Ewan McGregor is already playing one adult version of a famous character this year – the title role in Christopher Robin – and now he’s set to plan another, though this one is not quite as wholesome. Per Variety, the actor has signed on to play the adult version of Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.
The film is Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Stephen King‘s 2013 novel of the same name, which picks up decades after the events in The Shining. An adult Danny has followed in the footsteps of his father with his own anger issues and by falling into alcoholism, trying to block out his lingering trauma and ‘shining’ abilities.
But when he embraces sobriety, his psychic powers return and he uses his abilities to help dying patients in a hospice, earning him the nickname Dr. Sleep. There, he meets Abra Stone, a little girl with a spectacular gift who is being hunted by fellow psychics.
Mike Flanagan (Oculus) is set to direct the film, having already tried his hand at one King adaptation with Gerald’s Game. He’s also rewritten the script that was originally penned by Akiva Goldsman. The Shining was of course directed by Stanley Kubrick and starred Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. Released in 1980, it has gone on to become one of the most revered horror films of all time.
McGregor is a great choice for the role and instantly gives this sequel tons of credibility. Even though the source material is written by King himself, audiences are often wary of sequels to classic horror films decades after they’ve been released.
Getting McGregor on board eases that transition, and while Doctor Sleep will likely be quite different to The Shining, the duo of Flanagan and McGregor adapting a King novel makes this worth getting excited about.