Former ‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Glen Mazzara Writing ‘Shining’ Prequel

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 28th, 2013 at 10:02 am,

The Overlook Hotel Shining Prequel Glen Mazzara Former Walking Dead Showrunner Glen Mazzara Writing Shining Prequel

In 1980, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining released to tepid, if not disdainful, reviews. Stephen King  publically stated his dislike for the adaptation of his novel. And yet, The Shining gradually gained a fan and critical following that has transformed it into one of the best-regarded horror films of all time.

Kubrick’s strange creation has seen a recent resurgence in interest due to King’s sequel novel, Doctor Sleep – as well as the documentary Room 237,  a collection of film essays devoted to untangling what may or may not be the film’s labyrinthine symbolism. Perhaps wanting to capitalize on The Shining‘s current cultural cache, Warner Bros. has decided to move forward with the creation of a prequel to the original film, tentatively titled The Overlook Hotel.

Deadline reports that former The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara has been signed to craft the script for a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining. The Overlook Hotel will explore some of the horrors that led to the titular hotel eventually breaking the mind of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in the original film.

Mazzara has been a television writer and producer since the early 2000s, when he got his start on Nash Bridges. He has written scripts for The Shield, Hawthorne, and Crash. Tasked with taking over showrunner duties for The Walking Dead after Frank Darabont (coincidentally, a friend of and frequent collaborator with Stephen King) was dismissed from the show by AMC, Mazzara managed by all accounts to correct the momentum of a flagging series. He was himself asked to leave the show after creative disputes with the network and Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman.

The Shining Danny and the Twins Former Walking Dead Showrunner Glen Mazzara Writing Shining Prequel

As evidenced by his writing for The Walking Dead, Mazzara is an interesting choice to script The Overlook Hotel. He certainly has a knack for writing ghosts of the psychological variety – he penned several scenes of damaged protagonist Rick Grimes seeing and talking to those he’s lost. Does he have the chops to create a script that matches the original Shining‘s creepy, surreal intensity?

A good deal of the power of Kubrick’s The Shining comes from its sense of impenetrable mystery. Do we really need to see that pierced, dissected, and explained in a supposedly canonical film? The moviegoing public has seen what happens when prequels simply check off the backstory boxes; the Star Wars prequels still engender considerable bile due to their rote, bloodless storytelling.

Of course, good-to-excellent prequel films do exist. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was better than almost anyone expected it to be. Indeed, prequels don’t have to involve a straight telling of an original film’s backstory – one need only to look to the all-time-great The Godfather Part II to see a fantastic blend of prequel and sequel. Even with Stanley Kubrick long gone, The Overlook Hotel may defy expectations and deliver a respectful expansion on his ideas and themes. We’ll be keeping a careful eye on what Glen Mazzara ends up creating.


The Overlook Hotel is still a long way off from seeing production. Screen Rant will keep you apprised as to when the elevator doors open and more information comes pouring out.

Source: Deadline

Follow Kyle Hembree on Twitter @ProjectNightHam
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  1. THE OVERLOOK HOTEL is a pedestrian title. Maybe should start there, but actual comment resides not around the edges of a so-called prequel but what is at the heart of Kubrick’s film — the director himself.

    An aficionado of Hitchcock can forever find “hidden” meaning in every film he directed, so interest in a documentary of THE SHINING will begin and end there…with those crazy about Kubrick.

    And this, of course, makes the point about the director being the “author” of the movie. The screen writer merely provides the blueprint. Because a film is written three (3) times –first in script, then during principal photography, and finally in the editing phase– what the writer of movies provide is fundamentally a guideline.

    Stephen King’s complaint notwithstanding, Kubrick was an auteur in his filmmaking, using the novel (and its title) to convey an intense and indelible immersion into the phantasmagoric.

    Whatever the critics thought of it then…or cinephiles think of it now…THE SHINING is purely “arthouse cinema”. Warner Bros. looking for profit guarantees THE OVERLOOK HOTEL will not be.

  2. Movie will start out strong then fall apart in the second half.

  3. This strikes me as a movie that could be good if done right. An old haunted hotel CERTAINLY has more than one story! The best thing for this would be to pull a Ridley Scott and do an unrelated story that just “happens” to exist in the same universe.

    They could easliy build a movie around “The Cook”, maybe when he’s younger, just starting at the hotel, seeing things at the hotel “that people who SHINE can see”.

    Plenty of room to tell a story without the burden of backwriting the events that lead up to Jack Torrence’s arrival.

    I wouldn’t even include the twins. I’d have the Cook and the hotel as the only common threads.

    But that’s just my $0.02.

  4. he story is much more suspenseful when you don’t know everything behind what is haunting the Torrance family. The hotel itself has a very basic origin and the horrors that went on that one night stayed in the hotel for eternity. Gives you chills as it all unravels in “The Shining”, you’ll never have that effect with something like a prequel to it.

    • *The

  5. It’d be best if he followed the original story line where the hotel was the primary entity. With that premis he could show the hotel being built against protest over some native holy ground. Then show examples evil from murders and suicides that started to add to a living spirit that lingered in the hotel. Then eventually it would end up at the point of the original care taker who killed his wife and girls when the spirit got into his head. If done right it could be very interesting

  6. Glen Mazzara totally ruined The Walking Dead beyond the point of no return, so… yeah, this doesn’t sound too promising.