Stanley Kubrick's The Shining movie, based on Stephen King's bestselling novel, is one of those rare horror movies that transcended it's genre to be classed among the greatest films ever made. The centerpiece of the movie was the Overlook Hotel, the mysterious establishment whose evil influence causes inhabitants to lose their minds. Director Mark Romanek was at one point attached to helm a prequel film centered on the hotel, which never came to fruition. Romanek explained in a recent interview what the planned film would have been like.
"We weren't trying to milk this classic genre movie for just 'Let's milk it for something. There was a prologue that Stephen King wrote for the novel originally when it was published in 1977, and it was cut for length. So there's a brief prologue that he wrote that just is fascinating material and a fascinating basis for a new story. And a terrific producer named Brad Fischer who's done things like Shutter Island and Zodiac and really excellent films, he got this idea to try to adapt that prologue."
Sounds like there was serious talent attached to the film. But despite how promising the project appeared to be, with the potential for adding a fascinating new dimension to the original tale from The Shining, it seems the studio was reluctant to shell out the large amounts of cash the film would have needed due to the nature of its period setting:
"We got the blessing from Stephen King, the script was written, and then I took it upon myself to elaborately rewrite that script. And what it finally got down to was, really, an origin story. It was more like a wilderness tale set in the very early twentieth century. I can't remember the name of the character that built the hotel now, but it's the desecration of the Indian burial ground and the construction of The Overlook Hotel in the deep wilderness in 1910, and it builds to the grand opening of the hotel."
"It was epic, and I think the problem really was just the budget. They weren't confident enough that there was going to be this, what the studios would call a 'Shining universe' that they were going to start building, to justify the cost. And the film is just, by nature of the story building, this massive hotel and creating a period piece, and it seemed too costly to them. And that was really the thing that sort of killed it, unfortunately."
While Romanek's take on the Overlook Hotel may never see the light of day, HBO Max has ordered a spinoff show titled Overlook, being developed by J.J Abrams. The series is being written in consultation with Stephen King and is said to feature iconic characters and locations from the original novel. With the recent success of IT and it's sequel, the show Castle Rock, and the upcoming Overlook, it seems the legendary horror writer's works are continuing to strike a chord with modern audiences. This story originated at ComicBook.com