Stephen King Has Been Working on a Sequel to The Shining?

November 24, 2009
Source: Torontoist

The Shining

This isn't exactly news, but it's quite an earth shattering thought that could end up shaking cinema to the core. Recently The Torontoist attended an event where author Stephen King treated fans to a 15-minute reading from the author’s new novel, Under the Dome, as well as a candid interview chock full of stories passed in an on-stage interview with Eastern Promises director David Cronenberg. In this interview, King shocked fans when he began casually describing an idea for a new novel only to slowly reveal that it was his concept for a sequel to The Shining, the original novel that spawned Stanley Kubrick's classic horror film.

Apparently the follow-up, referred to as Doctor Sleep, is something King has been working on since last summer where (spoilers for those who have neither read the book, nor seen the film) he's continued the story following Danny Torrance (the creepy "redrum" kid from the original) who was last seen recovering from his ordeal at the Overlook Hotel at a resort in Maine with fellow survivors Wendy Torrance and chef Dick Halloran (who actually dies in the film, but not the book).

In King's still tentative plan for the novel Danny is now 40 years old and living in upstate New York working at a hospice for the terminally ill. Danny’s occupation has him visiting with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers. Meanwhile he also has a sideline in betting on the horses, a trick he learned from his buddy Dick Halloran.

From The Torontoist, "King remarked that though he ended his 1977 novel on a positive note, the Overlook was bound to have left young Danny with a lifetime’s worth of emotional scars. What Danny made of those traumatic experiences, and with the psychic powers that saved him from his father at the Overlook, is a question that King believes might make a damn fine sequel. I can't help but disagree on every level possible.

The Shining is a truly great horror film (and novel) that has stood the test of time, and should be left the hell alone. Why can't we let a story stand alone and not try to pick it up and run with it again. Some stories end, and in many cases, for the better, no matter how ambiguous, depressing or happy that ending may be. Fortunately all this talk from King is still only talk at this point, and the author even said himself, "Maybe if I keep talking about it I won’t have to write it." Don't be afraid to speak volumes, Mr. King… please. So while we never may see this turned into a movie, the story is out there, and maybe coming to bookshelves soon.

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



I smell remake. reboot. horror.

Crapola on Nov 25, 2009


Yeah, because the guy who wrote The Shining in the first place should be dictated to by an internet blogger on what he can and can't do with his story. Just because an adaptation of his book holds some special significance to you (and, granted, a lot of other people) doesn't mean that the story can't be continued. Sounds to me like it's got legs.

haha on Nov 25, 2009


I dunno, I feel like this one could be left well enough alone. From what I've heard about Under the Dome, King's back on track. Seems like other things could be done. Although, the inevitable adaptation that it would spawn WOULD have the benefit of being based on an actual Stephen King novel, as opposed to being a shoddy, low-rent sequel like, I dunno, The Rage: Carrie 2, or Pet Sematary Two, or....

Andrew 3000 on Nov 25, 2009


This has the stench of S. Darko about it, leave it well alone Mr. King

Kaiser on Nov 25, 2009


Stephen King actually hated Kubrick's version of The Shining and that's why he remade it into a television series. Actually, I liked Kubrick's version a lot better. King's version seemed too campy.

aaron on Nov 25, 2009


Why should a good story be ended, especially if the premise is promising? A book pov/presentation is far from a movie's pov/presentation, besides Stephen King is not some newbie in terms of sequels. Let's not equate the trash of Hollywood to the obvious quality King does in his work.

Bishop8496 on Nov 25, 2009


Nothing can tarnish the brilliance of Kubrick's unique, mesmerising vision, so I'll need to know more of King's narrative ideas on this before anything else. I suppose what many would have as a follow-up is Danny returns to the Overlook (or at least where it once stood), and faces his demons/past etc, etc? Jury's still out, methinks.

Sleepykid on Nov 25, 2009


Hey, it's his story do with it as he pleases. If you don't like the idea of a sequel the solution is very simple, don't read the book or see the movie if one is made.

Hattori Hanzo on Nov 25, 2009


"This isn't exactly news, but it's quite an earth shattering thought that could end up shaking cinema to the core." ...Jesus. This site gets more and more hilarious every day. Keep it up. Funnier than Funny or, sadder than, well, just about anything.

