Last year we learned that Warner Bros. was looking to develop a prequel film to Stephen King's amazing horror novel, The Shining. The movie would be based on a prologue for the book called "Before the Play," which ended up being cut from the original story.
The film would focus on what happened before Jack Torrance, his wife, and Danny arrived at the Overlook Hotel where Torrance soon descends into violent madness. There is a very long and dark history to the Overlook Hotel, which starts with it being built on an Indian burial ground and extends to the caretaker Delbert Grady chopping up his family with an axe prior to Jack showing up.
I personally think a prequel film based on this stuff could be pretty amazing if done right, but King doesn't think so, in fact, he doesn't even want it to happen. Hell, I'd be happy to just read the deleted prologue to the book! The Shining is one of my favorite horror stories of all time, but here's what King told EW in a recent interview:
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. 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.
The last thing we head on the prequel is that the studio hired writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis and her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt to develop a story to tell. Kalogridis seems like a solid choice to take on something like this, as she wrote the script for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.
I'm not sure why he wouldn't want to see it happen, especially because he says it would make a good movie. I'm not one to disagree with the master of horror, but I would really love to see a prequel movie happen, or even better... I'd love to see King write a book based on the history! He's currently writing the sequel, Doctor Sleep, which gives us the story of what happened to Danny when he grew up. I'm sure that will eventually become a movie somewhere down the road as well.
Are you interested in seeing a prequel to The Shining?