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The Shining Prequel Overlook Hotel Might Be Directed By Mark Romanek

No stranger to leaving big studio projects in his rear-view, director Mark Romanek is in talks to take on what is definitely the biggest movie of his career: Warner Bros.’ Overlook Hotel, the prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining. It’s an interesting fit, but I won’t be holding my breath at my typewriter waiting on him to actually make the movie.

"But wait," you might be saying if you’ve paid attention to Overlook Hotel’s brief history, "I thought Gravity’s Alfonso Cuarón was supposed to direct it." Well, the Academy Award-winning director passed on it, which is bad for this movie, but probably good for Cuarón’s career in general. Plus, it could give Romanek, who is currently at the "in talks" phase of signing on, a chance to become a household name rather than a filmmaker that people have to look up on IMDb to confirm that, yes, he’s the guy who did One Hour Photo. (I love that movie.)

Former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara wrote the script for Overlook Hotel, which is based in part on a short prologue that Shining author Stephen King had originally included in the novel before cutting it out pre-publication. It was later serialized in Whispers magazine as Before the Play, and you can read it here.

The story will focus on Bob T. Watson, the original owner of the Overlook. Per Variety, "A robber baron at the turn of the 20th century, Watson scaled the remote peaks of the Colorado Rockies to build the grandest resort in America, and a place he and his family would also call home." I wonder if Ralph Fiennes will be hired on as a concierge.

It’s unclear whether Watson will be the source of the madness, or if the madness will be happening to him, but I guess we won’t be seeing any twin girls or anything. Still, we’re really hoping this prequel delivers an equally horrifying bathroom scene. His films don’t necessarily make Romanek the obvious choice for such a high-profile horror – 1985’s Static and 2010’s Never Let Me Go are about as far away from spooky as can be – but he has directed some of the more iconic and creepy music videos of the last 25 years, including Nine Inch Nails’ "Closer" and "The Perfect Drug", as well as Johnny Cash’s "Hurt." The guy knows what he’s doing behind the camera, assuming he gets there.

In recent years, the director has been attached to Universal’s The Wolfman, the James Frey memoir A Million Little Pieces, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Disney’s live-action Cinderella. But he’s not a part of any of those films now, though he is developing a Boston Strangler movie. Do you guys think he’s the right choice to tackle the world of Overlook Hotel?

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.