Mark on Nov 25, 2009


As someone who READS BOOKS and not just goes to movies, I would love to see how Danny Torrance is doing these days.

JD on Nov 25, 2009


@ #8, Hattori Hanzo It's his story, yes, and it's my opinion and wish that he not continue it. I think both are allowed on the same plane of existence with this whole free will thing that people have. @ #9, Mark Please do tell what is so hilarious. Adding a sequel to a classic like The Shining would be quite the announcement in its film or novel form. If the site is "sadder than, well, just about anything" maybe you can find something less sad like a blog from someone with cancer or a website to help orphans and continue you snarky comments over there. We'll miss them here, but I think we'll manage. @ #10, JD So glad that you love to READ BOOKS, and make sure everyone is aware of it with completely necessary caps letters. As someone who WATCHES MOVIES, READS BOOKS, and DOES OTHER VARIOUS ACTIVITIES, I could care less what Danny Torrance is up to, and still say some stories should be left alone.

Ethan Anderton on Nov 25, 2009


First of all, Kubrick's movie was a flaming turd. That's all I gotta say about that. Secondly, King can write anything he wants and I will be there. I'm not saying everything he does is gold, but he's proved himself enough that I'll give anything by him a shot. And lastly, I think I'd rather see King write a sequel to It. Scariest book of all time.

Joshua m on Nov 25, 2009


First of all, Kubricks name alone helped out that boring book! King should make a Cujo prequel..or pet cemetery 5 or Christine III..yea, he's so much better than kubrick... overdrive!! another wait, a lamp that is haunted!!! zzzzzzzzz......

Haunt theese!!! on Nov 25, 2009


@ #9, Mark Please do tell what is so hilarious. Adding a sequel to a classic like The Shining would be quite the announcement in its film or novel form. If the site is "sadder than, well, just about anything" maybe you can find something less sad like a blog from someone with cancer or a website to help orphans and continue you snarky comments over there. We'll miss them here, but I think we'll manage. What's hilarious is that you think Stephan King announcing a sequel to The Shining could in any way, shape, or form could ever end up "shaking cinema to the core." That statement is the very definition of hyperbole. The Shining is a horror film admired by many film lovers and yes, perhaps even classic, but if a sequel ever ends up "shaking cinema to the core", well...I hope we never reach the point where cinema's in such a state that it's foundation is rocked by a continuation of a classy genre picture. And I just find it sad that people with such a blatant lack of film knowledge and perspective run a site as successful as this one. It's more of a knock on the current state of film journalism/criticism than it is against yourself/this site.

Mark on Nov 25, 2009


i do agree with Ethan Anderton the shining is a horror classic and should be left alone if the so call new book by Stephen King is call Doctor Sleep is the follow up book from the shining depending on the storyline if is any good should be kept away from making a sequel film of. 😀

Cineprog on Nov 25, 2009


Mark, I get what you're saying, and while my statement may seem a bit of dramatic, it does help to have a little bit of sizzle with your steak. Keep in mind that hyperbole is indeed exaggeration, but it is never meant to be taken literally. And despite your comments on people with a blatant lack of film knowledge and perspective being more of a statement about the state of film journalism/criticism that doesn't make it any less insulting to myself/the site. That's just like saying "with all due respect" and then going ahead with a demeaning and disrespectful statement. And yes, that's from Talladega Nights, but that doesn't make it any less true. Honestly, without any snide tone to what I'm saying, if you feel you have superior knowledge and perspective on the film industry, then by all means, please go and help diversify film "journalism" and start your own site rather than belittling others. As far as perspective goes, the fact that our/my perspective doesn't match yours, doesn't mean there is a lack of it. Once again, this isn't meant as an attack. I'm always open to discussion on the posts, but it'd be more constructive and interesting if your comments weren't turned into personal/professional ridicule rather than a friendly, heated discussion about all things cinematic. Regards,

Ethan Anderton on Nov 25, 2009


King's notions are sound. It's not like he's rehashing a haunted hotel story, he's merely revisiting and expanding on a character. He and Peter Straub did the same with their superb sequel to The Talisman, Black House. I have absolutely no problem with this. Of course, if he could edit himself a bit and not have this book run 1000 plus pages, that would be great, but that's for another debate.

