Stephen King's The Shining has previously been adapted into a film and a TV event, with the material now being adapted for a stage production in the West End, as Deadline reports that Ben Stiller is in talks to star as Jack Torrance. The outlet notes that the project had been discussed since back in 2017, though the coronavirus pandemic delayed its development, with the project likely making a West End debut in 2023 before eventually making a move to Broadway. The project is set to be directed by Ivo van Hove, who recently revived West Side Story, and will be written by Tony winner Simon Stephens, though it's unclear if King will have any involvement himself.
Nicholson's Torrance is arguably one of the most famous horror-film antagonists of all time, though he comes with a complicated legacy.
Stanley Kubrick's 1980 The Shining is now regarded as a chilling masterpiece by many, though at the time of its release, neither critics nor audiences were especially impressed by the experience. Of all of the film's critics, King himself was one of the most vocally opposed to the adaptation.
"I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I've said before, it's like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it." King previously detailed to Deadline. "In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren't very favorable and I was one of those reviewers. I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn't care for it much."
Despite the legacy of Nicholson's performance, King thinks the depiction of Jack Torrance is one of the film's biggest blunders.
"I feel the same because the character of Jack Torrance has no arc in that movie. Absolutely no arc at all," he added. "When we first see Jack Nicholson, he's in the office of Mr. Ullman, the manager of the hotel, and you know, then, he's crazy as a shit house rat. All he does is get crazier. In the book, he's a guy who's struggling with his sanity and finally loses it. To me, that's a tragedy. In the movie, there's no tragedy because there's no real change. The other real difference is at the end of my book the hotel blows up, and at the end of Kubrick's movie the hotel freezes. That's a difference. But I met Kubrick and there's no question he's a terrifically smart guy. He's made some of the movies that mean a lot to me, Dr. Strangelove, for one and Paths of Glory, for another. I think he did some terrific things but, boy, he was a really insular man. In the sense that when you met him, and when you talked to him, he was able to interact in a perfectly normal way but you never felt like he was all the way there. He was inside himself."
King would go on to oversee a two-part TV adaptation of The Shining in which Stephen Weber played Jack Torrance.
Stay tuned for details on this new take on The Shining.
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