‘The Shining’ Producer Explains the Changed Ending
Stephen King has never held back his disdain for Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of his classic horror novel—particularly because of the ending.
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) February 22, 2017
@blumhouse Not this one.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 22, 2017
Well, over 35 years after the movie’s release, producer Jan Harlan gave us some insight into why Kubrick deviated from the source material so greatly.
Harlan told Entertainment Weekly that the reclusive filmmaker was “fundamentally not interested in a horror film.”
“Stanley was fundamentally not interested in a horror film,” Harlan said. “He doesn’t believe in ghosts. When the book was offered to him by Warner Bros., he said, ‘Well, alright, it might be challenging to do this, but I must have the freedom to change whatever I like.’ Stephen king was perfectly happy with that [at the time], it’s obviously a prerequisite to making a film. And Stanley certainly changed it drastically.”
Screenwriter Diane Johnson added that Kubrick found King’s ending cliché.
“The ending was changed almost entirely because Kubrick found it a cliché to just blow everything up,” Johnson said. “He thought there might be something else that would be metaphorically and visually more interesting… The talkiness [of the book] was also discussed. A lot of the script was pared down during filming, too—especially for Wendy, who had many more things to say in the script than she did in the film.”
Johnson also said: “Kubrick didn’t want it to be too gory, he thought a lot of blood was vulgar. He wanted it to be mostly psychological. Of course, there’s the image of blood coming out of the elevators, but that was more ornamental and metaphorical—it’s different than seeing people get stabbed… So there was some discussion about trying to find a way of ending it without a lot of blood.”
King gave an in-depth criticism of the classic horror film during an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2014.
“The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie ends in ice,” the Master of Horror said. “In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, ‘Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.’ And it’s misogynistic. Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag.”
Over the years, some of Kubrick’s films have been linked to numerous conspiracy theories, but none so much as The Shining, which Room 237 points out.
One of the theories posed in Rodney Ascher’s documentary is that the horror classic is an allegory for the genocide of Native Americans. Another theory insists that Kubrick had directed the footage disseminated by NASA to publicize the Apollo 11 moon landing, and that The Shining acts as his confession for the supposed con job.
More in Entertainment
Brad Pitt Dating Again After Split With Angelina Jolie
7 months after splitting with Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt confirmed he is ‘dating a bit’ and is ready to embrace another...Apr 29, 2017
Disney Movies Frozen 2 and The Lion King Get Release Dates
Here is some exciting news for all Disney fans around the world! Disney finally announced the release dates of two of...Apr 28, 2017
‘The Walking Dead’ Showrunner Says the Upcoming Season Will Be Different Than the Last
Walking Dead fans are going through some tough times. Season 7 saw the deaths of three major characters: Abraham, Glen, and...Apr 27, 2017
‘The Simpsons’ Review Trump’s First 100 Days
The Simpsons has never held back, but this Sunday’s “100 Days” episode looks dark. In the minute-and-half teaser trailer tweeted by...Apr 27, 2017
Genie Bouchard Accuses Maria Sharapova of Cheating, Stressing she Should Be Banned for Life
“ a cheater and I don’t think that a cheater in any sports should be allowed to play that sport...Apr 27, 2017
Mila Kunis Surprises Parents After Renovating Their Modest Condo
The Golden Globe award winner Mila Kunis surprised her parents by renovating their old condo unit. In a project wherein Mila...Apr 27, 2017
Kim Kardashian Got Owned By a Sensible Hater
Recently, a picture of Kim Kardashian’s backside has been circling the Internet. Although this is not something new, there is one...Apr 27, 2017
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese May Finally Team Up for New Crime Movie
Martin Scorsese’s best-known collaborators—Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro—may appear together in the iconic director’s next film, based on David Grann’s...Apr 26, 2017
Elton John Cancels Shows Due to Deadly Infection
Elton John has canceled multiple shows in Vegas and California, beginning today until May 6 after suffering from “rare and potentially...Apr 26, 2017