We were kind of hoping that the Warner Bros. had forgotten about making a prequel to The Shining, but apparently that's not the case.
Variety reports that the movie, called Overlook Hotel, is very much moving forward and that director Mark Romanek is in talks to get behind the camera. Romanek, who started out in videos, has only made three features since 1985, but I like two of them very much: he made One Hour Photo in 2002 with Robin Williams as a psychopathic camera store clerk, and he delved into the sci-fi genre in 2010 with the moving clone drama Never Let Me Go (I have not seen his first feature, Static).
He's also known for his high-profile exit from The Wolfman just weeks before shooting was slated to begin (Joe Johnston ended up taking the job), which may partially explain why he hasn't done a whole lot of features.
Nevertheless, Romanek is close to signing up, while a script has just been turned in by former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara. The movie is based on a few pages that Stephen King cut from the beginning of his 1977 novel, and tells how an early 20th-century robber baron named Bob T. Watson climbed into the upper reaches of the Colorado Rockies and built what he envisioned as the "grandest resort in America." Before the elevators started filling with blood, that is.
I have to say that prequels bum me out, not just because they are predictable, but because they often explain things that are scarier or more awe-inspiring when left unexplained. Do we really have to know how the Overlook came into being? Or what made Hannibal Lecter into a monster? Or where the Alien came from?
And you just know that Overlook Hotel will end with a shot of a little Volkswagon carrying the Torrance family pulling into the parking lot, right?
Hey, I'm not alone in feeling cynical: King himself has expressed his displeasure over the idea of a prequel -- although he may also have the ulterior motive of seeing his sequel, Doctor Sleep, get to the screen first (I'd prefer that as well).
Romanek is a good director, however, and I suppose it's always nice to see talented filmmakers working, although I wish it wasn't necessarily on this. Do you think he can do a good job with Overlook Hotel? What are your thoughts on a prequel to The Shining?