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The first trailer for Doctor Sleep, the highly anticipated sequel to The Shining, dropped Thursday and among the millions who checked it out was child actor Danny Lloyd, who played Danny Torrance in the Stanley Kubrick classic.
His initial reaction: “I was surprised.”
Nearly three minutes long, the first preview of the Mike Flanagan film, based off the Stephen King novel and also, it seems, Kubrick’s 1980 movie, showed a few (clearly reshot) scenes from the original movie with Lloyd’s character mixed among the footage of the adult Danny Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor.
Lloyd, who grants few interviews after walking away from show business decades ago, told The Hollywood Reporter he was intrigued by the footage of his character as a child.
“It looked really good,” he said. “I was curious since there is a fine line they have to walk with Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick. It looks like they found a way to pay tribute to both.”
The King novel, Doctor Sleep, was an instant best-seller when released in 2013. Lloyd said he read it and enjoyed it. He also is a fan of the McGregor casting. “I am sure he has done a great job with it.”
The trailer brought back memories of working on the film, which Lloyd made when he was five. It also reminded him of how protective Kubrick was with his young actor (he was notoriously rough on his adult actors, especially Shelley Duvall).
“He wanted me to act scared, but he didn’t want me to be scared of anything,” Lloyd said. “There were days when I wasn’t allowed on set because of something they were shooting.” He also noted he was not allowed to watch the movie until he was nearly a teenager.
While he has not talked to star Jack Nicholson since making the film, Lloyd has been in contact with Duvall, who made headlines of her own when she appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil in 2016, talking about her mental illness.
Lloyd and Duvall spoke on the phone last year. He said she seems to be doing better.
“I felt good talking to her,” he said. “I am not really sure of the situation. She probably has good days and bad days, but she sounded, to me, exactly like she did 40 years ago. I think she has great family members looking after her, and I wish her the best.”
Now a community college professor in Kentucky teaching biology, Lloyd said he will watch bits of The Shining if it happens to be on TV, but he prefer his students not know he is that Danny.
“When it was on Netflix, my kids were watching it and making fun of my haircut,” he said.
As for whether he will check out Doctor Sleep in the theater this fall, Lloyd took no time in saying, “I’d like to see it right when it comes out.”
Doctor Sleep is due in theaters Nov. 8.
Watch the trailer below.
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