Doctor Sleep Movie Poster

Trivia for Doctor Sleep

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  • John Cusack had expressed interest in playing adult Danny Torrence. Cusack previously starred in 1408, another adaptation of a Stephen King story involving a haunted hotel.
  • Ewan McGregor, Dan Stevens, Chris Evans, Matt Smith, and Jeremy Renner were considered and have met with the director for the lead role. McGregor ended up being cast with Stephen King's blessing.
  • The original film of The Shining was filmed in England, at the same studios that were later used for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The latter film featured McGregor's uncle, Denis Lawson, and McGregor himself later appeared in the series as well.
  • This is Mike Flanagan's first Stephen King adaptation since Gerald's Game (2017).
  • The movie is a sequel to the book The Shining because Flanagan is a Stephen King fanboy.
  • This is Mike Flanagan's first Stephen King movie and collaboration with Bruce Greenwood since Gerald's Game (2017).
  • Will be a sequel to The Shining (1980), which is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.
  • In Doctor Sleep, Stephen King named a magician/clown after Mysterio, a villain from the Spider-Man comics.
  • Stephen King first got the idea for Doctor Sleep in 1998 at a book signing when somebody asked him what happened to Danny Torrance from his novel 'The Shining'. This was a question King had often asked himself, as well as what would have happened to Jack Torrance had he found AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). When people kept repeating the question, King always jokingly replied that Danny eventually married Charlene McGee, the girl from Firestarter (1984). However, King eventually started thinking for real about how old Danny was and what happened to Wendy and decided to find the answers with a sequel, but it was a tall order.
  • When writing Doctor Sleep, Stephen King had to be reminded of things from The Shining he'd forgotten. Although most of his books exist in a shared universe (The Shining's Dick Hallorann appears briefly in IT, just to name one example) it's one of the few direct sequels he's written in his career.
  • The role of Abra Stone, described as a blue-eyed blonde girl, and granddaughter of Jack Torrance, in the original Stephen King novel, is to be played by Kyliegh Curran, an African-American actress, with aspects of her character heavily altered from the source material.
  • Ewan McGregor is roughly the same age (less than 2 years older) as Danny Lloyd, who played Danny Torrance in the original The Shining (1980). He is also five years older than Jack Nicholson was when he made the original film.
  • This marks the second time in as many years that Ewan McGregor has played the older version of an iconic role: in 2018 he played Christopher Robin (2018) in the Disney movie of the same name. As well, McGregor is most well-known for playing a younger version of an iconic role, namely Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels as Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) for example.
  • The original The Shining (1980) starred Jack Nicholson, who went on to play the Joker in Batman (1989). The television remake The Shining (1997) featured Pat Hingle, who played Commissioner Gordon in the same film. This film features Bruce Greenwood, who voiced Batman himself in Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010).
  • Mike Flanagan had to convince Stephen King that, despite his own distaste for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980), audiences were more familiar with that version, and largely preferred it to the miniseries, The Shining (1997). As such, this film had to be a sequel to Kubrick's film and include some direct references to it.
  • When cast X-Men Dark Phoenix the role of Vuk was first offered to Angelina Jolie who passed before Jessica Chastain accepted it. Jolie passed the role because she was more interested in playing the titular character in Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein project before Universal put it on hold. Interestingly, they were the only names considered by the studio, both were suggested by James McAvoy due to his working relationship with them. As a gesture of thanks and to returning the favor, Chastain recommended McAvoy to her friend, producer Barbara Muschetti and her brother, IT: Chapter 2 director Andy Muschetti for the lead role of the Losers' Club Bill Denbrough.
  • It's very ironic that, like Stephen King's book, which is a direct sequel to his novel The Shining, this is a direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick's classic film The Shining, which King famously detests. It also has nothing to do with Stephen King's miniseries starring sit-com actor Steven Weber in the Jack Nicholson role, which is pretty much entirely forgotten and was supposed to be the quintessential version.
  • The second Stephen King film adaptation of 2019 by Warner Brothers after It Chapter Two (2019) where a Scottish actor portrays an older version of a character previously played by an American child actor.
