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The Director of the 'Shining' Sequel Obsessively Rebuilt the Entire Hotel Set

'Doctor Sleep' is bringing us back to the Overlook using Kubrick's original blueprints.

by River Donaghey
Sep 5 2019, 6:33pm

Shining screenshot via IMDb

Back in 2013, Stephen King published a long-awaited follow-up to his 1970s horror opus (one of his many, many, many opuses), The Shining. The sequel centers around a grown-up Dan Torrance who, naturally, is still pretty messed up from the whole "dad losing his mind and going on a murderous spree while he was a little boy with inexplicable psychic powers" thing. The book didn't live up to the overwhelming expectations that the original left, but it was still a grim and gripping read and one of the best things King's written this decade, right behind 11/22/63.

Now, Doctor Sleep is being adapted to the big screen by Mike Flanagan, the guy who recently helmed Gerald's Game, and starring Ewan McGregor as Torrance. It seems like this one is gearing up to be a must-see for any Shining fans, regardless of how you felt about the source material—because Flanagan has somehow rebuilt Stanley Kubrick's entire Overlook Hotel set from Kubrick's original blueprints, Slashfilm reports.

Jacob Hall from Slashfilm headed down to Atlanta for a Doctor Sleep set tour with Flanagan last year and is finally speaking out about his experience, which, by all accounts, sounds fully incredible. Here's Hall, describing his experience walking into the soundstage and entering the flawlessly recreated Overlook set:

We walk through a set of doors. And we’re in the Overlook Hotel, the obscenely haunted hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece, The Shining. Specifically, we’re in the Colorado Lounge, the sprawling space where Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance wrote “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” thousands of times. The space where Wendy Torrance confronts her husband with a baseball bat. The space Danny rides his big wheel through in so many icy tracking shots.

And it’s perfect. It’s the kind of thing that sends chills down your spine. We soon learn why: this set was built using the exact blueprints from Stanley Kubrick’s film, which were in storage at Warner Bros. It’s literally as close as anyone will ever get to actually entering the original movie.

According to Slashfilm, Flanagan has done more than just rebuild the set based on some dusty blueprints. The guy went through brain-bleedingly complex lengths to make sure that the Doctor Sleep Overlook Hotel is identical to the already iconic one from Kubrick's film. He apparently spent days "analyzing every frame of the movie to track down every book on every shelf and every framed photograph on every wall" and making sure everything is perfect.

Of course, King's Doctor Sleep is a sequel to his original novel, not the 1980 Shining adaptation, but by recreating Kubrick's Overlook Hotel, Flanagan is apparently crafting a film that serves as a continuation to both the book and the film, together. "Our job is to thread the needle and take the best DNA for both of them and hopefully bring that to the audience today in a fun, engaging way," the film's producer Trevor Macy told Slashfilm.

Doctor Sleep is set to hit theaters November 8 and, no matter how good or bad it winds up being, at least we'll be able to appreciate the meticulous, obsessive care that went into making it happen. Until then, give Hall's full set tour recap a read over at Slashfilm.