It’s been decades since director Stanley Kubrick released the beloved horror film THE SHINING, and while writer Stephen King has had his problems with the movie, that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the go-to films for horror fans. Between its unsettling atmosphere, chilling performance from Jack Nicholson, and massive amounts of creepy imagery, it stands as a testament of filmmaking.
What some film fans may not know, however, is that a few short years ago, Stephen King released a sequel to his book THE SHINING called DOCTOR SLEEP. The book follows Danny Torrance — the young boy from THE SHINING — now a recovering alcoholic who uses his psychic powers to help a sleepy town in New Hampshire. Danny does his best to forget his past, but when he finds himself having to protect a girl from a parasitic group trying to steal her own “shining” abilities, he finds himself right in the thick of a battle between good and evil yet again.
According to the Tracking Board, Akiva Goldsman has signed on to write the script for DOCTOR SLEEP. The writer has recently been involved in the writer’s room for the upcoming TRANSFORMERS movie universe, but he’s perhaps best known for his work on 2001’s A BEAUTIFUL MIND, for which he won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
This news comes on the heels of roughly 86 different pieces of news regarding Stephen King adaptations, including THE DARK TOWER, IT, and THE STAND.
One has to wonder what approach they plan to take with the film. Yes, the book is a sequel to the SHINING book, but will this upcoming adaptation be a continuation of Stanley Kubrick’s film of the same name, or something closer to the source material? While the film is beloved by horror fans, King himself felt the film was an inaccurate representation of the book, he said in a Rolling Stone interview.
“The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, ‘Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.’ And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me, that’s the way I am.”
It’d be interesting to see what approach they take with this one. If they decided to be more faithful to the book, one may argue that they should do a remake of THE SHINING first. But seeing how important that film is in the canon of the medium, that’d likely be a lose-lose situation for the studio.
What do you think of Goldsman signing on to write the script? Do you think the film should be a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s SHINING, or should they just ignore that film altogether and pretend there was another SHINING film that was more faithful to the books? Let us know your thoughts down below!