Writer Stephen King is apparently not a fan of Warner Bros. recently announced plans to make a Shining prequel. According to an Entertainment Weekly article, King is not sure that Warner actually owns the rights to the Shining prologue, titled "Before the Play," which was not included in the original book. Furthermore, King argues that it's been so long since The Shining that the film rights may have reverted back to him.
"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.’ So 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. And 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."
King's opinion is likely to have no effect on Warner Bros., as the company actually seems to revel in torturing creators by making unendorsed prequels out of their respected works, as evidenced by Before Watchmen and the ridiculous merchandising that seemed geared purely to taunt Watchmen creator Alan Moore. Still, it's easy to see why King would be disappointed in WB's decision to adapt the Shining prequel, which they are boldly and imaginatively calling "The Overlook Hotel."
Of course, King's readers can identify with disappointment. They've read the last two Dark Tower books, after all.
Overlook Hotel will be written by former Walking Dead show-runner Glen Mazarra, so we expect the entire mess that happens in The Shining to be revealed to be Wendy Torrance's fault, and for the movie to feature a boring and needlessly drawn out second act that lasts for six hours.
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