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Updated January 14th, 2024 at 23:46 IST

When Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick Beefed Over The Adaptation Of 1979 Classic The Shining

In 1979, Stanley Kubrick adapted the Stephen King The Shining. While the film found resounding success, King wasn't too pleased with the adaptation.

A still from The Shining
A still from The Shining | Image:IMDb
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Hollywood direct Stephen Kubrick, who passed nearly 25 years ago, continues to be revered as one of the most pathbreaking and original filmmakers of Hollywood of all-time. The director was particularly famous for adapting literary work, and giving them a unique visual dimension. Some of his best and most known works have been adapted from novels, like Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket and The Shining. The legacy of The Shining, however, often falls under disrepute considering the views of Stephen King, the author who had penned the novel that The Shining was based on. 

The Shining BTS | Image: Instagram/Kubrick fanpage

Kubrick couldn't grasp evil of the Hotel, said Stephen King

In a very rare occurrence, Stephen King was very vocal about his displeasure with the way Kubrick adapted his gothic novel for the screen. In an interview in 1993, Stephen King said about the filmmaker and his interpretation of The Shining.  "Stanley Kubrick just couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of the Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters & made 'The Shining' (1980) into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones."

Stephen King file image | Image: Instagram/Stephen King

King is mostly concerned with invention, Kubrick had noted about the writer

However, many believe that this extreme reaction stemmed out of a personal discord between the two. Reportedly, Stephen King wrote his own screen adaptation for the film and offered it to Kubrick who refused to use it for the film. Additionally, Kubrick had even publicly acknowledged many times that he hasn’t read Stephen King’s novel.

Stanley Kubrick file image | Image: Instagram/Kubrick fanpage

In an interview right after film’s release, Kubrick had said about King, “I would say Stephen King's great ability is in plot construction. He doesn't seem to take great care in writing. I mean the writing seems he writes it once, reads it, maybe writes it again, & sends it off to the publisher. He seems mostly concerned with invention, which I think he is very clear about."

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Published January 14th, 2024 at 23:46 IST

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