After landing The Walking Dead showrunner Glenn Mazzara to pen the script, The Shining prequel Overlook Hotel has taken another big step forward with news that Mark Romanek is in negotiations to helm the film.
Romanek, known for his music videos for bands including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer, broke into feature filmmaking in 2010 with Never Let Me Go (though he also directed 2002’s One Hour Photo before most of his music video work). After following up Never Let Me Go with the TV movie Locke & Key, he became increasingly in demand in Hollywood and is rumored to be directing Dan Brown adaptation The Lost Symbol. Romanek also has episodes of ABC’s The Whispers premiering sometime next year.
Based on Stephen King’s original prologue to The Shining, which was cut from the book before its publication in 1977, Overlook Hotel will act as an origin story for the architecturally impossible, extremely haunted hotel that drove Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) insane in Stanley Kubrick’s classic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it “will tell the origin story of the haunted hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson, a robber baron at the turn of the 20th century.” A Warner Bros. logline elaborated:
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.
James Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and Laeta Kalogridis are all locked in to produce this prequel, though no cast has yet been announced. The part of Watson, however, is sure to be a highly sought-after one. Now that Warner Bros. has landed Romanek, perhaps we’ll be seeing Overlook Hotel as soon as 2016. Hopefully the studio won’t rush into anything though – considering The Shining‘s status as a cinematic classic, and one of the greatest films ever made, it would be a real shame for an inferior prequel to mar its good name.