Jeff on Nov 25, 2009


I love Stephen King and I've read almost all of his books. A sequel to The don't really care if it does or doesn't happen. I'm always up to reading more of his work though. And to the person who said the book was boring >:P at you. And to #17, what's wrong with a book that's 1000+ pages? I read books that long all the time.

Sabes on Nov 25, 2009


#18, I have no problem with 1000 page novels (I've plowed my way through the likes of "Infinite Jest" including the 200 pages of annotations so, y'know, it's all good). It's just that King, on occasion, could usually scissor out about 100 pages or more of "fat" from some of his works, certainly his more recent ones. "Lisey's Story," the final volume of The Dark Tower, even "Cell" (which was well under 1000 pages but still had some useless prose at times), all could have used a good editorial eye at times. The only time King's diarrhea of the typewriter was justified was "IT" and "THE STAND." (Haven't begun Under the Dome yet so the jury is still out on that one.) Again, far be it from me to gripe about the King. He's arguably the greatest fiction storyteller of our times, worthy of mention in the same breath with Bradbury, Twain, Westlake, etc.

Jeff on Nov 25, 2009


I don't think anyone above mentioned it, but The Shining was remade in 1997 as a TV mini-series. stuck a lot closer to the book, hedges and everything, than Kubrick's movie did. I have mixed feelings about Kubrick's (great man that he was) movie. It had its qualities, but it wasn't Stephen King's story, other than the setting and characters. I'd rather see the original story on the big screen done the way it should be done. Any suggestions for a director? Someone with the vision William Friedkin had for The Exorcist, or Ridley Scott had for Alien. I thought The Ring was a pretty good horror movie.

zubzwank on Nov 25, 2009


I loved the original movie, hope this project lives up the hype like the first movie did.

Fisherr on Nov 25, 2009


Stephen King can do anything he wants to with his stories. He wrote it and can damn well write a sequel if he feels like it. The problem ccomes in when some talentless Hollywood bottom feeder picks up someone else's work and starts trying to make a living off the sweat of others. Get a clue people, the movie made from the book sucked like a $2 whore on crack. The book was far better in every way. Nicholson was reasonably good in the role but they totally fucked the pooch with their choice of that ridiculous kid that played the part of Danny. Shelly Duval was pretty OK as I would love to bone her skinny ass anyway. True, some things should be left alone; but then again, some things should never have been done in the first palce.

Huma Cavoolah on Nov 25, 2009


Wow....seriously Ethan? Giving advice on literature? I'm all for King writing a new book. That is perfectly fine in the sense that authors of their stories don't rip apart a great story when they continue you it like Hollywood does with movies. Back to my main point. An opinion on a book? Alex doesn't even have the cajones, not that he wouldn't just that he shouldn't, give such an opinion especially since this has nothing to do with a movie. Of course later on I'm sure there will be but leave the writing and journalism to the professionals and stay here on your blog with what I can only guess is a horrible spelling and grammar check on your computer. I cannot say enough in how this article should have been written by one of two very good writers on the staff or Alex since this is his site. Ethan, while I have come to respect you in some aspect in defending yourself, you sound more like a 12 year old learning sarcasm with a thesaurus and dictionary (to make sure the definition is correct for your intent) I cannot for the life of me figure out how you made it here? Unless you start charging to be on here, get over the fact people are going to ridicule you on your opinions. That is life and deal with it. Alex has actually and I like to think we developed a nice love/hate thing in which I actually come to like Alex despite his bad taste (joking of course) but how we see things is different but at least he admits to his over zealous love for Avatar and other such obsessions he may form. Never the less, you cannot admit to having an once of intelligence or a high school diploma in which you pick non-news, which I have read as your opening line more than once, and now you truly write like a movie person who may have picked up a newspaper for the comics. The same reason I left Cracked and they received a worse response from readers, they went too far. Stick to movies and Alex, why did you let this one slip through?

Tra la la la la di da on Nov 25, 2009


I think you're being really disrespectful and borderline rude, Ethan. Who are you not to want the actual AUTHOR of the goddamn book to do a sequel? If King thinks it, then it's already a great read.

