Entertainment Weekly and Variety are both reporting that Ewan McGregor has agreed to star in the latest Stephen King novel to be made into a movie, Doctor Sleep, with McGregor to set to play the fully grown version of one of King's most iconic characters—little Danny Torrance from The Shining.
Doctor Sleep picks up many years after the events at the Overlook Hotel. Torrance is a middle-aged man now, still plagued by the memories of what happened to his family at the Overlook Hotel all those years ago, battling his own rage and alcohol issues (drinking dulls his "shine").
When Torrance chooses sobriety, it turns up the volume on his gift, which he uses to aid the dying at a hospice care center. Soon he connects with a girl who also has his gift but both become targets of a group of psychic vampires, who have found they can grow their powers by absorbing those of others like them.
While McGregor's casting is welcome news for many, including King, who Variety reports has signed off on the casting, fans of Stanley Kubrick's original screen adaptation of The Shining, (starring Jack Nicholson, Danny Lloyd, and Shelley Duvall) may find themselves disappointed. Though Kubrick's version has since become a horror classic, it's a well-known fact that the story's creator has never been a fan.
King told Entertainment Weekly upon the sequel novel's release:
One of the things — and I’m not sure if this is going to be a problem for readers or not — is that Doctor Sleep is a sequel to the novel. It’s not a sequel to the Kubrick film. At the end of the Kubrick film, the Overlook is still there. It just kind of freezes. But at the end of the book, it burns down.
The new movie is being helmed by Hush and Oculus filmmaker Mike Flanagan, who previously worked on King's Gerald’s Game and so far fans seem decidedly split about the whole thing. There are those who love McGregor in the role...
I love that book. He's going to be great. I can't wait!— WonderWoman #RESISTS your misogyny. #FightItAll (@AlsoWonderWoman) June 13, 2018
...and those who clearly do not.
No no no no no no no no no no no. McGregor is a crap actor and a poor director. Do not go fourth with this. Very bad idea and completely unnecessary.— andrew kay (@compboy1972) June 14, 2018
Then there were those who aren't so sure about the director:
And those who just don't care for sequels at all...
It's not that I don't like Ewan or the director I really like some of Mikes movies. I'm just not a fan of sequels decades later, especially if it's not the same director or writers.— mannis (@mannisfy) June 14, 2018