Speculation: The Shining for #HHN27?

Our very good friend Dr. Jimmy is back with a speculative theory over the release of the recent house codenames of ‘Charles’ (for HHN Hollywood) and ‘Checkmate’ (for HHN Orlando), which he believes could point to a Shining house on both coasts.

Take it away Doc…

Maybe ‘Charles’ and ‘Checkmate’ are the same property? In the Q&A Murdy from HHN Hollywood was asked if he would make a maze based on a Stephen King book or film. He said he would absolutely if he were allowed to – an open ended answer. He did not say ” we can’t we’re not allowed to”. The next question should have been “are you allowed to this year?”

King famously will not give the rights to his books for haunts. But what about the rights to films based on those books? How much control does he have over the films? Particularly how much control would he have over film rights he sold at the beginning of his career before he became the power he is today?

The Shining was shot by Stanley Kubrick for Warner Brothers and King has said many times he was not happy with the film. He had his “own” version made for television many years later. The rights for the film would be controlled, I believe by the Kubrick estate and Warner Bros. And they just succeeded in a difficult negotiation with Warners last year for The Exorcist – a property they had pursued for years and years. The contract allowed the maze in three separate HHN events last year. So Warners has now gotten into a comfortable place with Universal for HHN rights – could they have circumvented Stephen King entirely and got The Shining?

As someone pointed out, Murdy said he was surprised they are even doing ‘Charles’ which would point to a property long thought impossible to acquire, and the elevator scene indeed fits quite well with what he had been saying as well. So why use ‘Charles’ as the code name?

Charles is the name of the future King.

Odds are if they have gotten The Shining it will be a shared IP, how could they not use it wherever they can? I’d expect it in Hollywood, Orlando and Osaka like with The Exorcist.

So could ‘Checkmate’ be for The Shining as well?

Checkmate is what you say when you finally take the King…


So could Dr. Jimmy be right? All the pieces of the puzzle surely fit but there’s definitely pluses and negatives to this theory.

The negative:

  • King has stated for the record that he is ‘indifferent’ to haunted house attractions and is incredible protective of his work after having, in his eyes, negative experiences in his early career.
  • King has, to date, never licensed his books to any theme park attractions. Jim Hill has said that King was allegedly offered ‘considerable sums’ in the 90s to bring some of his books to life in an attraction for Islands of Adventure.

The positive:

  • JK Rowling, Steven Spielberg, Dr. Seuss’ widow and James Cameron are UBER protective of their respective brands, but that hasn’t stopped Universal and Disney from forging proactive partnerships with these IP holders (okay maybe not the last one!). So if anyone can successfully twist King’s arm into allowing a house/maze to be built, it must surely be Universal!
  • Universal does have a good relationship with Warner Bros following both The Exorcist last year and the Harry Potter expansions to both theme parks.
  • This author attended a Kubrick exhibition in London last year which gathered interested from all over the world, we saw lines of people queuing like a HHN house to get into this exhibition (the photos from this blog are all from this exhibition). So imagine the cross-section of interest from people who were not necessarily from the horror fandom.

Plus, King does have a lot to promote this year…

So there you have it, would you welcome this property to HHN27? Do you think the good doctor is onto something? Let us know in the comments!