Long-lost, surprisingly hopeful ending to The Shining revealed

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Jan 24, 2013, 2:57 PM EST (Updated)

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel The Shining stands as one of the true classics of creepy cinema. Want to know how it was supposed to end?

Kubrick famously cut two minutes from the film after its limited theatrical opening. He was so passionate to slice the footage that he ordered projectionists to send all the reels back to Warner Bros. studio to make sure no lingering cuts of the original version would remain in existence. 

Though the footage has been lost to time, it turns out those few pages of script from the scene survived—and has finally leaked out. The scene picks up after the insane events at the Overlook Hotel, with Mr. Ullman in a hospital telling Wendy that Jack Torrance's body was never found. The scene ends with Ullman throwing a yellow ball (sound familiar?) to Danny.

Here’s an excerpt from the final page:

The script was tracked down by Toy Story director Lee Unkrich, who is a huge fan of The Shining. Unkrich runs a Shining fan site and shared the full script there. Click here to read the final, four-page scene in its entirety. 

Diane Johnson, who helped write the screenplay for The Shining, said Kubrick had planned to use this more “hopeful” ending to show viewers that Wendy and Danny were going to be alright. Here’s her comment, via The Overlook Hotel:

“Kubrick had filmed a final scene that was cut, where Wendy and Danny are recovering from the shock in a hospital and where Ullman visits them. Kubrick felt that we should see them in the hospital so we would know that they were all right. He had a soft spot for Wendy and Danny and thought that, at the end of a horror film, the audience should be reassured that everything was back to normal.”

What do you think of the long-lost epilogue? Should Kubrick have left it in?

(Via The Playlist)

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