Warner Bros is in talks with Ewan McGregor to play Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep, the Mike Flanagan-directed continuation of the storyline that began in the Stanley Kubrick pic The Shining. The studio put the film on a fast track after the outsized grosses of another Stephen King bestseller adaptation, It. It was then that the studio set Flanagan to direct the adaptation of the 2013 King novel that picks up the life of the Redrum kid when he is in his 40s and struggling with the same demons of anger and alcoholism that plagued his father.
Flanagan rewrote the script originally adapted by Akiva Goldsman. Flanagan’s producing partner Trevor Macy will produce along with Vertigo Entertainment’s Jon Berg, and Goldsman is executive producer.
The novel begins as Torrance carries the trauma of the Overlook Hotel into adulthood. He’s become a reflection of his murderous father, with lingering rage and a drinking problem that dulls his pain as well as his “shining” powers. Those powers return when he embraces sobriety and uses his gift to help the dying at a hospice. He establishes a psychic connection with a young girl who shares his extreme abilities and is being targeted by a scary group with similar abilities. They’ve found that their powers grow if they inhale the “steam” that comes off others with the power to shine, when they are suffering painful deaths.
There are direct connections in the story to the Overlook Hotel and the incidents there that informed The Shining, which Stanley Kubrick directed in the classic 1980 Warner Bros film that starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and Scatman Crothers. Kevin McCormick is overseeing Doctor Sleep for Warner Bros.
McGregor next stars as the title character in Disney’s Christopher Robin. He’s repped by UTA.