Dear Warner Bros.,
Hey guys! You don’t know me, but I’ve given you quite a bit of money over the years. For the most part you guys really seem to have solid heads on your shoulders, what with releasing A Clockwork Orange, THX 1138, Deliverance, Mean Streets, Caddyshack, Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, Gremlins, Full Metal Jacket, Driving Mrs. Daisy, Goodfellas, JFK, Heat, L.A. Confidential, The Matrix, The Iron Giant, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Prestige and what have you. That’s only a fraction of your impressive resume, and for three or four decades you’ve made other studios more than a little jealous. But enough sucking up, because we’ve got some real business to discuss.
I was doing my rounds on Twitter and saw rumblings of a prequel to The Shining, my personal favorite of your films and possibly my favorite film ever. I thought this might have been that Stephen King book Doctor Sleep I’d heard about, but that turned out to be a sequel, coming out in 2013. No, as you obviously know by now, Warner Brothers is in the early stages of development on a prequel to The Shining. You were very quick to emphasize that the production was in the earliest of stages, but that’s like saying you’ve begun to consider punching a baby in the face. No one is going to forgive you just because you told them ahead of time.
But let’s go back to those films I listed at the beginning. Look over them one more time. Aren’t those some great achievements? How many of those are prequels? I did a quick count and didn’t see a single one, but I’ll wait for you.
None of those are prequels. Not a one. All of those critically acclaimed movies are either self-contained or the first in a series. There wasn’t A Clockwork Purple or THX 1137. No, you’ve never really been in the business of prequels, and it’s always payed off well for you. But recently, you’ve began to change your morals, and I don’t exactly blame you. 20th Century Fox is the cool kid in school with their double whammy of X:Men First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and you really don’t want to hang out with Universal any more. But look guys, there’s got to be a better way than this.
The Shining is the creepy, drug-induced grandfather of all horror films, and you think that not only you can show what happened before that, but that we would pay money to see it. I will personally give you $20 for this movie to not happen, and I would wager that many film bloggers would do the same. I don’t want to see the man in the bear suit as a child in a bear suit, going to the hotel with his family and being abandoned. I don’t want to see a groundskeeper planting seeds behind the hotel, and when someone asks what he’s planting, there’s a zoom in to his face as he says with a smirk, “a maze.” And I don’t want the movie to end with a young man named Jack Torrance calling the hotel asking if he can be the caretaker for the winter.
[Side note: if any of these things happen in the finished product, you owe me money.]
In case this whole thing hasn’t convinced you, I’ll give you a final offer. I have listed below some horror films from the 1980s, and if you were to announce a prequel of any one of these the Internet promises not to absolutely lose its mind. I’ll even buy two tickets for each one of these just as long as you stay away from The Shining. And an apology would be nice, but it’s not necessary. So here they are:
The Hand, Eyes of a Stranger, Wolfen, Cujo, A Return to Salem’s Lot, and Dead Calm
Those are just a choice few of your 1980′s horror film library, and don’t think you can’t go back to the 70′s and 60′s if you want to remake something. Go right ahead. And if you want to ruin a movie by creating an uninteresting story that happens before it, why not use a movie that already had an uninteresting story. I’m sure you’ll find some of those in your past filmography, because, no offense, but you’ve got a lot of them.
I only scold you guys because I really love The Shining (as does pretty much everyone) and I don’t want you spending money on something that no one will go see because of seething hatred that it exists. If you drop this whole remake, we will be totally cool. I plan on seeing The Dark Knight Rises for a third time this weekend, so that’s seven more dollars you’re going to get. Please put those dollars towards something good, like those Hobbit films you really seem to enjoy making, or whatever project Christopher Nolan has in his head. Just don’t use my money to finance a film that takes something I love and rips it to shreds, burns the shreds, feeds the shreds to a dog and kicks the dog.
All the best,