Doctor Sleep Movie Poster

Trivia for Doctor Sleep

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  • 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.
  • 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 seriously 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 stories exist in a shared universe (The Shining's Dick Hallorann appears briefly in IT, for example) it's one of only a few sequels he has written.
  • 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.
  • It took a lot of negotiating to get this film made. 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 rather than The Shining (1997), and largely preferred the film to the miniseries. Therefore, this film had to be a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's classic film.
  • 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.
  • 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, in which Danny is interviewed for the orderly position, is identical to Stuart Ullman's office where Jack Torrance was interviewed in for the caretaker job in The Shining (1980) (1980), right down to 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 he follows her to what should be an empty room, he puts down the magazine he was 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).
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (1980) largely deals with addiction, isolation and confinement, whereas Doctor Sleep (2019) deals with sobriety, pursuit and escape.
  • 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 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 film adaptation. According to Ewan McGregor, the biggest challenge was to make a sequel that would satisfy both these groups.
  • In the novel Crow Daddy does not have any special "shine". Instead, his role as a tracker goes to Barry The Ch**k (the movie uses Abra's 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).
  • 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 is a homage to The Shining (1980). Throughout Doctor Sleep (2019), the tempo of the heartbeat is used to increase or decrease 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Over 800 girls nationwide auditioned for the role of Abra before Kyliegh Curran won the role.
  • The cat Azzie is based on Oscar, a tabby cat who resides at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Rhode Island. Oscar appears able to predict the impending death of terminally ill patients. He will sit or sleep by their beds for a few hours before they die. Since the publication of an article featuring Oscar in a New England medical journal in 2007, Oscar has been present for over 100 patient deaths. In 2013, Oscar suffered an allergic reaction and died for a few seconds before he was revived by vets. In the film, Azzie is portrayed by Bonkers, a cat that belongs to The Newton Brothers, the film's composers.
  • The Director's Cut is divided into the following six chapters to give it a literary structure: 1. "Old Ghosts" 2. "Empty Devils" 3. "Little Spy" 4. "Turn, World" 5. "Parlor Tricks" 6. "What Was Forgotten"
  • In both the novel and the film of The Shining, Danny's nickname "Doc" comes from his affection for Bugs Bunny cartoons.
  • The lockboxes and their hedge maze environment are entirely digital creations.
  • The pool ball Dan picks up is the 13 ball…a number Stephen King believes to very unlucky.
  • "You're gonna take your medicine" is a phrase often repeated when Jack Torrance threatens Danny in the novel The Shining.
  • Casablanca is Mike Flanagan’s favorite movie.
  • This shot of Rose in front of the projector beam is an homage to a similar shot in another Stephen King adaptation: Frank Darabont's The Green Mile.
  • In the Doctor Sleep novel, Andi leaves a theater showing Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). In the film, the theater is showing Casablanca (1942), which is Mike Flanagan's favorite movie.
  • Among the destinations listed on the monitor are Jerusalem's Lot and Castle Rock, both iconic Stephen King creations.
  • Stephen King didn't originally intend for Abra's name to stem from abracadabra. It was just a "happy accident."
  • In the novel, Andi is much older, and she and Rose are lovers.
  • Flanagan made Andi a teenager and removed the romantic relationship, favoring a mentor/pupil dynamic that mirrors Dan and Abra.
  • For Frazier, NH, the filmmakers actually shot in Covington, Georgia, a location made famous by the CW series The Vampire Diaries.
  • The Landlady calls Dan a "pup," which is what Jack called little Danny while chasing him through the hotel in the novel The Shining
  • Carel Struycken, who plays Grandpa Flick, also played the Moonlight Man in Flanagan's adaptation of another Stephen King novel, Gerald's Game.
  • The True Knot's costumes were designed with the idea that they picked up fashion from past centuries in which they lived.
  • Robert Longstreet, who plays Barry the Chunk, played Mr. Dudley in Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House
  • The actor who plays Diesel Doug (in the dark sunglasses) is James Flanagan – director Mike Flanagan's younger brother.
  • The "Death Flies" Dan sees are taken directly from the novel and explained later in the film.
  • Dr. John is played by Bruce Greenwood, who played Gerald in Flanagan's adaptation of Stephen King's novel Gerald's Game.
  • "Bobby," and another member of the AA group, were stand-ins on Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House.
  • Dan refers to Doctor John as "Doc," which was his own childhood nickname.
  • Doctor John's office is a near-exact replica of Ullman's office in The Shining.
  • Stephen King came up with the idea for the True Knot when driving from Maine to Florida, noticing the many rest areas along the way.
  • "Do you care" is the same answer that another teacher will give to their pupil later in the film…
  • The book cover of Doctor Sleep in the United Kingdom features the cat, Azzie.
  • Stephen King was inspired to write Doctor Sleep after reading about a cat in a nursing home who was believed to know when patients were going to die.
  • Doctor Sleep explores that not only humans shine, but animals can, too. The cat shines, as it can determine when people are about to die.
  • The long hallways of the hospice were chosen because they reminded Flanagan of death row in The Green Mile.
