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Is a Prequel to ‘The Shining’ On the Way?

The Shining Prequel
Warner Bros.

Prequels are all the rage these days, generally making bank at the box office due to name recognition while angering hordes of movie buffs (who take to internet comments sections to protest). However, no project has ever sounded more cinematically blasphemous than what Warner Bros. may be cooking up right now: a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic ‘The Shining.’

Although the project is shrouded in mystery and may not even actually happen, the mere fact that it is being worked on at this very moment should send shivers of dread down the spine of any self-respecting movie buff.

One of the most frightening movies of all time, ‘The Shining’ feels so complete because it’s so incredible incomplete, with many key questions left deliberately unanswered. The exact nature of the psychosis that drove Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) insane is left hanging in the air. Are there ghosts at the Overlook Hotel who bent this man to their bidding or was he simply an unhinged man who let the isolation get to him? Kubrick filled the film with many bizarre, horrifying images and only offered a morsel of explanation, making ‘The Shining’ the kind of movie that leads to great late night discussions, the kind of movie that endures over the decades and ages beautifully.

For the record, the original Stephen King novel made it very clear what was going on in the hotel with zero ambiguity and King is no fan of the film. It wouldn’t be surprising if any prequel they cook up tries to tie into the book instead of the film, especially since a sequel novel (titled ‘Dr. Sleep’) is on the way.

If there is one bright side to all of this, it’s the involvement of Laeta Kalogridis, the talented writer producer who had a big (and silent) hand in James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ and a more public hand in Martin Scorsese’s excellent ‘Shutter Island.’ Still, a talented storyteller is only worthwhile if the story is worth telling. What do you think? Would you watch a prequel to ‘The Shining’?

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