Doctor Sleep – what you need to know

Doctor Sleep is based years after the events of ‘The Shining’ where an adult Dan Torrance meets a girl who has similar powers to his own. He then has to protect her from a cult wanting to prey on children with such powers. Here is everything you need to know! 

The basics 

Based on the novel by Stephen King, the screenplay was written by Mike Flanagan. 

Directed by Mike Flanagan who has also worked on ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and ‘Before I Wake’. 

The film stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and Carel Struycken. McGregor has a long list of projects he has worked on most notably ‘Star Wars’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘Trainspotting’. Ferguson has worked on projects such as ‘The Girl on the Train’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’. Struycken has worked on projects such as ‘The Addams Family’ and ‘Twin Peaks’.

Rated a 15. 

Has a run time of 2 hours and 31 minutes. 

The film

Doctor Sleep was filmed in Georgia, USA from September thorugh to December 2018. 

The idea for Doctor Sleep came after a fan asked King what happened to Danny. King has said it is a question that he had often considered himself so decided to find the answer. 

King’s books often exist in a shared universe, however this is one of the few times that this is a direct sequel. 

McGregor got the part of the older Danny. In fact he was considered alongside Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Dan Stevens and Matt Smith. 

King is well known for not liking the 1980 version of ‘The Shining’ done by Stanley Kubrick, however Flanagan had to convince King that this was the version most people knew and this film directly refers to this version of ‘The Shining’. Flanagan said “My strategy was to honor what Kubrick did, and to approach this like an authentic sequel to the film that he made, while also trying to honor themes from the novel The Shining that didn’t make it into the film.”

Warner Bros Pictures started developing a film adaptation of the book shortly after the book was published in 2013. 

Early reviews of the film had Stephen King tweet saying “The first reactions to DOCTOR SLEEP are nothing short of ecstatic. Delighted for Mike Flanagan and company.”


John Cusack had expressed interest to play Danny. 

This is the second time McGregor has played a character that is the older version of an iconic role. He previously played Chrispher Robin. 

McGregor is only two years older than the person who originally played Danny in the original film. 

Rebecca Ferguson has said that she does not like horror films in general however she loves Stephen King’s novels. 

This is the second Stephen King film adaptation of 2019. The first one being ‘It Chapter Two’. 

McGregor has revealed he does not like horror films saying “I’m not into scary films — I don’t like putting myself through that. But I liked the novel Doctor Sleep very much, which I read after the script. Then I went back and read The Shining, which I enjoyed too.”

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