  • The Gold Room set was built to Kubrick's exact specifications for The Shining… almost.
  • Flanagan did not want to cut away from McGregor's monologue, favoring instead an unbroken push from wide into closeup.
  • Because of the eight-year time jump, Azzie is played by two different cats. One young, one old… and neither good at staying still.
  • Mike Flanagan reportedly had a humorous nickname for the cat, and usually referred to Azzie as "Azzhole" during production, and "Bonkers the Death Cat" in post-production.
  • The action figure on Abra's night stand is Emerald from the anime RWBY. The same character is featured in posters throughout the room.
  • The True Knot's campground was filmed at Stone Mountain Park outside of Atlanta due to its diverse woods.
  • The steam canisters on the top row are adorned with souvenirs of the children who were killed to fill them.
  • The number 19 features prominently in Stephen King's works, particularly the Dark Tower series.
  • According to Flanagan, dozens of versions of the Baseball Boy sequence were tested in post-production.
  • There is a drawing of a rose on Abra's fridge. The Rose is an important object and symbol in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
  • The teenager in front of the bookshelves is played by Logan Medina, who played Shirley's son Jayden in The Haunting of Hill House.
  • Above Abra's bed, a balloon animal and a large letter A spell "KA".
  • "Ka" has multiple meanings and, among other things, is equivalent to fate and destiny in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
  • Rebecca Ferguson made a specific shopping list for each member of the True Knot, and hand-selected the items in her shopping cart herself.
  • The flowers were a last-minute addition to the rooftops of the miniature buildings.
  • 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.
  • In the novel, it is revealed that Dan Torrance is actually Abra's uncle… Jack Torrance once had an affair with her grandmother.
  • Dan is reading the same issue of Playgirl Magazine that Jack Nicholson reads in the lobby of the Overlook before his job interview in The Shining (1980).
  • Hallorann says "Ka is a wheel, Doc." This is a direct mantra from the Dark Tower series.
  • According to Rebecca Ferguson, the needle in her character's hat digs deep underneath the fingernails of children to extract more purified steam.
  • The "Rose Traveling" sequence was among Flanagan's first storyboarded sequences. Post was extended several months in order to get the visuals right.
  • Abra's "memory boxes" are a concept King has utilized in several novels, most notably Dreamcatcher.
  • The True Knot had a "movement coach", Terry Notary, who helped create the physical manifestation of 'cycling' and 'puppeteering' their human bodies.
  • The sound of Dan's car driving onto the bridge is actually the sound of little Danny's trike on the tile in the halls of the Overlook.
  • The shootout sequence took two full days to film.
  • The actress who plays Apron Annie is Selena Anduze, who played Paige the social worker in Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House.
  • The actress who plays Silent Sarey is Catherine Parker, who was the star of Flanagan's first horror feature, Absentia.
  • The rear-screen projection plates in the van scenes are the same plates used in episode 8 of The Haunting of Hill House…
  • Mike Flanagan and Stephen King screened the film together at a movie theatre in Bangor, Maine.
  • Mike Flanagan and Stephen King had lunch together after the screening – and ate pizza.
  • On the day of this screening, Stephen King gave Mike Flanagan the special edition of Doctor Sleep, published by Cemetery Dance.
  • On the day of the screening, Flanagan and King did a dual interview. After the interview, King recorded a special message for Flanagan's wife.
  • The exterior entrance of the Overlook Hotel was built on a sound stage in Georgia. It was filled with fake snow, and the set was extended digitally.
  • Flanagan wrote the Overlook back into the story of Doctor Sleep, keeping its prosperity consistent with the cinematic universe of The Shining.
  • After building the blue hallway, the art department "aged" it down. After it was aged, the filmmakers felt it looked too aged, and had to start over.
  • Nine doors were prepared to recreate the iconic axe scene, but only two had to be used.
  • Stunt coordinators tested door materials down to the thickness of the wood, what type of wood broke best, and other factors to keep consistency.
  • As Dan begins approaching the Gold Room, the mirror from Flanagan's Oculus is hanging in the hallway on the right.
  • Actor Henry Thomas had to shave his head and wear a wig to match the hairline of Jack Torrance from The Shining.
  • Henry Thomas watched Jack Nicholson's scenes from The Shining (1980) hundreds of times to master the body language that best embodied the character of Jack Torrance.
  • The sets of the Overlook Hotel were constructed in six weeks.
  • The Newton Brothers have composed for Mike Flanagan on every one of his films since Oculus (2013).
  • This shot of the bloody elevators is a digital creation. It was necessary to change Kubrick's angle and bring the camera to Rose's height.
  • The exact make and model of typewriter from The Shining is seen in this film. The axe was of a similar generic fire axe design. The tricycle was completely different, however, as the original Mattel Big Wheel was made entirely of molded plastic with metal components, not a tubular metal design with plastic seat. Vintage Big Wheels in excellent condition are available, but no effort was made to procure one.
  • This scene in the hedge maze was shot months after the film wrapped production, an additional scene added during the edit process.
  • The hedge maze itself was built on a sound stage at Warner Bros. Studios in California.
