When will Doctor Sleep be released?

What we know about the sequel to The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King, so far

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We’re not far from the debut of Doctor Sleep, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 novel of the same name, itself a sequel to his 1977 bestseller The Shining. The upcoming film will technically be a sequel to the 1980s The Shining (directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick) in that the events of the adaptation will be acknowledged. However, the ‘sequel’ is first and foremost an adaptation of the recent novel with additional references to Kubrick’s classic for the many, many fans of that film, despite its various changes to the narrative portrayed in the original book (to the grimace of King).

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When is Doctor Sleep released?

The film is scheduled to hit UK cinemas on 31st October 2019 (Halloween), about a week before the U.S. release, interestingly enough. An October release date is appropriate considering that the UK premiere of The Shining was in October of 1980, not to mention the Halloween season. It’s also just a month after another major Stephen King adaptation It: Chapter Two.

What is Doctor Sleep about?

A long time after the events of The Shining, a now adult Dan Torrence (who’s inherited some his father’s less than desirable traits) will travel to a completely different, but equally intriguing, location in the form of a nursing home.

The trauma-induced alcoholic will in seeking professional help, instead discover a young girl who possesses ‘the shining’. Danny (as he used to be known) will bear the task of protecting this girl from a bizarre cult known as the True Knot who needs her to fuel their immortality.

Stephen King novels, which inspired the opening credits for Stranger Things
Stephen King novels, which inspired the opening credits for Stranger Things (Getty)

Who will star in Doctor Sleep?

Returning characters from The Shining include Ewan McGregor (Dan Torrence), Alex Essoe (Dan’s mother Wendy) and Carl Lumby (Dick Hallorann). The True Knot will comprise of Rebecca Ferguson (Rose the Hat), Zahn McClarnon (Crow Daddy) and Emily Alyn Lind (Snakebite Andi). Other new characters will be played by Kyliegh Curran (Abra Stone) and Cliff Curtis (Billy Freeman).

The film will also see Flanagan reunite with cast members of his previous projects, specifically those made with Netflix: Jacob Tremblay from Before I Wake (a horror film), Carol Struycken and Bruce Greenwood from Gerald’s Game (another Stephen King adaptation), as well as Selena Anduze, Robert Longstreet, Catherine Parker and Violet McGraw from The Haunting of Hill House (which he developed for television).

Is there a Doctor Sleep trailer?

Yes. A few months ago, there was a teaser trailer, showing us the Kubrick-inspired elements of the sequel, including a flashback to Danny’s first encounter with Room 237 (rather than 217), as well as the door that his father (previously played by Jack Nicholson) smashed through to reach him. You can also get an idea of how the True Knot feed on those with the shining.

Very recently, Warner Bros. released a full trailer that featured largely the same footage, but with a few more direct callbacks to the 1980 film.

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Doctor Sleep will be released in cinemas on 31st October 2019.