Ephemera related to Stanley Kubrick's Masterpiece of Modern Horror, 'The Shining'
In an early scene with Danny and Wendy at their Denver, Colorado apartment, a toy laser pistol can be seen lying on the table. This prop is the last remnant of an early idea director Stanley Kubrick had for The Shining.
The gun can also be seen in one other sequence, when Wendy and Danny are first exploring the hedge maze. It hangs in a holster on Danny’s hip.
These pages from a recently uncovered draft of the screenplay from 1978 offer a glimpse into this abandoned idea.
The first page, dated 3/20/78, contains an unused beginning of the lunchtime scene — it was either never filmed, or trimmed during editing. Kubrick’s hand-written note reads “We see on the table alongside him his space laser gun which will always be with him”.
On the second page, dated 4/23/78, Kubrick describes the final showdown in the maze. In this version, Danny uses a mallet to systematically smash the lights in the maze, plunging it into darkness as he follows his own tracks back out. He lights his way out of the dark maze with his space gun flashlight.
The second script page also offers a glimpse into an earlier version of the ending, where Dick Hallorann is not killed by Jack, but instead shows up to save Danny and Wendy — an ending which is more closely aligned with Stephen King’s novel. Very early treatments had Wendy killing Jack with a knife, and when Hallorann shows up at the hotel, it’s revealed that he’s been called to the Overlook to do the hotel’s bidding; he’s intent on finishing the job of killing Wendy and Danny.
Interestingly, Danny is referred to as “Tony” in the screenplay for the last third of the story, after he becomes catatonic following his encounter with the woman in Room 237.
(Many thanks to David Winter for sharing this screenplay. His grandfather, Derek Winter, was a manager at Stansted Airport, which was used as the location for Dick Hallorann’s phone call to Larry Durkin. The screenplay was given to him by Kubrick so he could read the story and approve the use of the airport as a location.)
Actor Danny Lloyd on the nighttime interior Hedge Maze set of The Shining. In the background is Leon Vitali, who was both Stanley Kubrick’s personal assistant as well as Danny’s handler and coach during filming. In the mid ground is an unknown person who appears to be a body double for Danny Lloyd.
Dan Lloyd has given another interview about his time working on The Shining, this time to the New York Daily News.
In it, Lloyd addresses the longtime rumor that he hated the experience of making the film, and that it had somehow ruined his life and made him no longer want to act. In truth, he explains, he tried to continue an acting career, without success, finally giving up when he was fourteen.
He recalls eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches between takes, as well as playing with Lisa and Louise Burns, the young actresses who played the creepy Grady Twins.
He also recalls a time he stumbled onto the set when Jack Nicholson was in maniacal axe-wielding mode. When Nicholson saw young Danny, he immediately became goofy, hopping around and wielding the axe like a tomahawk.