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.
Still, even the possibility of an addition to a modern classic is bound to get film fans excited or riled up (or both.)
One factor that could aid the former: Kalogridis has a pedigree that’s ready-made for this kind of material, having penned the macabre “Shutter Island” for Martin Scorsese two years ago. (In a somewhat different vein, she also was a key creative force on James Cameron’s “Avatar,” serving as an uncredited writer and an executive producer.)
Released initially to mixed reviews by Warners, “The Shining,” based on Stephen King’s bestselling 1977 novel, eventually gained acclaim and a unique pop-culture prominence. It’s been spoofed and referenced many times since, and is currently enjoying a moment of sorts thanks to “Room 237,” a documentary about the Kubrick film’s many interpretations that made a splash at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
King himself has been penning a sequel to “The Shining;” there’s no word yet on whether there will be a movie adaptation of the new novel.