Ben Stiller Eyed to Play Jack Torrance in New 'The Shining' Adaptation
Ben Stiller is reportedly in talks to star in a stage play of The Shining as Jack Torrence, the role Jack Nicholson played in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel. The production would be staged in London before an eventual move to Broadway. Ivo van Hove, whose credits include West Side Story and A View from the Bridge, is set to direct.
The Shining rehearsals are set to start in the fall, with producers aiming to open in London in January 2023, according to Deadline, which first reported Stiller's casting. Van Hove will be joined by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Morning Sun), who will write the adaptation. Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, who produced Harry Potter and the Cursed Child together, are set to produce The Shining. Friedman is also working on Van Hove's upcoming production of Jean Cocteau's The Human Voice with Ruth Wilson.
The stage adaptation of The Shining has been in the works for years. Deadline first reported on the project back in 2017, while Forbes confirmed van Hove and Stephens' involvement in 2019. Like everything else in the entertainment industry, the project was put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. Now that live theater is returning. The Shining is now back on track with Stiller interested.
Stephens' script will reportedly stick closer to King's 1977 novel than Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film with Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. Although the Kubrick movie is beloved, King has never been a fan of the film, and he was more involved in the 1997 TV miniseries that stuck closer to the original material. King wrote a sequel, Doctor Sleep, in 2013 that later became the basis for Mike Flanagan's 2019 film.
Van Hove is known for his striking avant-garde stage productions. Before the pandemic, he staged an experimental reworking of West Side Story, which did not reopen when Broadway did. His other productions include the 2018 stage adaptation of Network with Bryan Cranston and the 2016 production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. In 2015, he won a Tony for directing Miller's A View from the Bridge, which marked his Broadway debut.
This would not be Stiller's first Broadway role. In 2011, he starred in a revival of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves with Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He had a supporting role in the original 1986 production of the play. Stiller has also shown interest in King's material, as he optioned the rights to adapt King's Rat novella in 2020.
Stiller recently starred in the HBO Max movie Locked Down and was spotted in Adam Sandler's Netflix movie Hubie Halloween. His other recent films include Brad's Status, The Meyerowitz Stories, and Zoolander 2. In February 2021, he signed to direct a film adaptation of Rachel Maddow's podcast Bag Man, which centers on the 1973 scandal that brought down Vice President Spiro Agnew.