One of the early drafts of Stephen King’s classic 1977 horror novel The Shining included a prologue, “Before The Play,” which delved more into the parallel histories of the haunted Overlook Hotel and its future caretaker, Jack Torrance. King recently returned to the world of The Shining for a sequel novel, Doctor Sleep, but Warner Bros., the studio behind Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie version of The Shining, has been looking backward, not forward, hiring former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara last year to write the script for a Shining prequel, reportedly based on that prologue.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. may have found its director, too. Although earlier rumors tied Gravity’s Alfonso Cuarón to the film, Mark Romanek—a prolific music-video director who also made the features One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go—is in talks with the studio to helm the Shining prequel, which is currently titled Overlook Hotel. Romanek is a good choice for a project like this, not just because of the stylistic flourish and sense of control he’s brought to his features, but because videos like Johnny Cash’s “Hurt,” Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug,” and Michael Jackson’s “Scream” have shown a flair for the dark and nightmarish. (As to whether the project itself is a good idea… well, that’s another matter.)
At press time, Romanek was reportedly sitting in a cavernous room, busily typing up his pre-production notes over and over again.