Doctor Sleep. The direct sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining  wrapped principal photography last week.

Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) announced on Saturday via Twitter that filming had wrapped on Doctor Sleep. Flanagan directed the film after rewriting an earlier pass at a script by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind).

While he won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind, Goldsman is also known for writing the screenplay for the notoriously bad Batman and Robin. He previously adapted Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series into a movie that served as a set-up and sequel to the series. It confused audiences and performed timidly at the box office.

Goldsman has moved on to several new projects, which includes developing a series in the Star Trek universe that focuses on the later years of Jean-Luc Picard.

Flanagan wrote and directed a gripping adaptation of King’s Gerald’s Game for Netflix last year. And that was no easy feat. It would have been easy for the psychological horror of the movie to be played off as gaudy and gratuitous. After all, it’s about a wife who is left handcuffed to a bed when her husband dies during a violent role playing session. But Flanagan manages to create a horrifying reality that fills the viewer with impending doom.

Doctor Sleep-Mike Flanagan-Courtesy of Getty Images

Most recently, Flanagan adapted Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel “The Haunting of Hill House” into a series for Netflix. It’s gotten great reviews. Stephen King commented that it might just be a work of genius.

So, Flanagan can handle King’s narratives and successfully reimagine a creepy haunted house tale. Stephen King likes him. It seems like Flanagan is the right person to adapt and direct Doctor Sleep.

Again, that’s no easy task.

There are likely a lot of people who know The Shining only as a movie based on a Stephen King novel. That’s a little sad. But, it’s a thing. What makes Doctor Sleep tricky is that it is a direct sequel the novel version of The Shining.

Among other things, that means that Dick Halloran, the Overlook Hotel chef, is still alive. Halloran survived the novel and is still trying to help young Danny Torrance at the beginning of Doctor Sleep. In the movie, Scatman Crothers gave a memorable performance, but the character was mostly used as an expositional device. He spent a large portion of The Shining on a quest to get back to the Overlook only to be killed almost immediately on arrival. He will be played by Carl Lumbly (The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai) in Doctor Sleep.

Doctor Sleep-Carl Lumbly-Courtesy of Getty Images

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Jack Torrance died at the end of the novel and the movie. But, in the novel, Jack is a different character who does end up redeeming himself. In the movie, Jack Nicholson portrays Torrance as unhinged and grasping for reality. He dies after failing to kill Danny.

I’ll be interested to see which version of Jack Torrance is carried over into Doctor Sleep.

Wendy Torrance survived the novel and movie versions of The Shining. She is in Doctor Sleep. Wendy will be portrayed by Alex Essoe (Midnighters). Sadly, Shelley Duvall is likely not in a place that would allow her to reprise her role or make a cameo.

Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin) as Danny Torrance and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) as Rose the Hat.

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The movie is not scheduled to be released until late January of 2020. It would be nice if it was moved back to an earlier slot. But, with It: Chapter Two coming out in September, a Doctor Sleep push back date might be June or July. That would be a rush job, so I’m thinking we will wait the duration for this highly anticipated sequel.

Did you read Doctor Sleep? Are you excited for the movie adaptation? Let’s discuss in the comments!