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Mark Romanek in Talks to Direct the ‘Shining’ Prequel ‘Overlook Hotel’

The Shining prequel
Warner Bros.

What a difference a director makes: the thought of a prequel to ‘The Shining‘ makes us roll our eyes hard, but the thought of Mark Romanek directing a prequel to ‘The Shining’ makes our ears perk up. If you are going to make a prequel to one of the coldest and weirdest horror movies of all time, you might as well hire one of the coldest and weirdest directors working today. Consider us intrigued for ‘Overlook Hotel.’

Variety has the scoop, adding that former ‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner Glenn Mazzara has turned in a draft of the screenplay. They also have some interesting tidbits about the story itself, which actually sounds more interesting than we were expecting:

Based on Stephen King’s original prologue to “The Shining”, which was cut from the book prior to publication in 1977, the film will tell the origin story of the Overlook Hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson. A robber baron at the turn of the 20th century, Watson scaled the remote peaks of the Colorado Rockies to build the grandest resort in America, and a place he and his family would also call home.

You say “prequel to ‘The Shining,’” we we see a retelling of the initial murders that drive Jack Nicholson crazy in the film. But this? This is period piece horror film about the building of the haunted hotel in the first place, based on material that was originally in Stephen King’s novel. That’s far more interesting.

The only big roadblock may be Romanek himself. Although he directed the exception thriller ‘One Hour Photo’ and the sci-fi drama ‘Never Let Me Go,’ he’s more famous for dropping out of movies than making them. He famously abandoned ‘The Wolfman’ with weeks to spare and recently dropped out of Disney’s ‘Cinderella.’ He’s a fascinating filmmaker with a huge laundry list of great commercials and music videos, but we’d say his chances of actually making ‘Overlook Hotel’ are slim.

Still, that’s quite a pairing. If there’s one filmmaker who’s even remotely allowed to tinker with material that involves Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick, it’s Mark Romanek.

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