‘The Shining’ Prequel Producer Says ‘The Overlook Hotel’ Is ‘Completely Its Own Film’
If anyone can make us interested in a prequel to The Shining, it’s director Mark Romanek, who translated a successful music video career into a curious film career. Romanek has only directed two — arguably perfect — films, but the time between One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go proved to be well worth the wait. When Romanek was announced for The Overlook Hotel, it hardly mattered that he was making a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece — but according to producer James Vanderbilt, he’s technically not doing that.
While talking with Collider to promote his own directorial debut, Truth, Vanderbilt opened up about working with Romanek on The Overlook Hotel. If your initial reaction to news of a prequel to The Shining was baffled disgust, you can calm down because they are definitely not making that kind of prequel:
You want a real filmmaker like Mark doing it… Honestly I think people will really be excited about it, because it’s not like ’20 Years Before The Shining!’. I don’t want to give too much away about the story but the way [screenwriter] Glen [Mazzara] cracked it and the way Mark has sort of cracked it, it’s completely it’s own film, which I think is super smart. It’s not like, ‘When Scatman Crothers was young, he…’ it’s not that.
...Not that those familiar with Romanek’s work would expect something so overt, as the somewhat elusive director has an excellent grip on atmosphere, gorgeous composition and visceral, all-too-human and subversive storytelling. He’s also gotten some of the best performances out of some of the best actors, including Robin Williams and Keira Knightley.
Vanderbilt went on to praise Romanek’s work ethic and uncompromising vision, comparing him (rightfully) to David Fincher:
One of the things that’s amazing about [Mark] is that he’s a strong filmmaker with his own convictions, and Mark is gonna make the movie Mark is gonna make… I think there’s something wonderful about a director who says, ‘No, this is the film.’ Fincher was the same way. It’s like, ‘This is the movie I wanna make. If you don’t wanna make that movie, that’s totally cool, then we won’t make the movie.’ And now as someone who’s directed a film, that’s kinda what you want. You want the captain of the ship to be like, ‘I know what the film is, I know how to make it, let’s go do it.
It’s unclear exactly when they’ll “go do it,” as WB has yet to formally announce a production start, much less an intended release date. Romanek has famously dropped out of several notable projects over creative differences, including Disney’s live-action Cinderella — of all things. But if you’re itching to see Romanek back in action, he’s directed several episodes of Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger’s upcoming HBO series Vinyl.