Hollywood is doing the unthinkable and making a sequel to The Shining

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

The Shining Jack Nicholson
Here's Johnny Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Image Picture Warner Bros

Is nothing sacred?

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is getting a sequel 36 years after the horror classic first scared up a storm in cinemas.

Before you light up your pitchforks and storm Shining 2 studio Warner Bros, it’s worth noting The Shining 2 is in fact based on Stephen King’s own sequel novel, Doctor Sleep.

According to industry insider site Tracking Board, Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman will write and produce the film. His involvement isn’t too surprising considering he’s spearheading The Dark Tower film based on King’s seven-book fantasy series, which recently cast Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba in the lead roles.

However, Goldsman’s back catalogue might cause King fans to break into a cold sweat. For every A Beautiful Mind, he’s written guff like Batman & Robin and The Da Vinci Code. He’s also part of the ‘Transformers writers room’, because those films needs more than one person to write about robots hitting each other.

Doctor Sleep takes place several years after Jack Torrance’s rampage through the Overlook Hotel. Torrance’s son Danny is now middle-aged and dealing with anger and alcoholism issues.

When his psychic powers re-awaken, he establishes a link with 12-year-old Abra Stone to try to vanquish a paranormal tribe led by a woman called Rose the Hat.

Doctor Sleep was originally published in 2013 and is generally viewed as a respectable if not quite landmark sequel.

The history of The Shining on screen is as violent and disturbed as the events that happen in the movie. Despite its status as a stone-cold classic, King hates the 1980 adaptation of The Shining with a passion.

King has said: “What’s basically wrong with Kubrick’s version of The Shining is that it’s a film by a man who thinks too much and feels too little. That’s why, for all its virtuoso effects, it never gets you by the throat and hangs on the way real horror should.”

In response, King wrote a 1997 TV miniseries based on his own book, but saw it panned by critics and vanish into obscurity. The small screen version cast Steven Weber as Jack Torrance in place of Jack Nicholson and Rebecca De Mornay in the Shelley Duvall role of Wendy Torrance.

Further viewing for Shining aficionados can be found in Room 237, a mind-bending documentary that explores hidden meanings and theories about Kubrick’s film.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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