Kubrick’s Original Treatment For THE SHINING Reveals What Didn’t Make The Cut

Things turns out much differently in Kubrick's first draft.

Being a megafan of both Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King, it should go without saying that no small amount of my mental real estate is devoted to ephemera related to The Shining. Salacious rumors from the set, weird anecdotes about Kubrick's working relationship with King, largely useless (but mildly interesting!) factoids about the film's production design and development - I casually collect this stuff the way some people collect movie posters or coffee mugs. 

As such, you can imagine how thrilled I was when, earlier today, I stumbled across Stanley Kubrick's original treatment for The Shining over at Cinephilia & Beyond.

The treatment is embedded alongside a lengthy, rarely-seen interview with Kubrick (which you should absolutely make the time to go and read), and - believe it or not - it's the first time I've ever actually laid eyes on the thing. Sure, I've heard stories about what the treatment contained - mainly scenes from King's novel that didn't make the cut in Kubrick and Diane Johnson's final draft - but to see all 81 pages of it, laid out in easy-to-read PDF form? Shit. Maybe you've read this document before, but it was brand-new to my eyes.

And what a gift it is.

As you can see: worth reading from page one. 

For the most part, the beats are the same - Jack gets a job as the winter caretaker at the Overlook hotel, his family moves in, Dick Halloran's there to tell Danny about the Shining, hysteria and cabin fever set in before erupting into violence - but the treatment also contains a ton of scenes and details that weren't included in the final film. Some of 'em (like a flashback scene where an enraged Jack breaks the arm of one of his former students) are lifted directly from King's novel, while others (like the moment where the hotel possesses Halloran, turning him evil) are brand-new to any version of The Shining.

The changes are interesting for a number of reasons. On a very basic level, there's the simple thrill of reading through a number of sequences that were never shot (like Danny finding a bloodied pair of child's shoes buried in an Overlook sandbox); those kind of dodged bullets/missed opportunities are always fascinating to me.

On another level, it's interesting to see how faithful Kubrick's original vision for the film was: the ending is completely different from King's novel, to be sure, but many of the details along the way were preserved (for instance: the infamous Overlook scrapbook). Considering the decades-long debate over whether or not The Shining is a "good" adaptation (correct answer: it's definitely not a faithful adaptation, but it's possibly the greatest horror film ever made) that's a pretty interesting development.

Anyway, the full PDF is here, and I highly recommend that you read through it. Look it over, take some notes, and then hit the comments section below to tell us about your favorite scene that didn't make the cut. I think you'll have just as much fun reading through this thing as I did.