Earlier this month, we passed along word that J.J. Abrams is developing a TV series prequel to Stephen King’s The Shining for HBO Max dubbed Overlook. But you might remember that a similar prequel film was once in the works from writer Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) and director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go).
And today Romanek talked about the abandoned movie, telling ComicBook.com: “We got the blessing from Stephen King, the script was written, and then I took it upon myself to elaborately rewrite that script. And what it finally got down to was, really, an origin story.
He adds: “It was epic, and I think the problem really was just the budget. They weren’t confident enough that there was going to be this, what the studios would call a ‘Shining universe’ that they were going to start building, to justify the cost. And the film is just, by nature of the story building, this massive hotel and creating a period piece, and it seemed too costly to them.”
He continued: “And that was really the thing that sort of killed it, unfortunately. We weren’t trying to milk this classic genre movie for just ‘Let’s milk it for something,’. There was a prologue that Stephen King wrote for the novel originally when it was published in 1977, and it was cut for length. So there’s a brief prologue that he wrote that just is fascinating material and a fascinating basis for a new story. And a terrific producer named Brad Fischer who’s done things like Shutter Island and Zodiac and really excellent films, he got this idea to try to adapt that prologue.”