‘Doctor Sleep’ Adds Alex Essoe as Wendy Torrance, ‘Westworld’s Zahn McClarnon as Crow Daddy

     August 1, 2018


Stephen King is so hot right now. Well, the best-selling author is a long-running staple of film and TV adaptations, but after the smash success of New Line’s IT adaptation last year, studio’s are stocking up on the horror author’s titles at a breakneck pace. One of the more exciting projects in the works is the Warner Bros. adaptation of Doctor Sleep, King’s 2013 followup to his classic novel The Shining, which follows Danny Torrance into a troubled adulthood where his “shining” abilities land him in a whole new nightmare.

Writer-director Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil) is casting up, and today brings the news of a few exciting new names for the project. Deadline reports that Starry Eyes breakout  Alex Essoe is set to take on the role of Wendy Torrance (which is some seriously sharp casting), with Supergirl‘s Carl Lumbly set to play Dick Halloran. Those roles were oriinated by Shelley Duvall and Scatman Crothers in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1980 adaptation of The Shining.


Image via HBO

Meanwhile, in the realm of new characters, Variety reports that Westworld standout Zahn McClarnon is in talks to take on the role of Crow Daddy, the villainous member of a psychic cult that the adult Danny Torrance tangles with in the story. Crow Daddy is the right-hand-man and lover of Rebecca Ferguson‘s Rose the Hat, the beautiful leader of the cult known as True Knot. Ewan McGregor is set to play Danny.

Doctor Sleep picks up with Danny decades after the events of The Shining, when he follows in his father’s footsteps of alcoholism and anger issues, blotting out his lingering trauma and his “shining” abilities with his drinking problems. But when he embraces sobriety, his psychic powers return and he uses his abilities to help dying patients in a hospice where he earns the nickname Dr. Sleep. That’s where he meets Abra Stone, a little girl with a spectacular gift who is being hunted by fellow psychics who want her essence.

Flanagan is a King veteran and previously directed Netlfix’s Gerald’s Game, the critically acclaimed take on King’s novel of the same name, which was long considered unadaptable. Flanagan rewrote the script fro Doctor Sleep, originally penned by Akiva Goldsman.


Image via Scribner

Here’s the extended book synopsis for Doctor Sleep via the Publisher Page:

“Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.


Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”


Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.”

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