Mark Romanek to direct The Shining prequel, Overlook Hotel

Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror movies of all time — and now it’s getting a prequel.

Variety reports that One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go director Mark Romanek is in talks to direct Overlook Hotel, a prequel to Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying 1977 story about a man’s descent into madness while staying at a remote hotel in the Colorado Rockies with his wife and son. The script for the film is being penned by Glen Mazzara, the former showrunner on AMC’s The Walking Dead.

While it may seem sacrilegious to add another chapter to what many regard as a cinematic masterpiece of horror, it’s worth noting that the film is based on a prologue King penned for The Shining, which was cut from the original edition of the book that was published. The prologue tells the story of the Overlook Hotel’s first owner, Bob T. Watson, who “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.”

As far as directors go, Romanek seems like an inspired choice for a project like Overlook Hotel, as anyone who’s seen 2002’s One Hour Photo and 2010’s Never Let Me Go can attest to his mastery of subtle horror and visual cues that gradually increase tension as the story progresses. He previously directed the pilot for Locke & Key, a planned television series based on the award-winning comic book series by Joe Hill (King’s son). The pilot received near-universal approval from critics and audiences after special screenings during San Diego Comic-Con, but wasn’t picked up by a network.

Romanek’s next project is Boston Strangler, starring Casey Affleck.

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