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Casting Call: Overlook Hotel

One of Kubrick's notoriously weirdest scenes includes Wendy Torrance running into a room and stumbling upon a man in a dog suit in the throes of intimacy with another man in a tuxedo. The scene isn't explained in the film, but the novel provides some clarity: the man in the dog suit is Roger—a sycophantic former lover of Derwent—whom King describes as having dressed up as a dog for the eccentric hotel owner's amusement. If Mazzara pursues a wild subplot involving Derwent and Roger's fickle love affair, we'd like to see Michael Pitt as the creepy young stunner.

Photo by Craig McDean,
Interview, August 2010


Lloyd the Bartender is only featured in a single scene in Kubrick's film, but he's one of the most intriguing characters: omniscient, sage, cool, and collected. In his scene with Jack Torrance, Lloyd wipes down glasses and serves bourbon on the rocks as Torrance begins his slow descent into insanity. Like Derwent, Lloyd the Bartender is part of an earlier generation of the Hotel's inhabitants. If the prequel explores Lloyd's past as the hotel bartender, we can see Christopher Walken as the sophisticated Lloyd.

Photo by Kurt Markus, Interview, July 1993

In Stephen King's The Shining, Delbert Grady is a former drunk and crazed caretaker who was in charge of the Overlook during the winter of 1970-1971. Grady went mad, killing his two daughters—twins in Kubrick's version and two years apart in King's—his wife, and himself. In Kubrick's The Shining, Grady is a possible early incarnation of main character Jack Torrance and coaxes him to "correct" his wife and son. The reason for Grady's own unraveling is unclear. Depicting the events of the Grady murders would be an easy plot for Mazzara to grab.

Taking on Grady would be tough: Jack Nicholson's performance as the equally demented Torrance is still lauded as one of the best in American film. In Kubrick's version, Grady's actions are never the product of a rampage: he's calculating and deliberate—and insanely creepy—when he slides open the freezer door to release a deranged Jack Torrance. To bring on a new kind of crazy in a parallel role, we choose Tom Hiddleston. Known by most for his role as Loki in the Thor films, Hiddleston shines when playing characters with buried layers of instability.


The woman in Room 237 provokes the most questions in Kubrick's film: Nicholson's Torrance saunters up to a beautiful, naked woman in the bath and they share a kiss before she becomes a rotten, terrifying, and much older lady. There are a few theories floating around as to who the woman in Room 237 really is. In King's novel, she is Mrs. Massey, a lawyer's wife who committed suicide in the room's bathtub after her young lover abandoned her. Another theory claims that in the film, both the young and old versions of the woman in Room 237 are caretaker Delbert Grady's murdered wife. Either way, we'd like to see Helen Mirren take on the role.


Perhaps the most iconic twin sisters in film history, Delbert Grady's daughters—commonly referred to as the "Redrum" Twins—were hacked up by Grady's hatchet and haunt the halls of the Overlook in dresses and frilly socks. If Mazzara devotes part of the film to the events that took place while Grady was caretaker, we'll likely see the sisters do more than forebodingly stand with their arms to their sides at the far ends of the hotel's hallways. To play the sisters, we'd like to see some CGI action to produce two of Bailee Madison. Madison's previous credits include Guillermo del Toro's thriller Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and a critically praised role as a bitter daughter in Jim Sheridan's Brothers.


Horace "Harry" Derwent was the wealthy inventor and entrepreneur who owned the Overlook from 1945 to 1970. In King's novel, Derwent is a bisexual, eccentric playboy with mob connections, and poured millions into the hotel's post WWII restoration. We can see Paul Bettany taking up Derwent's offbeat and behavior.

Photo by Johnnie Shand Kydd, Interview, December 2003/January 2004