Doctor Sleep director says The Shining sequel is its own thing

The just-released trailer for the horror sequel Doctor Sleep (out Nov. 8) repeatedly tips its hat to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and, at a trailer launch event in LA earlier this week, director Mike Flanagan (The House on Haunted Hill) made clear that his adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is part of the same cinematic universe as the earlier film. But Flanagan was also keen to point out that Doctor Sleep is not the kind of follow-up which slavishly hits the same beats as its predecessor.

“The more we talk about King, and we talk about Kubrick, and The Shining — absolutely that’s a big and exciting part of this for us,” said Flanagan. “But the story that we’re telling primarily is its own thing. It has everything to do with Dan (Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor) and with Abra (a teenager who also has ‘the shining,’ portrayed by newcomer Kyliegh Curran). In the same way that Dan the character is kind of permanently influenced and altered by the events of The Shining, so is our movie to an extent, but the divide is also just as great. He’s decades removed from those events, and so are we. So, while it’s definitely an element of the movie that we’re making, the heart and soul of the movie, and the reason we wanted to make it at all, was really about this new story between Dan and Abra. It’s unavoidably connected to that, but it is its own thing… While it definitely celebrates The Shining in a wonderful way, this is our story, and it’s Dan’s story. That’s the most important thing.”

Doctor Sleep also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McLarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Alex Essoe, and Cliff Curtis.

Watch the trailer for Doctor Sleep above.

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