Warner Brothers Considering a Prequel to The Shining

photo credit: LA TIMES
Jack Nicholson waits as director Stanley Kubrick 
sets up a shot for the 1980 classic film "The Shining." 
(The Stanley Kubrick Estate / July 28, 2012)

HERE'S JOHNNY AGAIN!, the The Los Angeles Times announces.  The times is reporting that Warner Brothers is "exploring the possibility of a prequel to 'The Shining.'"

Times reporter Steven Zeitchik writes:
Warner Bros.is quietly exploring the possibility of a prequel to “The Shining,” the 1980 Stanley Kubrickchillfest that many fans regard as the scariest movie of all time. The studio has solicited the involvement of Hollywood writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis and her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt to craft a new take as producers, according to a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly.
What happened at the hotel before Jack Torrance and his family arrived?  According to the novel, the old caretaker went crazy under the influence of evil spirits at the hotel and killed his entire family. So. . .the new movie would focus on the terrible events surrounding the death of the former caretakers family at the overlook.  Of course, this is exactly the same plot as the King novel, except instead of escaping – the family gets slaughtered instead.

King once said that his original plan for The Shining involved the entire Torrance family getting killed. Check out my article, "Alternate Ending To The Shining."  King is quoted in In Tim Underwood's book, Stephen King Goes To Hollywood:
"The Shining' was open right until the end. I didn't know what was going to happen until the very end. The shows in the book. The original plan was for them all to die up there and for Danny to become the controlling force o the hotel after he died. And the psychic force of the hotel would go up exponentially. . . But I got connected with the kid.
In the first draft of the book Jack beats his wife to death with the mallet and it was blood and brains and everything. It was really just terrible and I couldn't do it. I couldn't leave it that way." S.K. Goes To Hollywood, p.76
Oh, my favorite line from the Times article: "there's no word yet on whether there will be a movie adaptation of the new novel."  King doesn't even have to write sequel's to his own work for them to make children of the Corn part 304.

The Times Article is HERE.


  1. I've made no secret of my lack of confidence in what believe to be an unnecessary sequel to the Shining with King's Doctor Sleep.

    That said, I didn't think my disappointment could go any lower until now. For me this has reached the level of wondering what gets into to some minds from time to time.

    The one consolation is I also think, "Well, what did you expect hollywood to do, I mean c'mon, it's freakin' hollywood for heaven's sake".

    That's small consolation but at least it's something. As of now my initial misgivings remain the same.

    It is good to know you not happy with this turn of events from Tinseltown, Reverend, if I take your Children of the Corn dig in the correct light that is.


  2. Chris
    I hold you hope for anything Mr. King does, and always enjoy his writing. So I have high hopes for Doctor Sleep. But a prequel to The Shining seems unnecessary. I am willing to be pleasntly surprised,though.

  3. I agree with our anonymous friend. I want The Shining left alone. I want it to stand as it is as one of the great horror novels of the 1970s (perhaps the greatest of the 1970s) and as one of the all time great horror movies of all time.

    Anything King or anybody else does to it just cheapens it and reduces its importance. The characters and story are iconic. They don't need any more development.

    For God's sake, leave it alone already!

  4. I'm cool with the idea of "Doctor Sleep," but the idea of a prequel to "The Shining" sets my teeth on edge a bit. The King fan in me says it is sure to be nothing but spooks-in-a-hotel malarkey; the Kubrick fan in me says that only a fool would step into those shoes, and fools typically do not write or direct good movies.

    If it gets made, I predict it will be titled "Overlook." Remember you heard it here first.

  5. Thank you Brian for saying the same thing I've been trying to for a while but could never find the right words.

    The only thing I could add is I think the Shining is more than just one of the great novels of the 70s.

    I'm convinced the Shining places King alongside such past masters as Milton, Tolkien, Hawthorne and Dostoevsky. The book is that great a masterpiece.

    ...Harold Bloom would skewer me for what's written above. Heh, heh.


  6. Chris:

    -The Dark Tower places him alongside Tolkein

    -The Mist placeshim alongside Shelly

    -The Green Mile and IT places him alongside Dickens

    -Pet Sematary places him alongside Poe

    -Dolores Claighborn places him alongside Stevenson.

    -The Talisman places him alongside Twain.

    -and The Stand places him alongside . . . none other.