Last July, with Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining firmly back in the collective consciousness thanks to conspiracy doc Room 237 and original novelist Stephen King putting the finishing touches to sequel book Dr Sleep, Warner Bros. decided to push ahead with a long-mooted prequel to The Shining. It’s taken a while to find a writer who’ll tackle it, but Deadline reports that The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara is the man for the job.
Further details on the premise of the film are scant, but the Overlook hotel from the Shining’s story has a rich, troubled and spooky history, so there is plenty of material to consider for tales about what happened before Jack Torrance and his family turned up.
Mazzara, until recently, was running the writers’ room on The Walking Dead after the departure of Frank Darabont. Though he departed the series after reportedly clashing with executives, he’s been responsible for a great run of episodes and his back catalogue, including work on The Shield, means he’s a good choice for something that will need humanity and horror in equal amounts.
Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, talked to King – who famously didn’t care for Kubrick’s movie – about Dr Sleep and got him to address the talk of the prequel. "There’s a real question about whether or not they have the rights to Before The Play, which was the prologue cut from the book, because the epilogue to the book was called After The Play. So they were bookends, and there was really scary stuff in that prologue that wouldn’t make a bad movie,”said the author.
“Am I eager to see that happen? No I am not. And there’s some real question about what rights Warner Bros. does still have. The Shining is such an old book now that the copyright comes back to me. Arguably, the film rights lapse — so we’ll see. We’re looking into that. I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project, because I’m sort of a nice guy. When I was a kid, my mother said, ‘Stephen if you were a girl, you’d always be pregnant.’ I have a tendency to let people develop things. I’m always curious to see what will happen. But you know what? I would be just as happy if it didn’t happen.” For more from King on the book and other topics, head to EW's site.
King won’t be alone in his worries about the prequel, but Warners is intent on keeping this one alive…