HBO Max's Scrapped The Shining Prequel Series Almost Went to Netflix

Earlier this week came the surprising news that J.J. Abrams is developing a U2 scripted series for Netflix, a big surprise considering his entire production company has a major deal with WarnerMedia. Hidden in the original report from The Hollywood Reporter on the series revealed some surprising news which was that Abrams and Netflix almost collaborated before on another TV series, the previously scrapped prequel spinoff of Stephen King's The Shining. According to the trade Netflix was "considered the frontrunner" to pick up the show after HBO Max passed, why they also ended up not taking it is unclear.

When it was reported that HBO Max had "opted not to proceed" with Overlook it was unclear why they didn't want to continue development, nor why Netflix didn't pick it up despite seeming like a "likely destination" at the time. As the series was in development it had been reported that the show would would feature iconic characters from the horror-thriller, and explore the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction. Dustin Thomason and Scott Brown, who previously had Stephen King experience with the Hulu anthology Castle Rock, were set to write and executive produce the show. 

The potential Overlook series was the latest attempt by WarnerMedia to capitalize on King's novel. Beyond adapting the sequel novel Doctor Sleep into a feature film, WB considered a Dick Halloran prequel as well, which was being written prior to Doctor Sleep's debut and subsequent box office bombing.

Overlook was also not the first time that a prequel to King's work was considered with a feature film titled Overlook Hotel announced in 2014, which had Tales From the Loop's Mark Romanek attached to direct with a script from The Walking Dead's Glen Mazzara. The film languished in development hell but was compared to being similar in tone to The Revenant since it would have followed the construction of the haunted hotel.

Abrams' Bad Robot does have other TV shows in the works for HBO Max including DC's Justice League Dark franchise, which reportedly has both a John Constantine and Madame Xanadu, and a 1970s crime drama called Duster. The fourth season of the Bad Robot-produced Westworld is also in production for HBO as well.