Part of what made Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining such a chilly and chilling horror film was its since of dreamlike ambiguity—was the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel (Jack Nicholson) attempting to murder his wife and son because ghosts in the Overlook were driving him mad, or was Jack simply an unbalanced man whose cabin fever pushed him into madness? The film never supplies a definitive answer (though the last 30 minutes give you enough information to rule on)… so wouldn’t it be great if a prequel came along, explained everything, and robbed the original film of all of its haunting ambiguity?
Warner Bros. seems to think so, as /Film reports that the studio is currently in talks with producers Bradley Fischer (Shutter Island, Zodiac), Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island), and James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac) to form a new production team that would outline a prequel to Kubrick’s classic horror film (and King’s own schmaltzy ABC TV miniseries from the 1990s, if you want to count that).
Apparently, the film’s focus will either be on the Torrance family before they move in as winter caretakers of the Overlook, or it will focus on the strange and violent history of the Overlook itself (which will likely be a movie that telegraphs “HEY, IT WAS GHOSTS THE WHOLE TIME!” to the audience). Neither idea sounds particularly great, but the latter would probably beat out the former.
A source from Warner Bros. was quick to point out that the project is “in a very early stage,” so perhaps there’s a chance we’ll be luckier than the Torrences and spared this madness. One can hope.
What do you think of a Shining prequel?