Ben Stiller is in talks to star in Ivo van Hove’s upcoming stage adaptation of Stephen King’s horror classic “The Shining,” Variety has confirmed. The play is scheduled to open on the West End next year.
Should Stiller’s deal close, he will play the lead role of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who is hired as an off-season caretaker in a historic Colorado hotel. Jack Nicholson immortalized the character on screen in Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 1980 film “The Shining.”
“We can confirm that we are in negotiations with Ben Stiller about his starring in Ivo van Hove’s theatre production of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining,’ adapted by Simon Stephens, for the West End with dates tbc,” a spokesperson for Sonia Friedman Productions said in a statement. “Conversations are at an early stage, and as such we cannot confirm any further details at this time.”
It would not be the first foray in live theater for Stiller, who is best known for big-screen comedies like “Zoolander” and “Tropic Thunder.” He has performed on stage in the 2011 Broadway revival of John Guare’s “House of Blue Leaves” with Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Stiller made his Broadway debut in the original 1986 production.
“The Shining” is expected to begin rehearsals in the fall in time to debut in January of 2023. Producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender have said they hope the play will eventually move to Broadway. Additional casting has yet to be announced.
A spokesperson for Friedman and Callender told Variety: “We can confirm that we are in negotiations with Ben Stiller about his starring in Ivo van Hove’s theatre production of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining,’ adapted by Simon Stephens, for the West End with dates tbc. Conversations are at an early stage, and as such we cannot confirm any further details at this time.”
The stage adaptation of “The Shining” is expected to stick to King’s 1977 book rather than Kubrick’s movie, in which Shelley Duvall played Jack’s wife Wendy Torrance and Danny Lloyd played his young son Danny Torrance.
Van Hove, who recently directed an ultra-modern take on “West Side Story” on the Great White Way, assembled a creative team that includes writer Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall/ A Life”) and producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”).
Van Hove’s other stage work includes 2019’s Broadway adaptation of “Network” with Bryan Cranston as anchorman Howard Beale, as well as a 2019’s West End take on “All About Eve” starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James.