It’s little wonder why many a moviegoer holds up Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining as one of – if not the – best films in cinema history. As a rich and layered psychological horror, there are few movies that can get under your skin quite like the director’s famed masterclass, so it’s only natural that word of a offshoot prequel film was met with disgruntled bemusement.
Burdening the brunt of that backlash is Overlook Hotel, the spinoff film in the works at Warner Bros., which has Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek instated at the helm. And though it’s become easy to lambast a studio for attempting to revisit and tinker with a classic, producer James Vanderbilt believes Romanek’s vision deserves the benefit of the doubt.
In an interview with Collider, Vanderbilt painted in broad strokes when quizzed about Overlook Hotel, underlining how the prequel will essentially stand on its own two feet.
You want a real filmmaker like Mark doing it… Honestly I think people will really be excited about it, because it’s not like ’20 Years Before The Shining!’. I don’t want to give too much away about the story but the way [screenwriter] Glen [Mazzara] cracked it and the way Mark has sort of cracked it, it’s completely it’s own film, which I think is super smart. It’s not like, ‘When Scatman Crothers was young, he…’ it’s not that.”
As the quintessential haunted house movie, there are obviously scores of filmmaking tenets that Romanek can channel from Kubrick’s original film, though quite frankly, we’d be more than happy if the two films only shared a location – and familiar blood-red/orange carpet – instead deciding to branch off an explore its dark and murky history.
“One of the things that’s amazing about [Mark] is that he’s a strong filmmaker with his own convictions, and Mark is gonna make the movie Mark is gonna make… I think there’s something wonderful about a director who says, ‘No, this is the film.’ Fincher was the same way. It’s like, ‘This is the movie I wanna make. If you don’t wanna make that movie, that’s totally cool, then we won’t make the movie.’ And now as someone who’s directed a film, that’s kinda what you want. You want the captain of the ship to be like, ‘I know what the film is, I know how to make it, let’s go do it.’”
Overlook Hotel is still quietly marching forward in development, and we expect it to creep into theaters either in late 2016 or early 2017.