Stephen King had a pretty good 2017, right? IT came perilously close to being one of the highest grossing films of the year, Netflix premiered 1922, and had a surprise critical and audience hit with Gerald’s Game, and The Dark Tower… Well, you can’t have them all. Still, given how everyone seems to be riffing on 80s nostalgia these days, it’s good to see the master of the horror genre getting some love and a few adaptations worthy of the material.
Mike Flanagan, the director of Gerald’s Game, as well as the underrated Oculus, is reportedly on board to direct an adaptation of Doctor Sleep. The 2013 novel is a sequel to the classic novel The Shining, and follows the now middle-aged Danny Torrance as he deals with his psychic abilities and the scars of his past. It was a surprisingly well-received novel, and given how big IT was, it’s no surprise to see this one get the greenlight.
‘Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.
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. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.’
(Synopsis of the book from Goodreads)
King notoriously hates the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of his novel - understandably so but I still think it’s genius - so this will be a good opportunity for a do-over (let’s forget the terrible mini-series). The best news of this story? Flanagan is getting to rewrite the script, which is by notorious hack Akiva Goldsman. See, there is justice in the world.
What’s your favourite Stephen King book and adaptation? Let us know in the comments.