J.J. Abrams' Overlook Hotel Series Just Suffered A Major Set Back, But There's Hope For The Stephen King Shining Spin-Off

Danny Torrance in The Shining

As depicted in both Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep, The Overlook Hotel is one of horror cinema's most beloved, iconic locations – which is why it wasn't surprising in the slightest when Warner Bros. announced in spring 2020 that a new series was being developed about the haunted Rocky Mountain lodging. Unfortunately, that project has now hit a few bumps in the road. It has been revealed that the show is no longer being developed as an HBO Max original, which is how it was originally pitched... though the good news is that the idea isn't dead and is now just looking for a new home.

News of this change of plans comes to us via Deadline, which says that the show, titled Overlook, is currently being shopped around by Warner Bros. Television and that there is expectation that the mission will be successful. The series is being produced by J.J. Abrams, who has had some significant success in the last few years helping to get Stephen King adaptations made for the small screen, with titles including 11.22.63, Castle Rock, and Lisey's Story.

Dustin Thomason and Scott Brown – the former being the co-creator of Castle Rock, and the latter being a writer/producer – are the main creatives behind Overlook, and the plan for the show is for it to dive into the long, dark history of its titular location and tell the stories of the ghosts who reside inside. According to the trade, the executives at HBO Max don't take any issue with the concept, but apparently don't feel that it fits with the slate they are currently developing.

So where will Overlook eventually end up? One could imagine that anything is possible. The Stephen King brand perpetually has heat (and has since the mid-1970s), and most of the major streaming services have original adaptations at this point, including the aforementioned 11.22.63 and Castle Rock on Hulu, Lisey's Story on Apple TV+, Gerald's Game, 1922, and In The Tall Grass on Netflix, The Stand on Paramount+, and Creepshow on Shudder. Peacock has also picked up the excellent Mr. Mercedes following its run on the now-defunct network Audience, so perhaps they will want to give Overlook a try as an original series.

We'll have to wait and see how things develop from this point forward and if Overlook can stay on its feet – but the good news for all you Constant Readers out there is that even if it takes another five years for the show to get made, there are plenty of other adaptations on the way. From the Firestarter remake that started production this summer, to the new series Chapelwaite that is premiering on Epix later this month, to all of the projects in various stages of development, you can keep track of them all by scoping out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.