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Ewan McGregor to star in ‘The Shining’ sequel, ‘Doctor Sleep’

Heeeeeeeeeeeere’s … Danny?

Ewan McGregor has reportedly agreed to play The Shining character Danny Torrance in an upcoming film based on Stephen King’s 2013 novel Doctor Sleep. Warner Bros. Pictures has scheduled the film to hit theaters January 24, 2020.

Published more than three decades later, Doctor Sleep served as a sequel to 1977’s The Shining and followed an adult Danny as he struggles to cope with the events that transpired at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child and his strange telepathic abilities. McGregor’s casting has received King’s blessing, according to Variety.

The report indicates that the Doctor Sleep movie already has a director, with Oculus and Hush filmmaker Mike Flanagan attached to helm the adaptation. This will be the second adaptation of King’s work by Flanagan, who previously directed 2017’s Gerald’s Game, based on the novel of the same name.

At this point, it’s unknown if the Doctor Sleep movie will be presented as a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of The Shining, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror movies ever made but disappointed King with how it handled of the source material. Warner Bros. Pictures distributed the 1980 film, but also produced a 1997 television miniseries based on The Shining that King was directly involved in scripting.

The official synopsis for Doctor Sleep reads as follows:

On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless — mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival.

Doctor Sleep is one of several projects based on King’s novels currently in development at Warner Bros., with a prequel to The Shining also in the works titled Overlook Hotel. The massive success of It — based on King’s novel of the same name — in theaters has given many of these projects at Warner Bros. and other studios some added momentum.

A Golden Globe Award winner for his work on the Fargo television series, McGregor is also a three-time Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award nominee. He will appear next in Christopher Robin, playing the title character, based on the famous Winnie the Pooh children’s stories created by A.A. Milne.

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