  • Abra's line that "fear purifies steam" is a direct quote of what Rose said to the Baseball Boy.
  • The lock box behind Rose matches the one that was in Hallorann's hand in the beginning of the film.
  • The same camera angles used in Kubrick's film – when Jack backs Wendy up the stairs – were employed for this scene.
  • There were two versions of the axe prop created for the film: one with a blade made from rubber to use for the stunts, and one made with real metal.
  • The Colorado Lounge set was built on the same stage that housed the exterior Overlook façade.
  • The makeup process was a rather tedious and agonizing experience for Sallye Hooks, as she had to stand up while makeup was being applied for Mrs. Massey, and this often took up to 5 hours to complete.
  • The panning shot of Dan and Wendy required Ewan McGregor to run out of frame, and then he had to be immediately replaced by Roger Floyd.
  • Dan saying there are more "people who stand" is a reference to Stephen King's The Stand.
  • Doctor Sleep production took 49 days, and over 30 weeks of post-production.
  • After production for the film wrapped up, Mike Flanagan was given the prop axe from the film to keep as a memento.
  • Crow Daddy's pistol holster is a Union Army Cavalry officer's for Colt Model 1860 revolver. This is a reference to the novel, when it is hinted Crow Daddy was originally a tracker for the Army during the American Civil War.
  • In the novel, an infant Abra predicts the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • Jack Nicholson portrayed Jack Torrance in 'The Shining'. Carel Struycken portrays Grampa Flick in 'Doctor Sleep'. Jack Nicholson and Carel Struycken worked together in 'The Witches of Eastwick'.
  • Ewan McGregor also played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars films, a character known for having been Darth Vader's mentor. In the original trilogy, Vader was played by two actors who had worked with Stanley Kubrick: David Prowse; who appeared in A Clockwork Orange; and James Earl Jones; who appeared in Dr. Strangelove. McGregor and Jones also appeared together in Robots with Stanley Tucci, who played Kubrick in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
  • In the scene with Rose the Hat and Crow Daddy on top of her trailer, Rose's t-shirt says "Red Clay Strays" which is the band that wrote the song "Good Godly Woman" for this film. The song is featured in the bar scene.
  • Rose the Hat exchanging flowers with a little girl by a riverbank is a homage to an iconic scene of a little girl giving flowers to the Monster by the river in Frankenstein (1931).
  • Abra's home address is 1980, the year The Shining was released
  • The second sequel to a Stanley Kubrick film, after 2010 (1984). In 1995, Kubrick planned a sequel to Dr. Strangelove (1964) titled "Son of Strangelove," and considered Terry Gilliam to direct, but the project was never produced.

Spoilers

  • 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.
  • 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. After 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.
  • 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 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 possess 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.
  • 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.
  • Jack Torrance technically returns for the sequel, as the ghostly bartender that meets Danny Torrance. He is now played by Henry Thomas, who was cast for his resemblance to a young Jack Nicholson. Mike Flanagan admitted that he would have loved nothing more than to get Jack Nicholson to reprise his role, but ultimately thought it best not to, for several understandable reasons. Jack Nicholson has already retired as an actor, and he feels he wouldn't have been able to commit to the role like he did back in 1980, not to mention his memory has deteriorated quite a bit and he would have issues remembering his lines, and he wouldn't want to be a nuisance to the cast and crew. Even if he agreed, his presence alone would have caused the film to go over budget, and that's not even including the extensive CGI effects that would be required to digitally de-age him to make him look like he did back in 1980. Even if Warner Bros. had agreed to fund these necessary costs, Flanagan probably wouldn't have been satisfied with the results. He felt that current technology hadn't advanced far enough for the CGI to convincingly de-age him. Flanagan pointed out a similar issue that occurred with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) where audiences complained that the digital recreation of Peter Cushing, although impressive, was not convincing enough to not take them out of the movie and was ultimately distracting while watching the film. Flanagan didn't want a similar issue to arise for this film, as he wanted audiences to be fully attentive to scenes featuring Jack Torrance and not break suspension of disbelief with unconvincing CGI, and ultimately decided to cast a different actor. Flanagan also realized that it would make psychological sense for Jack to look a little different anyway, as Danny hadn't seen him since he was a child and would have likely mostly forgotten his appearance. Henry Thomas received Jack Nicholson's blessing.
  • The ghost of Deenie's toddler is actually an animatronic puppet, which Flanagan referred to as "Robobaby" on set.
  • Flanagan has said that the murder of the Baseball Boy is the "most difficult thing I've ever had to film."
  • Ewan McGregor performed the "possessed Abra" scenes himself so that Kyliegh Curran could mimic his performance.
  • The motel where Abra and Dan meet after the death of Crow Daddy is at Memorial Drive and West Mountain Street in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
  • The scene where Rose the Hat dies is an inverse of a famous scene from The Shining. In the original, Jack Torrance stalks his wife up the stairs as she tries to hold him off with a baseball bat. In Doctor Sleep it is Danny Torrance who retreats up the stairs, using an axe to try and fend off the menacing Rose the Hat.
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