News broke last week that Warner Bros. was looking to make a prequel to THE SHINING, with WALKING DEAD and THE SHIELD producer Glen Mazzara looking to write it. That’s a pretty ballsy move from WB, THE SHINING is the gold standard for horror movies and you can be there will be many horror aficionados rolling their eyes. Sure enough, the internet let out a collective groan at the news.
And now a major player is weighing in on the proposed film: Stephen King. King isn’t outright saying he’d make a stink about THE OVERLOOK HOTEL (the assumed title) but he is saying he’s not sure it’s legally possible.
Here’s what the author told his pals at EW:
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.
Of course, it’s possible that Mazzara doesn’t adapt “Before the Play” but rather crafts a completely new story devoid of any King ideas. But even still, the author has a point: who owns what after all these years? Apparently even WB doesn’t know. They better figure it out before the project moves forward.
King waxed folk poetic about the movie and gave his typical great opinion.
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.
So even King isn’t too keen on this prequel idea. The guy has seen plenty of his work adapted into less-than-stellar movies so I can’t really blame him, especially since he was never a fan of Kubrick’s THE SHINING in the first place.
King has a new novel sequel to The Shining on the way titled Doctor Sleep. So maybe it’ll be King who takes us back to The Overlook first.