  • Actress Rebecca Ferguson revealed in a 2019 interview that, while horror in general is not one of her favorite movie genres, she is a huge fan of the novels by Stephen King: "I don't see why we wouldn't want to make films out of everything that he writes. It's so adaptable. It's so understandable. It's so relatable and the imagery, it's like you don't really have to make scene images anymore, you just have the book." She also added that although she doesn't like violence directed at children, she happily made an exception for this film.
  • The street number of the house that Abra and her family live in is 1980. 1980 is the year that The Shining was released into cinemas.
  • When Dan Torrance interviews with Dr. John, the room is identical to Stuart Ullman's office in The Shining (1980) where Jack Torrance interviewed for the role of caretaker of the Overlook right down to paint color and the little American flag on the right side of Dr. John/Mr. Ullman's desk.
  • There are a few Dark Tower references in the film: the bus line that both Danny and Abra take is called Tet, the baseball player's number is 19, the place where one of the True Knot's victims is killed is called Lemerk Industries, and Dick Halloran refers to Ka when talking with Danny about Karmic debts.
  • The address of Abra's house is 1980, the release year of The Shining.
  • Dr. John Dalton's (Bruce Greenwood) room which Danny is interviewed for the orderly position is identical to Stuart Ullman's office room where Jack Torrance was interviewed in for the caretaker job in The Shining (1980) (1980) even with the paint color and the little American flag on the right side of the desk.
  • Cameo: Danny Lloyd who played the character Danny Torrance in The Shining makes a cameo in this movie at the baseball game and is listed in the credits as, "Spectator."
  • In the scene where hospital cat Azzie jumps on the desk in front of Dan, before following her to what should be an empty room, he puts down the magazine he's reading. It's the same January 1978 issue of Playgirl Magazine his father, Jack Torrance, read in the lobby of The Overlook while waiting for Stuart Ullman and Bill Watson on Closing Day in The Shining (1980).
  • The posters on Abra's bedroom wall are of an American anime called RWBY created by Rooster Teeth.
  • The street Danny gets off bus on is Elm Street, referring to another iconic horror movie Nightmare on Elm Street.
  • Steven Spielberg met Stanley Kubrick on the set of the original Shining, which led to Spielberg taking over A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. That film featured Jude Law, who has been friends with Ewan McGregor since they were roommates during acting school.
  • This film is 5 minutes longer than the Shining (1980). The Shining (1980) is 146 minutes (2 hrs 26 minutes) long, while Doctor Sleep (2019) is 151 minutes (2 hrs 31 minutes) long.
  • The second sequel to a film directed by Stanley Kubrick, after 2010 (1984).
  • Mike Flanagan painstakingly recreated the sets of the Overlook hotel from blueprints acquired from Stanley Kubrick's estate.
  • Most elements from The Shining (1980) were recreated with duplicate sets and lookalike actors, though three shots were reused: the aerial shot of the water and the island and the the two shots after it of the car driving on the mountain road. The shots were degrained, recolored as day-for-night, and had snow digitally added.
  • Zackary Momoh plays David Stone. In the book, David Stone's grandmother-in-law is affectionately referred to as Momo.
  • On Abra's refrigerator, there is a drawing of a rose, on the shelf above Abra's bed there is a Rose, and her toys are placed in a position that spells out the word Hat. This is a foreshadowing of her battle with Rose the Hat and hints that Abra's shining might have been trying to prepare her for the encounter. The roses may also reference The Dark Tower (2017) book series. The Rose is another nexus of reality, and shows Abra's connection to the Tower.
  • Rose describes Snakebite Andi's powers as "pushing." In Stephen King's book Firestarter, Andy McGee (played by David Keith in Firestarter (1984)) was given the psychic ability to "push" by a government program.
  • In the scene where Danny is speaking to Dr. John about his missing watch, Danny refers to him treating a boy for "Goochers" disease. "Goocher" was a word used by the boys in the movie "Stand By Me," another movie adaptation from a Stephen King story.
  • The name of the cat that enters the room of the patients who are next to die in the hospice, Rivington House, is "Azzy," which is short for Azrael, who is the Angel of Death.
  • The young girl at the beginning of the film, Violet, is played by Violet McGraw. McGraw also starred in Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House (2018) series where she played a young Eleanor Crain. Henry Thomas who plays the ghost of Jack Torrance in this film, also starred in The Haunting of Hill House as McGraw's on-screen father, Hugh Crain.
