Stephen King's The Shining Is Becoming A Stage Play, And It's Adding A Big Star As Jack Torrance

Ben Stiller in Brad's Status
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Jack Torrance from The Shining is not an easy part for any actor to take on. Not only is there the challenge of properly portraying the character's spectacular descent into madness while spending a winter in an isolated Rocky Mountain hotel, but Jack Nicholson delivered one of the most iconic performances of all time when he played the role in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's novel.

All that being said, there have been other stars bold enough to take on the performance – including Steven Weber in the 1997 Shining miniseries and Henry Thomas in Doctor Sleep – and now Ben Stiller is getting prepared to be the latest actor to give it a shot, as he is in talks to star in a stage production of the horror story that is on track to premiere in London's West End next year.

News of this fascinating development originates from Deadline, which notes that Stiller's deal is not yet finalized. The production is being created by Belgian theatre director Ivo van Hove and Tony Award-winner Simon Stephens, who is going to be penning the adaptation. The stage play has been in the works since 2017, but progress was slowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trade report notes that this will not be the first time that van Hove will be bringing a story popularized by Hollywood to the theatre, as he previously staged versions of Oscar-winning films including Network (starring Bryan Cranston) and All About Eve (starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James). That being said, this new version of The Shining will evidently hone closer to Stephen King's original novel than Stanley Kubrick's controversial feature film.

Should all go according to plan, The Shining will be Ben Stiller's first play since playing Artie Shaughnessy in the 2011 Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves, according to Broadway World. It's certainly an interesting project for him to take on, as while audiences primarily know him for his comedic work, a notable degree of his comic energy comes from his ability to express intense rage.

If your curiosity about this project is now piqued, perhaps the best news of all is that the plan is to have The Shining come together in the next 10 months or so. Rehearsals are being scheduled for the fall, and the show is targeting a London premiere in January 2023. And if you can't make it to England for a performance, it is expected that it will eventually make a move to Broadway.

This isn't the first time that a Stephen King novel has been adapted for the stage, as Carrie was turned into a musical back in 1988, but it's terrifically exciting none the less. Stay tuned for more news and casting updates about The Shining play, and keep track of all developing big and small screen projects based on the author's work with our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.