The Shining Prequel?: Horror Classic May Get Backstory

Jack Torrance may be returning to the Overlook Hotel

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Warner Bros. / Everett

Is the “Here’s Johnny!” line that Jack Torrance (famously portrayed by Jack Nicholson) utters after axing through a door in The Shining  a one-off event—or the culmination of a life of “all work and no play”? We may soon find out, as Warners Bros. is reportedly seriously exploring a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic, even as Steven King finishes penning a Shining sequel due out in January 2013.

Although King’s sequel—or King at all, for that matter—isn’t connected in any way to the prequel rumblings, the Los Angeles Times reports that an A-team is already connected. Warner Bros. has brought in writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis, along with her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt. Kalogridis is best known for writing the screenplay to another horror flick, Martin Scorsese’s 2010 film Shutter Island.

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But what would a prequel entail? Will we get insight into Torrance’s slip into psychosis while holed up in the quite-possibly-haunted confines of the cavernous hotel in the mountains of Colorado? Will filmmakers delve deeper into the telepathic abilities of Jack’s son, Danny? Speaking of Danny, if the movie does get made, there will be plenty of threat of “Redrum” (murder, for those who haven’t seen The Shining) throughout.

But since King’s Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, will focus on Danny as a grown—and still highly troubled—man, maybe the prequel will leave the Torrance family behind altogether. The yet-to-come script could focus on another family—the previous caretaker did kill his family while suffering from a similar cabin fever, after all—or bring to light the telepathic skills of chef Dick Hallorann. Maybe those characters could give us some insight into what lies behind the doors of all those rooms in the empty winters at Overlook Hotel—or at least give us a glimpse into what happened in Room 237.

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