Hey, did you know Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining? If not, don’t worry, two new posters for the Stephen King adaptation are here to make damn sure you don’t forget. These two posters lean heavily into imagery from Stanely Kubrick’s Shining adaptation, and also plaster Stephen King’s name above the title, something that hasn’t been done for a while. But King movies are hot, hot, hot right now, so this makes sense. Check out the Doctor Sleep posters below.
There was a time, back in olden times (AKA 15 years ago) when almost every Stephen King movie adaptation would have his name hovering above the title. It was considered a selling point: Stephen King is involved in this, therefore people will see it! There were even occasions where adaptations were so loose – see: The Lawnmower Man – that King sued producers to take his name out of the promotional material.
We hit a lull in King adaptation popularity for a few years, but things came roaring back with the box office success of It in 2017. Since then, producers have been rushing to adapt, or remake, King works. And it looks like Doctor Sleep is the first film in this new King adaptation craze wave to finally bring the Master of Horror’s name back above the title. Because now, according to these posters at least, the film is no longer Doctor Sleep – it’s Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. The poster above plays up King’s name and the connection to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, showing Ewan McGregor strolling down the hallways of the Overlook Hotel. McGregor plays the adult Danny Torrance, aka the kid from The Shining. And in this poster he’s encountering his younger self, riding the same sort of Big Wheel that young actor Danny Lloyd used in Kubrick’s film. And last but not least we have the sub-heading: “THE NEXT CHAPTER IN THE SHINING STORY.”
And here’s poster number two. Once again we have King’s name, and this poster takes the Kubrick film connection even further. It has McGregor peering through a hole just like Jack Nicholson did in The Shining. It also uses a yellow color that’s similar, but not quite the same as, the original Shining theatrical poster designed by the legendary Saul Bass:
I have to say, while I appreciate the connection, it’s odd that the designers didn’t replicate the exact same shade of yellow. And when you compare the Doctor Sleep poster to The Shining poster, it’s a stark reminder of how cheap-looking modern-day movie posters have become. The Saul Bass poster has class. The Doctor Sleep poster looks like something whipped-up in Photoshop in less than an hour.
Doctor Sleep opens November 8.
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