Why ‘The Shining’s’ Most Iconic Character is Brought Back in Doctor Sleep!

by | Nov 11, 2019

**SPOILER WARNING! The following article contains major spoilers for Doctor Sleep and The Shining. Seen them both? Then your good to go…**


The problem with Mike Flanagan adaption of Doctor Sleep, is that it’s an adaptation of both Stephen King’s 2013 novel and a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film. Now any King fan will know exactly what I mean, so for the uninitiated please let me explain. Kubrick’s adaptation was very different from King’s novel, most notable here is the drastically different endings. King left the stage in a very different place, and his sequel continued this story within that version. In the novel, the hotel explodes and burns to the ground, and all but Jack make it out alive. Kubrick’s tone was was much darker and more visceral leaving both Jack and Dick Hallorann dead dead deadski. But most importantly here, Kubrick left THE HOTEL alive, and it was this aspect that really intrigued Flanagan.

You simply couldn’t turn Doctor Sleep into a film as a sequel to the King’s Shining, because it’s the film that is in the public conscious. Flanagan’s approach was to make it a combination of the two. It was through this process that the director decide to bring back The Shining’s most iconic character, Jack Torrance. Talking to cinemablend, Flanagan recalls he favorite scene and why it was Jack that really helped to bring the film together for him.

It’s the Gold Room scene. That was the reason I wanted to make the film. That was the scene I was the most worried about, that I always assumed to be the most polarizing scene of the film. I’m sure it’s going to be. But that’s the one, whenever he starts walking up the hallway, and the lights are going on above him, whenever I’m in a theater with an audience, that’s when I sit forward and just start studying them just so specifically.

The scene in the Gold Room finally reunites Danny and Jack in a familiar set up from the original. In fact, it’s an identical moment from where when Jack meets “Lloyd” the bartender. Flanagan not only recreated the set but also the camera angles from the 1980 film. But in an age of CGI wizardry, where long dead actors are being brought back for films, and older actors are de-aged, it’s curious that Flanagan chose to use a different actor in the part of Jack Nicholson most memorable role.

There’s a noise people make, and I don’t know what it means yet. I haven’t seen it with enough audiences to know what it means, but there’s kind of a really neat moment, when he first says ‘This was your brand,’ and it kind of teases it. But when it cuts to our medium wide profile two shot, which is a very familiar frame if you’re really a student of The Shining, you’ve seen that shot before. But there’s this kind of equal parts, kind of an exhalation, and this little… I don’t know if it’s a moan, or a groan, and that’s what I’d love to solve. It might be both.

Yep, it might take a few seconds for the penny to drop, but it’s undeniable Jack torrance that tempts Danny to a drink.

What I love is the moment after people get over the ‘Jack Torrance of it, and there’s, I think, a beautiful scene about sobriety, and generational, you know… a conversation so many of us, I imagine, wish we could have, and not only for those of us who have lost parents who want to talk to them again, but also any of us who have ever had to have a real kind of introspective dialogue with our own weakness. I love that scene.

We’ll if your wondering what’s next for Flanagan, he’s got eyes on further king adaptations.

[Stephen King and I] are talking actively about what’s next, and we have a great idea for that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, but it’s really cool, and yeah, I expect there will be another chance to play in that sandbox very soon. It’s been my dream since I was a kid to be able to adapt Stephen King, and he’s let me play in that sandbox two times; I would be thrilled to do it again. He’s been happy both times, which is still like [mind-blown gesture], as long as that keeps up, if he’ll have me back, I’m there for the long haul. I’ll do as many as he’ll let me.

Doctor Sleep is in Cinemas now, so be sure to check it out. Honestly…it’s a good film!
Do you want to see more king? Maybe a sequel to Doctor Sleep? Let us know in the comments below.

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