Stephen King announced the release date this week for his “Doctor Sleep,” the long-awaited sequel to “The Shining.” “Doctor Sleep” will be published Sept. 24, 2013, almost 40 years after horror fans first read about Jack Torrance and his family going crazy while stuck at the Overlook Hotel. King made the announcement on his website, sending the Internet into a flurry.
“The Shining,” adapted into the famous film starring Jack Nicholson in 1980, told the story of Jack Torrance becoming haunted by evil spirits while employed as the Overlook’s caretaker. Spending the winter with only his wife Wendy and son Danny (who has a psychic ability), Jack slowly loses his mind and eventually tries to kill his family. In the end, Danny and Wendy Torrance escape while Jack dies alone at the hotel.
The Guardian reported “Doctor Sleep” will pick up Danny Torrance’s story while the character is struggling with middle age. Danny has been using his psychic ability, called “shining,” to comfort people confronting their death. The problem is that he’s “been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence,” according to the Guardian's account.
King has admitted on several occasions that Torrance’s alcoholism was at least semiautobiographical, as the horror writer was struggling with his own addictions during the writing process.
Danny eventually meets the 12-year-old Abra Stone, whose shining is “the brightest ever seen” and together they’re forced to fight off a “terrifying tribe of quasi-immortal beings.”
Last year, King thrilled fans with a sneak peek from “Doctor Sleep,” reading it in front of an audience at George Mason University. You can watch video from that event below.
This summer, rumors surfaced of a possible film addition to “The Shining.” Warner Bros. had reportedly contacted writers about penning a possible prequel to the Nicholson film, one that would have taken place in the Overlook Hotel before the Torrance family took up residence there.
There’s been no confirmation about a “Doctor Sleep” movie, but King famously hated the film version of “The Shining,” which was directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick rejected King’s screenplay for the film, which led to King’s criticism that Kubrick turned the characters into people they weren’t in the novel, according to Visual Memory.