Posted on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 by Eric Vespe
JJ Abrams and Bad Robot’s The Shining prequel series was the crown jewel of their first-look deal with HBO Max. Now, Overlook is seeking a new home.
Deadline broke the news that HBO Max has officially passed on the project that would dive deep into the many horrors witnessed in the halls of the haunted Colorado hotel.
The news is a little surprising considering that, when Bad Robot’s deal with HBO Max was announced, The Shining prequel was named specifically as their big collaboration with a “series order”. Deadline clarifies that they’ve heard now it was a “series commitment” which is largely the same thing only easier to back out of, and it looks like that’s what HBO Max did.
There’s still hope for this project, though. HBO isn’t barring Bad Robot from shopping it around, and Netflix seems to be a likely contender to pick it up.
Netflix is very much in the Stephen King business. They’ve had adaptations of Gerald’s Game, 1922, and In the Tall Grass and have also finally gotten the green light for The Talisman. The project will be produced by Steven Spielberg who’s been trying to get it off the ground since the late ’80s.
Let’s also not forget that Netflix’s crown jewel, Stranger Things, owes a huge debt to King. In fact, The Duffer Brothers created it when they tried to get the rights to IT and couldn’t make it happen.
The Haunted History of the Overlook
Stanley Kubrick‘s adaptation hinted at a lot of the history from King’s original novel (the lady in the bathtub was a suicide and the BJ ghost in the dog suit, whose name is Roger, by the way, was a submissive to the guy in charge, Horace Derwent, and would dress up as a dog for the orgiastic bisexual parties he’d throw, etc), but any fans of the source material will tell you that King delved much deeper into the history of the Overlook in the original text. Some of it’s really cool and creepy, and some of it is all weird and mob hit-y, but there’s a ton of backstory in the book.
The reason why Jack Torrance isn’t writing his book isn’t that he’s repeating the same line over and over again as he’s going stir crazy. The real reason is he’s being seduced by the hotel, uncovering records and falling down a rabbit hole of its insane history. He becomes obsessed with the hotel itself and is distracted by it.
There’s a lot of richness to mine there and, given the ever-increasing popularity of the Kubrick adaptation, I’d wager this won’t be one of those promising projects that disappear into the ether.
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