If you’ve ever wondered what horrors took place at the sinister Overlook Hotel before struggling writer Jack Torrance turned up with his family in tow, you might just be in luck. According to the LA Times, studio Warner Bros is mulling over a prequel to 1980 Stanley Kubrick chiller The Shining exploring the history of the remote Colorado property.
The film, which is said to be at a very early stage “and not even formally in development” according to an anonymous source at the studio, would be the latest unlikely followup to a classic slice of cinema. Earlier this month, it was reported that a prequel/sequel to Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning biopic Raging Bull is to go into production, charting Jake LaMotta’s life “before the rage and after the rage”, though a legal challenge from the original film’s producers may yet derail that prospect. A prequel to the most famous horror film of all time, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, bombed at the box office in 2004 despite being released in two versions.
The Shining prequel is being written by Shutter Island‘s Laeta Kalogridis, suggesting that the studio is taking the prospect of a new film seriously enough to employ a screenwriter of some pedigree. The Amazing Spider-Man‘s writer, James Vanderbilt, is also on board as a producer alongside partner Bradley Fischer.
The Shining was considered something of a disappointment at the time of release, with fans of Stephen King‘s source novel irritated at plot changes and Kubrick’s failure to shoot scenes in which hedge animals in the grounds of the Overlook come to life (they were replaced by a maze due to budget constraints). The film has nevertheless grown in stature over the years, with its landmark Steadicam tracking shots considered groundbreaking examples of the form. Dialogue such as Danny’s “Redrum” chant and Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” moment are iconic enough to have been parodied dozens of times in other films and TV shows.
King is currently writing a sequel to his 1977 novel but is not thought to be involved in the prequel plans. According to reports, the new book features an adult Danny as a psychic doctor 30 years on and also finds time to include vampire elements. It is titled Dr Sleep.