I’ve never read “Doctor Sleep”, Stephen King’s 2013 sequel novel to his classic “The Shining”, so I can’t tell you from personal experience whether it’s any good or not. A cursory bit of Googling though reveals that general sentiment is firmly in the “not” camp though, as it’s mostly considered a disappointment – especially in comparison with both King’s original novel and Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film adaptation thereof.
So what do you do with a poorly received seemingly unnecessary sequel to a much beloved novel (which itself had been adapted into an iconic movie)? Why, make it into a movie as well!
It’s been reported by the Tracking Board that Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has been tapped to pen the script for Doctor Sleep, which focuses on a now grown-up Danny Torrance, still reeling from the traumatic events of the first novel/film. The adult Danny has “followed in his father’s footsteps and has problems with anger management and alcoholism. He soon gives up drinking and settles in a small town in New Hampshire. While there, his psychic abilities start to resurface and he develops a psychic link with a 12-year-old girl named Abra Stone who he must save after he discovers her life is being threatened by a tribe of paranormals led by a man named Rose the Hat”.
Or as Scott Walmper over at BMD puts it: “a grown-up Danny Torrance doing battle with psychic vampires who travel around the country in an RV or somesuch nonsense.” As both Tracking Board and Walmper points out, with Goldsman also adapting King’s massive fantasy epic The Dark Tower for screen, he definitely looks like the obvious choice to tackle this.
The problem is that Goldsman is incredibly hit-and-miss. He may have won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind, given us a decent adaptation in I Am Legend and even penned a whole lot of Fringe episodes that I loved, but he’s also the guy who wrote Batman & Robin and gave us the celluloid embarrassment that was the Lost In Space feature film.
And according to Walmper, he has no faith in Goldsman playing in King’s wheelhouse since he’s apparently read his Dark Tower script and considers it “an out-and-out abomination, a head-spinningly terrible remix of everything that made King’s flagship series so great”. Ouch.
As somebody who has neither read the script for The Dark Tower nor the Doctor Sleep novel, my opinions may not be as strong, but I admit that Goldsman’s name gives me pause. Based on his track record, he could either polish King’s turd to a golden shine, or just increase the poopiness exponentially.
Last Updated: April 5, 2016