  • When Dan first arrives in Frazier NH, one of the first street signs visible is Elm Street
  • The first hospice patient who Dan comforts as he is dying is played by actor Nicholas Pryor. Pryor starred alongside Jack Nicholson in Hoffa, and Nicholson of course starred in The Shining.
  • Ewan McGregor also starred in the Star Wars prequels opposite Natalie Portman. Portman had previously appeared in Mars Attacks! (1996), as the daughter of Jack Nicholson's character. In Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), she played the mother of Mark Hamill's character. Hamill appeared in Sleepwalkers (1992), written by Stephen King. He has also voiced The Joker, a character previously played by Nicholson.
  • Marc Farley plays a small role. Farley appeared in the legendary Adult Swim short Too Many Cooks (2014) which features many references to the original Kubrick movie.
  • In the original Shining two of the lead characters (Danny and Jack Torrance) were played by actors sharing the same name. In this movie Violet is played by Violet McGraw.
  • Other than a few establishing shots at Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood Oregon and Glacier National Park Montana (opening scene), the original Shining was filmed almost entirely at Elstree Studios and takes place entirely in the state of Colorado. This film was largely shot on location and spans several states, including New Hampshire, Ohio, and Iowa. This mirrors the themes of the two novels: The Shining largely deals with addiction, isolation and confinement, whereas Doctor Sleep deals with sobriety, pursuit and escape.
  • Carel Struycken, who plays Grandpa Flick, also played the chauffeur of Daryl Van Horne, Jack Nicholson's satantic character in the The Witches of Eastwick (1987).
  • The mental 'cabinet' where Abra and Rose store all their memories is similar to the 'memory warehouse' from Dreamcatcher (2003), a previous adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Both concepts are extremely similar to the 'memory/mind palace' made popular by Sherlock (2010) and Hannibal (2013). It is a mental technique for storing information that dates back to ancient Rome.
  • Ewan McGregor admitted that he doesn't really like horror, so he never watched The Shining (1980) until he started acting, and felt he could no longer ignore its classic status.
  • The fourth Stephen King feature film adaptation released in 2019, following Pet Sematary (2019), It Chapter Two (2019) and In the Tall Grass (2019), and the third theatrically released film. Apart from that, no less than 14 short (TV) movies and two series based on his work were released in the same year.
  • The Shining (1980) took several liberties with the Stephen King novel of the same name (one of the reasons why King himself disliked it), so audiences are generally split between fans of the book, and fans of the adaptation (although the latter group is arguably the biggest). According to Ewan McGregor, the biggest challenge was to make a sequel that would satisfy both these groups.
  • In the novel Daddy Crow does not have any special "shine." Instead, his role as a tracker goes to Barry The Ch**k (changed in the movie to the less offensive "Barry The Chunk.") His romantic relationship with Rose The Hat is the same as in the movie, however. As well, he is not specifically Native American in the novel. In many Native American myths and legends the crow is a trickster figure who can bridge the worlds of the living and the dead (inspired, no doubt, by the crow's appetite for carrion.)
  • The original The Shining was set in the United States, and featured a predominantly American cast (with the exception of Philip Stone), but was filmed in England. This film was produced in the United States, but features several more European-born or foreign-born actors: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Carel Struycken, Alex Essoe, Cliff Curtis, and Zackary Momoh.
  • The sound design of The Shining was heavily influenced by David Lynch's sound mix for Eraserhead (1977). The remake and this sequel have both featured actors from Lynch's television series Twin Peaks: Miguel Ferrer and Carel Struycken.
  • Elm Street is not only the setting of another horror film, it is also the street where John F. Kennedy was shot. Bruce Greenwood played Kennedy in Thirteen Days (2000).
  • Many of Rose's accessories are trinkets from various children Rose has killed, including bracelets, hairbands, toys, and even a bicycle chain (woven into her hair). Ferguson wanted to wear "trophies" of her victims, hidden in plain sight.
  • With the exception of Crow Daddy (Zahn McClarnon), the entire True Knot is made up of actors from Flanagan's previous films. Met Clark (Short Eddie) was a stunt performer (and the on-set medic) for The Haunting of Hill House.
