Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is widely considered to be one of the greatest psychological horror films of all time. From Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall's portrayals to the bone-chilling score by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, this 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's novel has inspired the horror genre for generations. Although contemporary critics lambasted the movie at the time, The Shining's popularity has increased exponentially since release. In fact, the film was called one of the scariest films of all time by veteran director, Martin Scorsese.
However, Kubrick's work failed to impress Stephen King. The author even bought back the rights to his novel in order to make a critically berated three-part TV adaptation of the same name in 1997. While the Mick Garris-directed film did bring back some of the elements that Kubrick had omitted due to financial constraints, this effort was widely considered to be the inferior adaptation.
We now know that Lisa and Louise Burns – the actresses who played the Grady twins in Kubrick's adaptation – happen to agree with those criticisms. They recently took a swing at Garris's adaptation, revealing their shared opinion of the three-part mini-series.
"No, it was crap. Stephen King bought the rights back and made his own movie. It was an expensive mistake for him because once his book was optioned nobody else could option his book, legally, he had to buy that option back. That was expensive for him...and what a movie he made! He never made any of the money back."
All three versions of The Shining tell the story of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, who takes a part-time job as the caretaker of the Overlook hotel in the hopes that it will help him pay his dues and give him time to finish his novel. However, this is where the subtle similarities end, as both King and Garris dive into the fantastical aspects of the hotel, while Kubrick walks the fine line between reality and fiction – thereby allowing him to scar everyone's mind with the Grady twins.
Garris didn't have the budgetary constraints that Kubrick had, and went on to make a faithful adaptation of King's novel. However, this meant leaving nothing to the audience's imagination. Nevertheless, the entertainment industry is now witnessing another Stephen King resurgence. Stangroom asked whether the sisters would be interested in yet another remake that could be part of a cinematic universe – but they shut down the idea immediately.
"Leave it as it is, don't touch. The master made it, leave it alone"
While fans adore Kubrick's unique portrayal of horror and Jack Nicholson's maniacal shenanigans, King still isn't a fan of either. But despite the author's complaints, The Shining still stands out as a classic and most fans will certainly agree that there's no need for a modern adaptation. However, as the latest Stephen King adaptations have provided several nods to Kubrick's The Shining, they may choose to focus on the novel's sequel, Doctor Sleep, and continue Danny Torrance's story in the current cinematic universe.
Would you like to see a remake of The Shining set in the Stephen King cinematic universe? Let me know in the comments.
(Source: Jamie Stangroom Youtube)