Here's Johnny... Wait, Johnny? Are you there?
"A sequel to The Shining? Ohhhhh..."
This was the reaction from many once they heard Doctor Sleep was headed for screens in 2019. Stephen King is often regarded as one of the great masters of horror, and his 1977 novel The Shining tends to be one of his most cited works. Then, there's Stanley Kubrick, generally regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
In 1980, the acclaimed director adapted King's book- the rest is history. Kubrick's horror masterpiece is considered by many genre fans as one of the best and most effective examples of the genre ever made, although King himself isn't a fan of what he did with the material.
Decades later, King wrote a sequel to the story - 2013's Doctor Sleep - and with sequels and existing properties accounting for the vast majority of multiplex fare, it was only a matter of time before the continuation reached the big screen. With Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) at the helm, it could actually be something quite special.
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Is Jack Nicholson in Doctor Sleep?
The trailer arrived a while back, teasing Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, played in The Shining as a child by Danny Lloyd. Set decades into the future, Doctor Sleep centres upon Danny as an adult, still plagued by the events which scarred him at the Overlook Hotel.
Fans of the 1980 film were immediately intrigued by the promise of the sequel, but just as many were quick to ask whether Jack Nicholson would be in it; he played Jack Torrance - Danny's father - in the previous film. Since we've highlighted that King and Kubrick are often held up as the greats in their craft, it would be foolish not to say the same of Jack Nicholson. Famous for delivering exceptional work across the likes of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, The Departed and beyond, his involvement would be an exciting prospect.
Although the trailer reminisced the events of The Shining by serving up its iconic imagery, unfortunately, Jack isn't credited to appear in the film. Reflecting on his demise in the film's conclusion, it's perhaps expected, especially when the 2013 novel is all about Danny.
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What was he in last?
Although Doctor Sleep is one of the most anticipated films of 2019 on most horror fans' calendars, it was unlikely to be the production which brought Jack Nicholson back after an almost decade-long absence.
It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that he's retired, but he hasn't actually come out and admitted that to be the case. There were rumours that he was going to be in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but sadly, these turned out to be false.
If he were to make a film again, it would be a pretty big deal for cinephiles and film lovers everywhere. He's a legend in the realm of cinema; it would've been pretty cool to see him in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman really, but that cast is staggering as it is. The last time we saw Jack on screens was in the 2010 film How Do You Know, in which he played Charles. The rom-com was hardly the swansong you'd expect from someone of the actor's calibre, so it's fair to assume he has more up his sleeve before retiring. Nevertheless, Doctor Sleep isn't it.
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Jack Nicholson attends the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly...
Who else is in The Shining sequel?
Jack may not be back, but there's plenty of talented aboard the sequel to warrant enthusiasm.
It's great to see Ewan McGregor in the central role, but he's not the only highlight. Along with him, it will star Rebecca Ferguson (Life), Zahn McClarnon (Bone Tomahawk), Bruce Greenwood (The Post), Carol Struycken (Twin Peaks), Emily Alyn Lind (Enter the Void), Jocelin Donahue (Furious 7) and more.
It will be released in UK cinemas on Thursday, October 31st 2019. Perfect timing!
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