Stephen King Responds to Shining Prequel

Herner Klenthur

Do you support a prequel to The Shining  if Stephen King himself is against it?

When I heard that Warner Brothers was doing a prequel to The Shining I was frankly taken aback. My first though was why? Stephen King has finally weighed in on the whole situation and it sounds like he does not support the project which should have some horror fans asking if they should support a Shining Prequel that the original master of horror does not endorse or condone.

He told Entertainment Weekly quote;

There’s a real question about whether or not they have the rights to ‘Before the Play,’ which was the prologue cut from the book — because the epilogue to the book was called ‘After the Play.’ So they were bookends, and there was really scary stuff in that prologue that wouldn’t make a bad movie. Am I eager to see that happen? No I am not.

And there’s some real question about what rights Warner Bros. does still have. The Shining is such an old book now that the copyright comes back to me. Arguably, the film rights lapse — so we’ll see. We’re looking into that.

Stephen King went on to say he wont stand in the way of the movie because he is a ‘nice guy’. He told them he does not want to see Warner Brothers make the prequel and I for one also question the value of doing a prequel story.


As you will recall Sam told you earlier in the week that Glen Mazzarra who ran The Walking Dead show after Frank Darabonte left has been tapped to work on The Shining movie prequel. He is definitely an outstanding choice but considering Stephen King is not supporting the idea its really just not a good idea.

If you want to do a spin on The Shining the better route in my humble view would be to base it off the followup novel to The Shining which comes out in September titled ‘Dr Sleep’. Stephen King spent a ton of time writing that book and it picks up many years after The Shining.

Doctor Sleep revolves around Dan Torrance from the first book who is now a middle aged man working in a Nursing Home. He drifted around the country for many years after the traumatic experience with his deranged father and now spends his days using his gift of ‘the shining’ to help ease the pain of the elderly as they eventually meet their maker in an old age home.

In Dr Sleep He meets a girl named Abra Stone and discovers that he must save her from The True Knot a group of immortal drifters who cross the country feeding off of children who have the gift of ‘the shining’ which Dan Torrance also has. Dr Sleep the sequel to the Shining is a classic good vs evil scenario and the concept sounds absolutely fantastic which again brings me back to… why not use Stephen Kings second book as the source for a sequel versus doing a prequel?

This of course would require that Stephen King get paid some money since he hasnt sold the rights to the sequel. What are your thoughts do you support a prequel without Stephen Kings support or involvement? Or would you rather see Warner Brothers and Glen Mazzarra make Dr Sleep into a feature film? Sound off.



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      1. Greg April 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

        I’m fine with it if it’s just the prologue to the book and not some random story that they came up with. He even agrees that it would make a good movie, but he doesn’t want it made. What? “there was really scary stuff in that prologue that wouldn’t make a bad movie”

        • Herner Klenthur April 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

          Good points Greg. I have not read the prologue but I do agree Stephen Kings comments are a bit strange. He doesnt think they have the legal rights to make it, doesnt want to, but will let them.

      2. Greg April 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

        After reading this, i spent a lot of time reading about The Shining film. Mr. King didn’t like it at all and I wonder if that (and his script for The Shining being rejected) has anything to do with his comments here. Maybe he wants to be more involved with making a prologue.

      3. Glynis April 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        I hated the Kubrick movie with a passion. It wasn´t scary and I would like to see it re-made the way it should have been made in the first place.

        • Herner Klenthur April 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

          I Loved the book but only liked the movie. I agree

      4. Joe Parks April 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        @Glynnis, the Shining was remade as a TV mini series which was excellent. King wrote the screenplay and produced it. It follows the book much more closely. King made it because he hates Kubricks film too. As for a prequel without his blessing? No thanks.

        • Deb Spalding April 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm

          Absolutely agree with you, Joe!!!

        • Herner Klenthur April 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

          I have never seen the TV series. Shame its not on NETFLIX because now I really want to :)

      5. andy gordon April 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        i think they should stump up the cash and do doctor sleep with stephens input

        • Zainab April 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

          Totally agree. Its bound to be better with King involved than not!

      6. EndoftheDream April 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        I think Stephen King is a big baby when it comes to his stuff. He whines about everything. That being said I don’t care if he endorses it or not before it’s even made, it could be good. His endorsement doesn’t make it good.

        • Glynis April 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

          Of course it matters. Either you are a King fan or you are not. EndoftheDream I don´t think you are!

        • Herner Klenthur April 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

          I loved all of STephen Kings books but most the big screen adaptations were garbage. Only ones i liked were The Mist and The Stand miniseries

        • Sandra April 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm

          @Glynis The world isn’t as black and white as you seem to think. I’ve read several of Kings books, and I plan to read more of them as I think he’s an excellent writer. I would say this makes me a King fan (to some degree). But I also loved the Kubrick movie and it’s one of my favourite in the genre. (so is the book). Even if King doesn’t endorse this movie, I will watch it. I will probably like it (actually it’s too early to say, but I’m going to want to like it). I would rather he endorse it, but frankly it doesn’t change the quality of the movie and therefore doesn’t really matter.

      7. Zainab April 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

        Kubrick movie was awful!! Not true to the novel at all, which is really really scary.
        TV movie version was much much better, everyone should see that one for sure, its much more true to the book. Especially Wendy, who in the Kubrick version is awful, whiny and frankly you want her dead! In the novel, shes much more headstrong and that comes across really well in the TV version.

      8. Tiago Almeida April 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        There isn’t any Stephen King movie that is better than the book. Some come close, like Pet Sematary, but the book is always still better. King’s got this H.P. Lovecraft thing, he makes you believe that things could happen using reason. So the narrative is pretty important in king’s story. They all loose something in movies.
        I think the shining is a great movie by itself, but pretty far from the book.
        The Shining TV series from the 90’s is also great.

        • Herner Klenthur April 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm

          I completely agree no movie has ever topped the book. But a few of the films have done the books justice.

          The reason the books loose their narrative in the films is because it is no longer the voice in our head its somebody elses vision. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for the comment Tiago.

        • Glynis April 14, 2013 at 6:32 am

          How true Dennis. And IT was amazing with Tim Curry. What has he been in lately – nothing as far as I can tell. I also remember the movie of Christine was pretty good.

        • Dennis Francis April 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm

          @Tiago. In my opinion I though IT was a lot better on screen than the novel. I mean TIM CURRY! Haha

          The book was rather long and very drawn out. Its great when it build the characters up and sets the scene. But, I remember many chapters being way too detailed.

      9. Dennis Francis April 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm

        Even though The Shining is considered a classic and Jack Nicholson was outstanding in the film, I thought it was a bit dull.

        Having read the book, I believe that The Shining miniseries was absolutely outstanding and much more true to the novel.

        With that said I wouldn’t mind a prequel as long as its right from the prologue of the book. Please no Hollywood “magic” and nothing added.

      10. Tiago Almeida April 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        Thanks for the post, brother.
        I haven’t read IT, but there are a few King’s books I’ve read that are not so great. I mean, the guy writes a lot…
        Still on the subject, I was very pleased when I heard they won’t be making The Dark Tower movies. That series is a perfect example an “unfilmable” King’s story, and in my opinion his best work.