As we get closer and closer to the release of “Dr. Sleep”, an upcoming novel that will act as a sequel to “The Shining”, word breaks that Warner Bros. is interested in making a prequel. Specifically, they are interested in making a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic adaptation of the novel.
Officially, the project isn’t in development yet, but the studio is apparently searching for people. Names have even been tossed around, which is odd for a project that isn’t in development. So far, Laeta Kalogridis, Bradley Fischer, and James Vanderbilt are in talks, though it isn’t clear what role they will play.
As other bloggers have noted, King wasn’t a fan of Kubrick’s adaptation, so it does make you wonder how he’ll feel about this. You’d think that rights would become an issue, but then again, the studio most likely has the rights to the film, giving them the freedom to make a prequel if they choose to do so.
I have a question, why? No, really, I don’t see the point of this at all. I was wary of King doing a sequel, but at least there are ideas to explore there. With a prequel, we pretty much have all of the information that we need. Whether this prequel centers around a young Jack Torrance or tells the tale of a previous caretaker, there’s nothing that really needs to be said.
More than that, has a prequel ever worked out? “Star Wars” is the most obvious example, but “Temple of Doom” was pretty bad and how’d that prequel to John Carpenter’s “The Thing” work out?
Considering that the Overlook hotel remained intact at the end of Kubrick’s film, they could’ve easily just made a sequel. Have a team come into investigate the Torrance incident and then get caught in their own nightmare.
The only viable angle I can see that doesn’t reek of blatant rehashing is going down the “Silent Hill” route and having the horrors act as a sort of reflection for the issues that the main character is trying to work through. Then again, even that’s a tough sell considering Kubrick’s film toned down the supernatural stuff and made it a bit more ambiguous.
You can read more about it here, here, here, and here. Whether fans embrace the idea or cry foul remains to be seen. In any event, we can expect them to make their voices heard as new information gets released.