EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is setting Carl Lumbly to play Dick Halloran and Alex Essoe to play Wendy Torrance in Doctor Sleep, the continuation of the storyline from The Shining. Those are the roles that Scatman Crothers and Shelley Duvall played in the Stanley Kubrick-directed original, if you are keeping score at home.
Mike Flanagan is directing Doctor Sleep, which stars Ewan McGregor as grown up Danny Torrance, and Rebecca Ferguson plays Rose The Hat, head of a cult that feeds on the “steam” created by young people who have a touch of the “shining.” It is an excruciating fatal process for the victims and Torrance finds himself in their crosshairs as he tries to help a young girl elude their grasp. Flanagan rewrote Akiva Goldsman’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 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’s Intrepid Pictures partner Trevor Macy will produce along with Vertigo Entertainment’s Jon Berg, and Goldsman is executive producer.
Kass Management-repped Lumbly is best known for Supergirl and for a long run on Alias. Dick Halloran, who mentors Torrance on how to use his shining abilities in the Overlook Hotel, didn’t die in King’s book. Doctor Sleep opens with a call to Halloran from Torrance’s mother Wendy, after she survived the attack by her deranged husband that framed the terror in The Shining. Essoe was most recently seen in The Maestro, The Super and Midnighters. She’s repped by Adam Goldworm and Bloom Hergott of Aperture Enetertainment.
Doctor Sleep 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 Kubrick directed in the classic 1980 Warner Bros film that starred Jack Nicholson, Duvall, Danny Lloyd and Crothers. Kevin McCormick is overseeing Doctor Sleep for Warner Bros.