It was recently reported that helming duties on the Harry Potter spin-off film with Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them were offered to Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón. It sounds like that's not the only movie that Warner Bros. has him in mind for. Apparently the studio also offered the filmmaker the opportunity to direct The Shining prequel film, The Overlook Hotel!
The news comes from a couple of sources at Schmoes Know, who say he's been "offered the exclusive right to say yes or no." I hope he says yes! It would be amazing to see him take on a horror film like this.
The studio initially hired writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis and her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt to come up with a story to tell. Kalogridis wrote the script for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, so she seemed like a great choice. Later, former The Walking Dead showrunner, Glen Mazzara, was in talks to write the script, but I don't know if that stuck.
From what I know, the story "would focus on what happened before Jack, his wife, and their psychic son arrived at the haunted retreat where Torrance soon descends into violent madness." There's a very long and dark history to the Overlook Hotel, which starts with it being built on an Indian burial ground, to the caretaker Delbert Grady chopping up his family with an axe. There are several different stories that could be told, and I'm sure they've come up with something great.
In a previous interview with Stephen King, he talked about a prologue that was cut from the book called "Before the Play." It gives us a little insight into what we might see in this movie. He explains that and how he's not fully on board the project:
"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."
This is one time I kind of have to disagree with King on something. I'm a huge fan of The Shining, and I think this prequel could be a really great movie. If Cuarón actually comes on board to direct this thing, I'm confident that the film is going to make The Shining fans happy.