Look, we're all friends here. We're all Stephen King fans. This is, then, a safe space, one where I think we can talk openly and honestly about how bad Doctor Sleep is.
For the uninitiated, Doctor Sleep is King's wildly unnecessary sequel to The Shining, and concerns a grown-up Danny Torrance doing battle with psychic vampires who travel around the country in an RV or somesuch nonsense. It is, I submit to you, one of the worst novels King has written, poorly-edited and boring and just no. Speaking as one of the biggest King fans you're ever likely to encounter, know that I do not dole out these judgments lightly. This brings me no joy.
Anyway, this very bad book is now set to become a movie of indeterminate quality written by a highly questionable screenwriter. Per the Tracking Board:
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman will adapt Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, the sequel to the horror classic The Shining, for Warner Bros.
Goldman’s involvement with Doctor Sleep comes shortly after the casting of Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba in Sony’s adaption of The Dark Tower, another one of King’s wildly popular book series. Goldsman is an obvious choice for the screenplay considering his familiarity with King’s work, specifically in penning an early draft of The Dark Tower script and serving as a producer on the project.
The second half of that quote would seem to be largely extraneous to the discussion at hand, but lemme tell ya: it's relevant. Goldsman's draft of the Dark Tower screenplay is an out-and-out abomination, a head-spinningly terrible remix of everything that made King's flagship series so great. I was horrified when I read it, I'm horrified just thinking about it, and - again, speaking as a King megafan - I'm horrified that anyone's describing Akiva Goldsman as "an obvious choice" to adapt any further King novels, even if they're bad ones.
Which brings us back to Doctor Sleep. Right now, all this project has is a pair of producers and Goldsman's script, but Warner Bros. is apparently moving forward with it. I suppose it's not entirely impossible to believe that someone could come along and spin the lead of King's Shining sequel into gold, but the odds of that alchemist being Akiva Goldsman strike me as extremely low.
Stay tuned for more on this one as it develops. Share your thoughts on Doctor Sleep below.