Ewan McGregor, who will play the grown-up Danny Torrance in The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, says he knows the character better than Stephen King.
Ewan McGregor will play the grown-up Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. While promoting his latest movie, Christopher Robin, McGregor was compelled to tell reporters he now knows the character better than Stephen King despite referencing Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant but notoriously unfaithful adaptation.
McGregor acknowledges the fact King hated Kubrick’s effort bit still says, when discussing the older version of Danny, “There are points where Stephen has written a bit, and I’m going ‘Oh, that’s not right.’ … I’m already thinking, ‘He hasn’t nailed it there.'”
McGregor, who apparently won the role over Chris Evans, Matt Smith and Jeremy Renner, told journalists that he felt Danny wouldn’t think in the way King portrays him. He recalls a passage where Danny references “Victoria’s Secret models” to describe something unbelievable. The book reads: “Sure, and maybe a cabal of Victoria’s Secret lingerie models would crack the secret of hydrogen fusion.”
“I thought, ‘I don’t think that’s quite him,'” says McGregor. “Like, now I’m already thinking I know the character more than Stephen King.”
Doctor Sleep, a film adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to his novel (as opposed to a sequel to Kubrick’s film), is planned for release in January 2020. It won’t be the first time McGregor plays a well-known character at a different age. He went the other way with Star Wars’ Obi-Wan Kenobi when he played his younger self in George Lucas’s prequel trilogy.
McGregor says he plans to watch Kubrick’s film again to help prepare for the character which is perhaps why he’s a bit confused about whose interpretation of Danny Torrance is more on-point. I find it difficult to think anyone but the author is really qualified to say. That said, McGregor is free to come up with his own interpretation under the direction of writer-director Mike Flanagan who recently made another King adaptation with Gerald’s Game as well as the excellent Hush.
McGregor says the film will remain faithful to the book. That means we pick up events many years after The Shining with Danny a recovering alcoholic. As he gets clean, his psychic powers return leading him to begin helping terminally ill patients at a hospice where he earns the nickname, “Doctor Sleep”. A obsession with a little girl who presents her own special powers, kicks off the novel’s plot.