Stephen King famously hates Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of ‘The Shining’. Well, that makes one person. To the rest of humanity, it’s a classic in the thriller genre with endlessly iconic and quotable scenes. For the sequel, ‘Doctor Sleep’, writer/director Mike Flanagan chose to dismiss King’s complaints and craft a direct sequel to ‘The Shining’ and Warner Brothers (who also distributed the ‘It’ movies) is tapping into the iconography of the first film in order to sell ‘Doctor Sleep’.
The two latest posters leave no doubt what classic story this is following up. Both posters bear the slogan “Dare to go back,” referring literally to the Overlook Hotel, the setting of ‘The Shining’, and figuratively to the events of the old story. Despite whatever King’s feelings are, his name appears above the title, which is then followed with the phrase “The next chapter in ‘The Shining’ story.”
Ewan McGregor stars as Dan Torrance, the little boy from ‘The Shining’ (played by Danny Lloyd). Danny is the son of Jack Torrance, the writer who is driven mad in the first story. Like his father, Danny has “The Shining,” paranormal psychic abilities.
In the first poster, which is mostly blood red, McGregor’s adult Dan comes face to face with his Big Wheel-riding younger self in the hallway of the Overlook Hotel.
The second poster is in screaming yellow– the same color as the poster for ‘The Shining’ back in the day. McGregor’s face is exposed in a cut-out that calls to mind Jack Nicholson’s famous “Here’s Johnny!” scene from ‘The Shining’.
For comparison, check out these vintage posters for ‘The Shining’:
Reportedly, Flanagan attempted to reconcile the differences between King’s book and the ‘Shining’ movie in ‘Doctor Sleep’. It remains to be seen how King will react.
‘Doctor Sleep’ awakens in theaters on November 8.