Will there be a prequel, along with a sequel, to the Shining?

Doctor Sleep is the next novel by Stephen King, which is set for release this September, and it’s the long awaited sequel to The Shining.

In Sleep, clairvoyant Danny is now a grown up, and he has also inherited some of the demons of his father. He also works in a nursing home where his psychic powers are put to good use, but he’ll soon have to fight an evil force even worse than what he faced in The Shining. 

So there’s been a bit of confusing news about the prequel to The Shining, because  this is apparently not related to Doctor Sleep. The prequel that got announced this week is going to be written by Glen Mazzara, who was the show runner for The Walking Dead, and it’s going to be called The Overlook Hotel. 

King has always been notoriously unhappy with Stanley Kubrick’s big screen adaptation of The Shining, and if he’s not thrilled with how you’ve adapted one of his books, he won’t allow you to use his name in the ads. When approached for a comment, King told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project, because I’m sort of a nice guy. But you know what? I would be just as happy if it didn’t happen.”

In fact, there may be some confusion as to whether Warner Brothers has the rights to make a Shining prequel or not. As King also told EW, “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.’ 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.”

King added, “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.”

Usually with adaptations of King’s works, he takes a laissez faire attitude, and lets the filmmaker do their thing before he’ll let you use his name to promote the movie or not. In the case of Misery, King had more control over the film because he was very fond of the book, and he didn’t want to give it up to just anybody to adapt. Ultimately having more of a say-so in how the film was developed, and who was hired to write and direct, really paid off with the movie, and King was very happy with the end result. 

Again, the movie based on The Shining has always been a thorn in King’s side, and you can only imagine how unhappy he would be if this story slipped out of his hands one more time. You know we’re not exactly pleased with the recent slew of horror remakes, sequels and prequels here at TG, even though the idea of one of the creative forces behind The Walking Dead creating a new story at the Overlook is potentially intriguing. After all, we were apparently wrong about another horror prequel, Bates Motel, which has been getting good reviews and ratings. King usually takes a wait and see attitude when it comes to adaptations to his work, and so will we.