  • The pattern on the shower curtain in little Danny's bathroom matches the pattern of the carpet in room 237 of the Overlook Hotel.
  • The use of the heartbeat as musical score is a direct homage to The Shining. Throughout Doctor Sleep, the tempo of the heartbeat increases or decreases to increase or relieve tension.
  • The poster for "Joe Collins Live" outside the movie theater when Andi is leaving references a character from The Dark Tower book series. Joe Collins, a.k.a. Dandelo, is a creature like the True Knot - an emotional vampire - but feeds on laughter instead of fear.
  • The bus company "Tet Transit" is a reference to The Dark Tower book series, where the heroes form company called the "Tet Corporation." In those books, a Ka-Tet is a group of people drawn together by fate for a purpose.
  • Doctor John's office is a near-exact replica of Ulman's office in The Shining, meant to show that Dan and Jack each had the same point of inflection: a job interview that would define their lives. Dan finds purpose, whereas Jack loses his soul.
  • The room Dan enters is room 217. In the novel The Shining, room 217 is the infamous room where Mrs. Massey resides. Kubrick changed it to room 237 in his adaptation.
  • The drawing of the rose on Abra's fridge is a reference to the The Dark Tower (2017) book series. The Rose is another nexus of reality, and shows Abra's connection to the Tower.
  • Above Abra's bed, a balloon animal and a large letter A are arranged to spell "KA". This is a reference to the Dark Tower book series, in which "Ka" means fate, or destiny.
  • The bench that Dan and Abra sit on is the exact same bench that Hallorann and Young Danny sit on in the beginning of the film. Also, both scenes are covered using the exact same angles.
  • Dan is reading the exact same issue of Playgirl Magazine that Jack Nicholson is reading in the lobby of the Overlook before his job interview in The Shining.
  • Hallorann says "Ka is a wheel, Doc." This is a direct mantra from the Dark Tower book series. It means that "destiny is a wheel," and that it brings us back to the same place to face our mistakes and defeats until we learn from them.
  • Abra's "disguise" is inspired by the RWBY posters on her wall, especially the character Emerald.
  • The company on the sign, Lamerk Industries, is a reference to the Dark Tower book series. That corporation is owned by the some of the villains of those stories.
  • The sound of Dan's car driving onto the bridge in the woods - on his way to the shoot-out - is actually the sound of Little Danny's trike on the tile in the halls of the Overlook
  • Rose keeps saying «oh hi there!» several times, This might be a nod to the famous line obi-wan played by Ewan McGregor says "Hello there".
  • Over 800 girls nationwide auditioned for the role of Abra before Kyliegh Curran won the role.
  • The cat Azzie is based by Stephen King on Oscar, a tabby cat who often roams around the Steere House hospice in Providence, Rhode Island. Just like Azzie, he has the ability to seek out those who are near death and then cuddle on top of the patient's bed. Since the publication of his ability in a New England medical journal in 2007, he has presided over 100 deaths. In 2013, Oscar suffered allergic reactions and died for a few seconds before he was revived by quick-thinking animal vets. In the film, Azzie is portrayed by Bonkers, the cat that belongs to The Newton Brothers who composed the film's music score.
  • Ewan McGregor replaces Danny Lloyd as the adult Dan Torrance. In the Star Wars films, actor Jake Lloyd played Anakin Skywalker as a child, but was also replaced by another actor to play the adult character.
  • Ewan McGregor previously played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the opening scene takes place at "Club Obi-Wan." The Shining cast member Philip Stone also appears in that film.
  • Ewan McGregor appeared in The Island for director Michael Bay. Bay also directed Transformers, which featured the character Jazz. In the original series and film, that character was voiced by Scatman Crothers, who appeared in the original Shining.
  • The room where Dan interviews for the hospice job is the same room design as the room where Jack Torrance interviewed for the caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel.

Spoilers

  • In the novel Rose The Hat initiates Snakebite Andi into the True Knot after Andi leaves a theater showing Raiders Of The Lost Ark. In the movie the scene takes place after Andi leaves a theater showing Casablanca. It was while preparing to film Raiders that Steven Spielberg first met Stanley Kubrick, and subsequently cast The Shining cast members Scatman Crothers and Philip Stone in The Twilight Zone and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and worked in references to the film in Jurassic Park and Ready Player One.
