Director Mike Flanagan, whose new psychological horror drama "Doctor Sleep" is all set to release, has said that the film is about recovery while reflecting back on the trauma of addiction.
"Doctor Sleep" is based on Stephen King's 2013 novel of the same name, which is a sequel to King's 1977 novel "The Shining". "Doctor Sleep", set several decades after the events of "The Shining", combines elements of the 1977 novel and its 1980 film adaptation of the same name, directed by Stanley Kubrick.
"I saw 'The Shining' when I was too young to see it, I was about 10, and it changed me. I saw it at a friend's house, against the wishes of my parents, which made it even more scary and fun. I saw the film before I ever read the book, and I was already very much a constant reader -- I was collecting and immersing myself in Stephen King's work. When I saw 'The Shining', it showed me what was possible with a psychological thriller and what tension in a movie could be," Flanagan said.
"In high school, when I read 'The Shining', it was very interesting, because the book and the film were so different. I was amazed at how the same characters and the same setting could create two very different experiences. When it was announced that he was going to write a sequel, as a fan, I was overwhelmingly curious, because I didn't know how he was going to try to reconcile the two versions of 'The Shining' that were out there. Or would he? And he actively did not. He definitively said, 'This is a sequel to my book, and nothing else'. I loved the book, and what I loved about it had nothing really to do with the Overlook or anything that carried over from 'The Shining'," added the maker of "The Haunting Of Hill House".
Flanagan has brought the world of "Doctor Sleep", the sequel to the horror classic "The Shining", alive with actor Ewan McGregor in the role of Danny Torrance and Rebecca Ferguson as the main antagonist. Warner Bros. will release the film in India on November 8.
"I loved the story of Dan Torrance. I loved that 'The Shining', in my eyes, was a story of addiction and what it can do to a family. But 'Doctor Sleep' was the story of recovery, reflection and time, looking back at the damage and trauma of addiction decades later, especially through the lens of a child of an addict. Dan has to deal with the same demons that his father did, but he's dealing with them completely differently. Plus, you're looking at it through the eyes of a writer who has also evolved so much through sobriety…I was fascinated by that, primarily," he said.
"Doctor Sleep" begins as Torrance carries the trauma of the Overlook Hotel into adulthood. He meets Abra, a teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the "shine", and narrates his attempt to protect her from 'Rose the Hat', who feeds off the shine of innocents in her quest for immortality.
Flanagan feels he "hadn't really gotten to the point in my career where I would have ever thought I was a contender for adapting a movie like that, or even maybe working crew on it".
"I would say to friends, 'Oh, my God, if they ever make that movie, not only could it be great, but how will they do it?' Reconciling 'Doctor Sleep' the novel with the cinematic legacy of 'The Shining' just seemed impossible," he said.