Huck Silva on Nov 26, 2009


@19, Jeff. I guess I can see what you mean now with your examples.

Sabes on Nov 26, 2009


King's world and he can do what he want's to with it. Don't like it, don't buy the book.

Gonnarentit on Nov 26, 2009


#5, Don't judge the book by the miniseries. The book is most definitely not campy. The TV version only proves that he should leave the adaptations of his work to someone else (preferably Frank Darabont or Rob Reiner), not that he couldn't write a worthy literary sequel.

Mathieu on Nov 26, 2009

28, not If King wants to write a sequel, that is his right as an author. I would prefer that this website sticks to opinions regarding films, and not the possibility of films that come about as a result of a potential book - look how silly that sounded, is there any wonder your outrage is just as ludicrous?

Tony on Nov 28, 2009


Tra la la la la di da, Once again your "great" attention and criticism to grammar mistakes is overshadowed by your own grammatical incompetence and lack of mastery of the English language. I know that typos are made in my articles as they are all around the internet and even in professional newspapers. It happens, and it's about time you get over it rather than clinging to it as some sort of empirical evidence that somehow proves your non-existent point. As far as my covering this story, I was asked to write it and did not choose to cover it of my own volition. Sometime news that isn't directly related to film is run, simply because the topics are of interest, and could become impactful on the film industry. But by all means, please continue to act as if you know exactly how the site is run. In your incoherent rambling, I'm not even sure what point you're trying to get across in the midst of countless run-on sentences, non-sensical mashing of words, punctuation and half-witted, senseless thoughts. Case in point: "Never the less, you cannot admit to having an once of intelligence or a high school diploma in which you pick non-news, which I have read as your opening line more than once, and now you truly write like a movie person who may have picked up a newspaper for the comics." What the hell does that even mean? You're a walking contradiction. My statements in response to other comments are not evidence of my not being able to "get over the fact people are going to ridicule you on your opinions." My response is, as you've said in the exact same thought, defending my opinion, which, I believe, is entirely allowed in a discussion, let alone a debate. Maybe it's time you learned how to have a real discussion where you don't fall back on your childish ridicule and personal insult of a person, but rather discuss the content like an adult. Cheers!

Ethan Anderton on Nov 29, 2009


Ethan, sorry for infering that you don't read books. I'm sure you're very well read. Anyone who writes for a living pretty much has to be. I appreciate that you are taking a movie-centric approach to this topic as this is a movie blog. However, this story was a book first. The movie was adopted from it. It's a little silly to want an author to not write a new book because of the possible impact it may have on a future adaptation. I don't think I'm the only person who watches or reads a great story and enjoys what happens to the characters. In my opinion this is what makes that story come alive. Knowing that it's not just a static piece of art hanging on a wall, but rather an entity that can grow and change. There's nothing wrong in wanting to know what happens to Danny Torrance or Holden Caulfield or Luke Skywalker or any other character in a peice of fiction. It's just an example of how different people can get completely different types of pleasure from the same thing. I'm sure you can see the validity in that.

JD on Nov 30, 2009


JD, No apology necessary, but it's much appreciated. You weren't being an overbearing prick like some readers who comment, but I felt a little bit of snark in your statement and responded in kind. But yes, I definitely see validity in wanting to read/see the continuation of a story and how certain characters continue to live after time has passed and I can appreciate someone having an invested interest in seeing Danny Torrance's story pick up where it left off or even years down the road. That being said, while I do like the idea of a story being an entity that can grow and change, there are some stories that I just don't care to see go on any further, and The Shining is one of them. There's nothing wrong with it. Different people want different things, but I'm just not interested. Thanks for taking the time to talk this out though! Comments are meant to create discussions such as this, so your thoughts are much appreciated even if I happen to disagree with them! Regards,

Ethan Anderton on Nov 30, 2009


The shining film, unlike many horror-oriented films nowadays, doesn't only rely on stomach-churning and gory images (which it does contain, anyway) but on the incredibly scary music based on the works of B?la Bart?k and on the excellent cinematography (the Steadicam is superbly used, giving us a sense of ever-following evil), as well.

Allan Cun on Jun 29, 2010

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