  • When Dan first meets Abra in person, she suggests that he pose as her uncle to avoid looking suspicious. She subsequently calls him "Uncle Dan" as a term of endearment. In the novel, it's revealed that they are, in fact, related: Abra's mother is Dan's half-sister, the result of an extramarital affair Jack Torrance had shortly before losing his job as a teacher.
  • In the film, the True Knot like to instil fear into their victims before they feed on their 'steam'/'shine' of innocents as they feel it purifies it. In It, Pennywise believes that frightened flesh has a better taste and equally likes to instil fear into his victims as fear 'salts' the meat.
  • According to director Mike Flanagan, the performance of Jacob Tremblay during the first take of his death scene was so intense that it surprised and scared the other actors, including Rebecca Ferguson, who was so horrified she was stammering and "couldn't get her lines out". When the scene was over, a grinning Tremblay jumped up, covered in fake blood, high-fived his father and walked over to the craft service to get a snack, leaving Ferguson and the rest of the cast "shell-shocked and traumatized".
  • Abra has multiple posters from the Rooster Teeth series RWBY in her bedroom, a show in which characters have special powers (known as Semblance). She also has a poster and figurine of the character Emerald from RWBY, whose power allows her to enter a person's mind and modify sensory information, similar to Abra's Shining.
  • The scene in which Danny first helps a patient 'sleep' takes place inside room 217. This was the equivalent of room 237 in the novel 'The Shining', but was changed for the 1980 film as the actual hotel owners were afraid guests wouldn't want to stay in room 217 after the film. Ater the films release, it became their most requested.
  • The end of Kubrick's The Shining was different to the novel. The destruction of The Overlook by the boiler exploding is what happened in the novel, and the " False face" dialogue between Abra and Dan is taken straight from the equivalent conversation between Danny and Jack in the novel.
  • At the end of King's novel Danny, Billy and Abra lure the True Knot to the Overlook but it has long since burned to the ground, leaving only a wooden platform. In the film the Overlook still stands and everything that takes place inside is new material added by Mike Flanagan, though the boiler exploding is taken from the original novel of The Shining.
  • When Rose the Hat is in the astral plane flying above the city the eerie choral music seems to echo The Wizard of Oz, suggesting Rose is the 'wicked witch' of this story. Stephen King is known for including Wizard of Oz references in his novels.
  • The Lasser Glass from director Mike Flanagan's Oculus can be seen on the right hand side of the wall when Dan is walking down the hallway towards the Gold Room.
  • The ghost of Jack Torrance is portrayed by Henry Thomas, who plays Eliot in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). He has been a frequent collaborator with director Mike Flanagan this decade. His E.T. cast mates have also appeared in Stephen King adaptations: Drew Barrymore in Firestarter and Dee Wallace Stone in Cujo.
  • Ewan McGregor comes back as a ghost to help give guidance to Abra Stone to use her Shining at the end of the movie. Ewan McGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars franchise prequels. Obi-Wan came back as a force ghost in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) to help guide Luke Skywalker during his Jedi training.
  • The scene in where Rose the Hat sneaks into the mind/bedroom of Abra she digs around some filing cabinets which are actually memories stores in Abra's mind. We see Abra do the same to Rose. In the movie Dreamcatchers we also see someone's memories stored as files in a library type room. Also in this same scene Rose has to partially de-glove her hand to escape, which is similar to what happens on Gerald's Game. There are three actors in Dr. Sleep that also appear in Gerald's Game.
  • The missing person page of Bradley Trevor (Jacob Tremblay) shows the date he went missing, September 21 2019, which coincides author Stephen King's birthday (September 21).
  • In the final act the Overlook Hotel attempts to posses Dan and turn him against Abra. This mirrors a scene in the original novel The Shining, in which Halloran (who isn't killed by Jack) is briefly seduced by the spirit of the hotel, which tries to turn him against Danny. As well, in the novel Jack experiences a final moment when he is no longer under the spell of the hotel and accepts his death in the exploding hotel.
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