Ben Stiller To Star In Stage Adaptation Of The Shining

All work and no play makes Ben a dull boy! Ben Stiller may be headed to the West End for the 2023 debut of a stage version of "The Shining," per Deadline. Stiller is in talks to play the haunted, violent Torrance family patriarch, Jack Torrance.

The play will be helmed by Belgian director Ivo van Hove, whose Broadway credits include a version of "The Crucible," a short-lived take on "West Side Story" that premiered in February 2020, and an adaptation of the Sidney Lumet film "Network." Now, van Hove will head up the creative team on a stage production of the classic Stephen King novel, with Tony-winner Simon Stephens ("Morning Sun") adapting the book.

This is a King adaptation, not a Kubrick one

Stiller is still best-known as a comedic actor, and might seem like an unlikely fit for the role of slowly unraveling writer Jack Torrance, but he's established himself as a talented dramatic actor and visionary filmmaker in recent years. He's become one of indie director Noah Baumbach's go-to collaborators, with lead roles in introspective movies "While We're Young" and "The Meyerowitz Stories." He's also taken his turn as a director, most recently with the hypnotic and excellent workplace sci-fi show "Severance." On top of all that, Stiller actually has done stage work, in a Broadway production of "House of Blue Leaves."

Fans of King's work will likely want to keep an eye out for van Hove's take on "The Shining," since it's a story known for losing plenty in translation in prior adaptations. Stanley Kubrick's phenomenal 1980 film adaptation doesn't hew especially close to its source material, which focuses much more on Jack's alcoholism and his son Danny's thoughts and emotions. Deadline notes that this adaptation will specifically be based on the book, not the seminal horror film.

Believe it or not, horror adaptations have a long history on stage, despite the medium historically being known for more highfalutin fare: "Beetlejuice," "American Psycho," and "Heathers" have all gotten the Broadway treatment. King's work has also appeared, with a short-lived "Carrie" musical in 1988 (that was later rediscovered when it got the "Riverdale" treatment). This adaptation of "The Shining" was first reported to be in the works back in 2017, but was apparently shelved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If "The Shining" comes together on London's West End as expected, that means we're in for more casting news soon. Who will play Jack's wife, Wendy? What about his psychic young son, Danny? Stiller is an inspired choice, so we're eager to see who is cast opposite him.

"The Shining" is expected to premiere on London's West End in January 2023.