Break Out the Redrum, Ewan McGregor May Play Danny in the Shining Sequel Doctor Sleep

Ewan McGregor, seen here in Christopher Robin, may star in the much-anticipated Shining sequel.
Ewan McGregor, seen here in Christopher Robin, may star in the much-anticipated Shining sequel.
Photo: Disney

What happened to Danny Torrance after his father tried to kill him in The Shining? Stephen King tackled that very question in his 2013 novel Doctor Sleep—and now, Ewan McGregor is in talks to play Danny in the film version of the story.


The Doctor Sleep movie was first announced earlier this year with Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game) attached to direct. It’s on target for a January 24, 2020 release date. In the story, Danny is still dealing with the traumatic events of the Overlook Hotel from his childhood. He never lost his ability to “shine” and but now, in middle age, it’s clear that he’s also inherited some of his father’s bad traits. Through shining, he connects with a girl who has similar powers and is being targeted by an evil group. Flanagan wrote the script, based on an earlier draft by Akiva Goldsmith.

McGregor, obviously, is one of this generation’s favorite actors, and his ability to play characters who are broken, as well as heroic, would certainly serve him well here. Also, if you’re wondering about how this may impact a potential Obi-Wan movie, well... we don’t know. But it’s interesting that McGregor signed onto a major studio film mere weeks after the box office disappointment of another Star Wars Story prequel, almost like he suddenly had an opening in his schedule. Or maybe that’s just coincidence.

Either way, if McGregor does sign on, it’s another feather in the cap of a continually burgeoning Stephen King cinematic universe.


Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.



I’m mostly on board. I’ve yet to be disappointed with McGregor, and Doctor Sleep is my favorite King book I’ve so far read once you exclude On Writing and two particular Dark Tower books. My biggest hang-up is how much of the story will have to be changed if it follows Kubrick’s version of The Shining, and how many people will be lost if it doesn’t.