If you’ve been looking for another shot of Redrum, then this news should make you very happy — and possible very scared. Ewan McGregor is reportedly set to star in The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep.According to Variety on June 13, McGregor will reportedly play the adult version of Danny Torrance who is finally going to return to the Overlook Hotel where his dad lost his mind nearly 40 years ago. The question now is, will fans be ready to join him? (Bustle has reached out to Warner Bros. and Ewan McGregor’s reps for comment, but did not yet receive a response.)
The sequel to The Shining will reportedly be based on author Stephen King’s 2013 novel Doctor Sleep, which focuses on Danny, who now goes by Dan, in the years following his traumatic experience at the Overlook. No surprise, the events at the hotel have left him worse for wear. After years of struggling with alcoholism like his father, Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson in the 1980 film). Dan, who now works at a hospice care, decides to get help, which results in his psychic powers coming back. His connection with a young girl who seems to share his psychic abilities, leads him back to the Overlook, which is now a campsite run by a mysterious group called True Knot. No surprise, all these years later, it’s a site that still houses something sinister.
While King reportedly isn’t writing the Doctor Sleep script, it’s clear that the author’s fingerprints are all over this movie. The film will reportedly be directed by Mike Flanagan, who directed a Netflix adaptation of King’s novella Gerald’s Game. He’s also reportedly re-writing the script, which was originally adapted by Akiva Goldsman, who recently wrote the latest installment of the Ring series, Rings. Variety lso reported that McGregor’s casting as Danny reportedly got King’s "blessing," which if true, is definitely an honor.
Along with McGregor’s casting, what also hasn’t been confirmed is whether Doctor Sleep will stick to the narrative of The Shining book or movie. In a 2013 interview with Entertainment Weekly, right around the release of Doctor Sleep, King talked about how he wasn’t sure if his sequel would be a problem for lovers of the movie. "Doctor Sleep is a sequel to the novel. It’s not a sequel to the Kubrick film," he said. "At the end of the Kubrick film, the Overlook is still there. It just kind of freezes. But at the end of the book, it burns down.”
What we do know is that the follow-up to The Shining has been in development for years, but Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, has had trouble raising money for the project, according to Variety. So, why is it happening now? You can probably thank It for that.
Last year’s horror movie remake of King’s It, which looks at a group of kids who are terrorized by Pennywise, a sadistic dancing clown who loves red balloons, was one of the top grossing films of 2017. It came in at No. 7, right behind blockbusters like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, according to Box Office Mojo. It also proved to studios that horror is totally in right now.
The reported news of a Shining sequel might also mean the Shining prequel, Overlook Hotel, could finally happen. Yes, there’s a chance there will be an extended Shining universe on the horizon for lovers of scary movies. Though, back in 2015, the film’s producer James Vanderbilt told IndieWire that Overlook Hotel is "completely its own film." It’s reportedly based on "an excised prologue" to the original Shining and focuses on a robber baron who ends up at the Overlook Hotel with his family.
While the hotel may no longer be standing, nearly 40 years later, a now grownup Danny will return to the site where everything went wrong. Hopefully, this visit will be better than his last one, though, scary movie fans might be hoping the opposite.
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