The Shining might just be one of the best movies of all time. It might even be one of our favorite movies! We may have even written more than a few papers on it during our high school and college years. WHO KNOWS? One thing I do know, though, is that I have never watched it without thinking, “But where’s the real story here? Specifically, what happened BEFORE Jack Torrance was offered the job of winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, like the part in his life where he was just kind of unstable and an abusive father, but without any of the ghosts? Why aren’t they telling that story?” If you’re like me, our prayers might just soon be answered! Via LA Times:

Warner Bros.is quietly exploring the possibility of a prequel to “The Shining,” the 1980 Stanley Kubrick chillfest that many fans regard as the scariest movie of all time. The studio has solicited the involvement of Hollywood writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis and her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt to craft a new take as producers, according to a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly.

The film would focus on what happened before Jack Torrance (of course played memorably onscreen by Jack Nicholson), his wife and their psychic son arrived at the haunted retreat where Torrance soon descends into violent madness. A WB spokeswoman cautioned that any “Shining” prequel was in a very early stage and not even formally in development.

Oh, good! Finally, all of our questions will be answered. And to do you one better, how about let’s have some of those questions answered right now with this EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK AT THE SCREENPLAY!

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

Jack Torrance and his son Danny Torrance sit at a kitchen table eating breakfast together. An orange juice carton sits on the table, along with coffee and cereal. Jack’s wife, Wendy, stands near the kitchen sink staring idly out a window at a sunny mid-September morning.

JACK
Pass the orange juice, Danny.

DANNY
Ok, Dad.

Danny attempts to pass the orange juice carton to Jack, almost dropping it in the process. Wendy hears the error occur behind her and flinches. Danny corrects himself and successfully passes the orange juice to Jack, though is noticeably shaken. Wendy turns around, attempting to diffuse the situation.

WENDY
How’s your breakfast, Jack?

JACK
It’s fine, Wendy.

WENDY
That’s good, I’m glad.

Wendy sits down next to Jack at the table and slowly pours herself a cup of coffee.

WENDY
How is your writing coming?

Jack slams his spoon down on the table. Wendy and Danny jump in their seats, though they continue to attempt calm expressions.

JACK
Not so well, Wendy. Not so well.

CUT TO:

INT. DANNY’S SCHOOL-APPOINTED THERAPIST’S OFFICE

Wendy sits on a couch opposite a school-appointed therapist in an office clearly decorated to make children feel comfortable. Both the therapist and Wendy look out of place in their surroundings.

WENDY
Jack is just under a lot of pressure right now. I know he cares about me and Danny, it’s just — well, he’s just under a lot of pressure. I’m sure it’s going to be ok.

The therapist writes something down in a notebook, unconvinced.

THERAPIST
And how is Danny doing?

WENDY
Still talking to his imaginary friend through his finger. But — he’s a kid. It’s going to be fine. We’re all going to be fine.

THERAPIST
I see.

CUT TO:

INT. DANNY’S ROOM

Danny sits on his bed speaking to his imaginary friend, Tony.

TONY
Danny.

DANNY
Yes, Tony?

TONY
How are you?

DANNY
Fine, Tony. How are you?

TONY
Fine.

DANNY
I’m kind of afraid of my dad, if I can be honest. He seems a little unstable.
(beat)
Not majorly right now, but there are definitely some signs.

TONY
I know what you mean.

At that moment, Jack bursts through Danny’s bedroom door, unannounced.

JACK
HEEEEEEEERE I AM!

Danny faces the camera, smiles, and shakes his head knowingly.

That’s going to be good and fun, I think! I can’t wait for this exciting adventure!

Comments (22)
  1. I thought for a minute that it said James VanDerBeek was one of the writer-producers.

    I better not look at any lottery tickets today.

  2. jack torrence really is a timeless character. i’d like to see what he did at the hotel during, say, prohibition.

  3. There’s a whole untapped market of making prequels to those “normal guy has something weird happen to him” movies.

    Haven’t we all wondered what sort of house James Brolin’s character lived in BEFORE he moved to Amityville?

    • I know we’d all like to see what Bubba was up to before he met Forrest!

    • Oh man, I can’t wait to see Ripley’s life as a non-alien fighting lady. SEE RIPLEY FILE FUTURE SPACETAXES! SEE RIPLEY FIND A BABYSITTER SO SHE CAN SEE THE NEW FUTURE SPACEMOVIE!!!!

      I mean, I love Ripley. But if I want to watch someone do something mundane, I will just play the Sims. At least then I am their god. YOU WILL PEE WHEN I TELL YOU TO, TINY COMPUTER INSECT.

  4. Can you write a prequel to a movie that is based on a book, the rights to which are still held by the author? Particularly when said author is corrently in the process of writing a sequel? How does that even work?

  5. Um. What? I mean, I can see there being interesting stories about the Overlook Hotel (although I am not sure how much I need to know about the bear suit people. I think we got the message there. No further footage needed, personally), but I thought the movie was really effective at only revealing a bit of the fuckery. Being more explicit would make the mood of AAAAH NOOO WHAT? THAT WAS BLOOD! IN THE ELEVATOR! BLOOD DOES NOT BELONG THERE less effective. Just let it be, Hollywood! Just let it be.

    Also, is Stephen King involved? He might have some ideas you know. Being the writer of the original source material and all. Just throwing that out there.

    • Believe me, if there was a way to milk more money out of a Shining prequel, Stephen King would have already tapped that well by now.

      • I say this as a giant Stephen King fan: Yep. Yes he certainly would have.

        Also, does anyone remember the mid/late 90s Shining miniseries starring Steven Weber? I did and all I remember about that is the stupid kid playing Danny singing that “I like snow” song. The Kubrick version was….better.

    • Oh Stephen King HATES the Shining movie. That’s like a whole thing. He thinks it downplays themes and blah blah blah, I’m an author blah. That’s why he let them make that weird TV miniseries with Stephen Weber I guess.

      • Kubrick wanted to do a movie about his normal themes (Weak-minded, hyper-masculine, violent men, see Fullmetal Jacket, Dr. Strangelove, etc…) and Stephen King wanted a movie that was mainly about alcoholism.

        I always have to resist the urge to say, “You should be glad that the greatest director of a generation saw something worth filming in your ghost story, Stephen.” But I resist because King is one of the good guys (even if he is a book snob).

        • It’s the same thing Kubrick did with 2001 and Lolita: he took the books, stripped away most of the details, and remade them in his own way. It’s just that with The Shining, King wrote it while he was still drinking heavily, so it had a lot of sentimentality and autobiographical components, so I can certainly understand why Kubrick’s changes would have been unwelcome. Still a damn good movie, though.

  6. Myabe we’re lookinh at this the wrong way. maybe this will be the story of Scatman Crothers having psychic visions about where to by the rad shit that decorates his summer home. I’d watch that.

  7. As long as they cast Ryan Reynolds as Jack, this is going to be a slam dunk.

  8. I hear Christian Slater is available.

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