For years there have been rumblings of there being some new cinematic version of Stephen King's The Shining. At first, a remake seemed like it was in the cards, but then came whispers that the project would actually be a prequel, meant to chronicle the horrific events that took place at the infamous Overlook Hotel before the legacy of those horrors would eventually come around to drag the Torrance family down into tragedy.
About a year ago, we finally got confirmation that The Overlook Hotel was indeed in development over at Warner Bros. as a Shining prequel, which was being written by former Walking Dead showrunner, Glen Mazzara. Now comes rumor that the project is focusing in on a director, and that it's none other than Oscar-winning Gravity director, Alfonso Cuarón.
The rumor comes from Schmoes Know, a website which has gained quick notoriety by breaking some big - if unconfirmed - rumors. The site recently floated rumors about a writer for a new Masters of the Universe movie, as well as a writer for the recently announced Power Rangers reboot - both of which could be partially true. In other words, while the report about Cuarón could be accurate, it should not be taken as a slam-dunk certainty.
Artwork by Jeff Delgado
Cuarón is sitting on top of the world right now (Gravity pun) and could have his pick of any number of projects. While WB is no doubt motivated to keep him under their tent (alongside other mega-directors like Chris Nolan), at the current time it's also being rumored that he could find work directing the studio's blockbuster Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Cuarón gained much of his Hollywood acclaim by directing the third Harry Potter film, Prisoner of Azkaban, so a return to that franchise is a definite possibility - especially if WB is willing to invest heavily in his proven talent handling the franchise.
The exact details of The Overlook Hotel script are not yet known. The film could be everything from a prequel following a specific family (like the Grady family, whose twin daughters and (racist) bartender father were featured in The Shining), or it could have the format of something like The Grudge, which was sort of a horror semi-anthology that focused on multiple dark stories set within the same cursed location. It's almost a safe bet to assume Overlook Hotel would adopt that latter narrative approach; with different stories to tell (and ergo, different cinematic experiences to explore), the project could be attractive to Cuarón, who has yet to really add horror to his expanding range of genres.
The thought of following in the footsteps of the late, great, Stanely Kubrick might also be a lure for a filmmaker like Cuarón. The Shining is a film renowned for its long tracking shots and sequences; with Cuarón firmly established as the modern master of that cinematic technique, having him direct Overlook Hotel would offer opportunity for a stylistic continuity in the films that cinephiles would not doubt get giddy over (I would be one of them).
In the end, whichever film Alfonso Cuarón chooses as his next project is going to get an instant boost in credibility; meanwhile, the film(s) he's rumored for and doesn't choose will likely be lamented for what could've been. Fantastic Beasts and Overlook Hotel would be equally intriguing choices for different reasons - and in a perfect world, the Mexican auteur would take on BOTH. (With the latter film still a ways off from production, that's certainly possible....)
We'll keep you updated on the status of Overlook Hotel as more info comes in. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them is slated to open in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016.
Source: Schmoes Know