At this point there’s nothing that anyone can do to The Shining on screen that Stephen King hasn’t already done himself. (See the TV series adaptation of his novel, scripted by King, which leaves out few of the novel’s details, and misses most of Stanley Kubrick’s chilling effect.)

So the idea of a prequel is just one of those shrugs, an idea that seems terrible at first, but which experience suggests will very likely be forgotten a few minutes after it is released. Nevertheless, Warner Bros. has been talking to a producing trio about coming up with a story to explain some of what happened before Kubrick’s movie.

The LA Times says the film would focus on events before Jack Torrance and family arrived at the overlook hotel. Whether that means focusing on the Torrance family (boring) or the Overlook (less boring, but how much of that do we really need to see?) is open to question. Either, way, there will have to be a good amount of invention to fill out the details provided in King’s book. The novel has a good bit of backstory, but probably not nearly enough for a whole prequel film.

Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Bradley Fischer (Shutter Island and Zodiac producer) and James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac) have been brought in to “craft a new take as producers.” So if their idea passes muster with WB, the film will go out to writers. (Unless one of the three wants to write it, in which case WB might say yes.)

The LAT also quotes a source from WB saying that this idea is “in a very early stage” and not formally in development at this point. So it might not be anything that we even have a chance to think about a few months from now.

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