J.J Abrams is delving back into the world of Stephen King with a new series set in The Shinning's infamous Overlook Hotel. The Hollywood Reporter describes the series as "a spinoff of sorts based on the iconic hotel featured in Stephen King's 1977 novel and subsequent 1980 feature The Shining, features characters from the horror-thriller. It explores the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction."
The Overlook series has already assembled a small (remote) writers room to use the industry hiatus to get the scripts into shape. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series has been given an order of ten episodes. Under the deal with WarnerMedia, Abrams is also producing a series titled Duster, and an as-yet-untitled project set in the Justice League Dark universe.
We revisited the world of The Shining last year with Mike Flanagan's lovingly made Doctor Sleep. Ewan McGregor starred as the grown-up (and very much traumatised) Danny Torrance in the most underappreciated film of 2019. The slow-burn pace might not be to everyone's taste, but Flanagan's adaptation of King's sequel book was nothing short of stunning. If like me you were a fan, the Director's Cut on Blu-ray is well worth the time with and an additional 30 minutes of new footage.
HBO Max's Kevin Reilly issued a short statement announcing the new collaborative partnership.
"What an amazing start to our association with the wildly imaginative Bad Robot team under J.J. and Katie. What could be better than an original J.J. idea and then Warner Bros. letting them loose on iconic IP from Stephen King and the DC Universe and to provide more must-have programming on HBO Max."
Abrams has proved to be a natural choice for taking some of King's more mystery box type stories and spinning them into compelling television. The JFK assassination time-travel mini-series 11.22.63, and two seasons of the criminally underrated anthology Castle Rock. Mixing multiple elements of different King creations, the second season of Castle Rock features an outstanding performance from Lizzy Caplan as Annie Wilkes, the character Kathy Bates made famous in Misery. If you've not seen Castle Rock, you can stream it on Starz Play via Amazon Prime.