Overlook Hotel: Mark Romanek Set to Direct Prequel to The Shining

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Warner Bros. is in talks with Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go) to direct a prequel to Stanley Kubrick's classic The Shining, entitled Overlook Hotel.

The Shining prequel would be based on the unpublished prologue to Stephen King’s original novel, former The Walking Dead showrunner Glenn Mazzara has turned in a draft of the screenplay.

“Based on Stephen King’s original prologue to “The Shining”, which was cut from the book prior to publication in 1977, the film will tell the origin story of the Overlook Hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson. A robber baron at the turn of the 20th century, Watson scaled the remote peaks of the Colorado Rockies to build the grandest resort in America, and a place he and his family would also call home.” – Via

King himself said the prologue “contained a number of strange events from the Overlook Hotel’s earlier history”, and will presumably explain some of the origins of evil that later haunt Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) in The Shining.

the shining Overlook Hotel: Mark Romanek Set to Direct Prequel to The Shining

Romanek has a history of dropping out of films more than making them. He famously dropped out of directing the 2010 remake of The Wolfman just weeks before production was to begin as well as recently dropping out of Disney’s retelling of Cinderella, due out sometime next year under the direction of Kenneth Brannagh instead. Romanek is also developing a Boston Strangler project with Casey Affleck at Warner Bros.

Last year Stephen King spoke about the concept of developing his original prologue to The Shining to the screen and was less than happy about the project:

“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.’ [ 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.”

However, King admitted he was “curious to see what will happen” though he “would be just as happy if it didn’t.”

The Shining has been an incredibly influential film since it’s debut in 1980. The legendary Stanley Kubrick directed and and co-wrote the screenplay and has often been cited as one of the greatest of all horror films. Over the yearanimated programs like The Simpsons, South Park, and Archer have all spoofed the film.

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Commercials in particular have utilized the film’s creepy aesthetic for advertising. As collected by FearNet, Here are a few from over the years that have stood out –

Australian film magazine FilmInk used the concept of Danny speaking the name of the magazine backwards to satirical effect:

This commercial for Bing in 2009, recreated all of the film’s most iconic moments. Microsoft seems to love to parody horror films:

British hotel chain Premier Inn created a commercial that took the idea of any other hotel other than Premier Inn would driver you crazy with cabin fever. Supposedly the commercial aired on the children’s network Nick Jr. in 2009. Even though the ad is obviously used for comedic purposes, the ad was pulled because of it’s rather intense nature:

Finally, one of the best ads satirizing, homaging, or borrowing from The Shining came from British channel More4 In July of 2008. The channel was promoting a marathon of Kubrick films by creating an ad that conveyed the behind the scenes atmosphere of The Shining as seen through Stanley Kubrick’s eye. The sets were elaborately reconstructed, even the POV style resembled the innovative use of the steadicam used on The Shining. This is a fascinating ad that would sell anyone on the idea of sitting down and watching hours of Kubrick films on TV:

There is no set date for release of Overlook Hotel yet, but will you be eager to see it when (and if) it makes it to the big screen?


Images: Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Comedy Central, YouTube

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