Blockbuster writer, director, and producer J.J. Abrams (Lost; Star Trek; Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) is set to produce three shows for Warner Brothers’ upcoming streaming platform, HBO Max.
Per the Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg, these shows include a spinoff of Stephen King‘s The Shining called Overlook, an original IP called Duster, and “an untitled drama based on characters in the so-called Justice League Dark universe, details of which are being kept under wraps.”
Overlook sounds like it could be an anthology of sorts, with the Hollywood Reporter describing it as a 10-episode drama exploring “the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction.” The Overlook Hotel’s gruesome past was briefly examined in King’s original 1977 novel, and hinted at in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation, so there’s plenty of frightening material for a prequel series to delve into.
Interestingly, Warner Media had already started developing a feature film entitled Overlook Hotel in 2014, with a script by The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara, and Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) set to direct. While an adaptation of King’s Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, saw a 2019 release, Overlook Hotel never materialized. How much DNA Overlook will share with the abandoned film of a similar name remains to be seen. Hollywood Reporter’s sources also claim that the show has “opened a mini writers room to get a jump on scripts during the industry-wide production shutdown.”
Duster was conceived by Abrams, who will co-write the series alongside LaToya Morgan (The Walking Dead; Shameless). Little else is known at this time beyond the premise: “…set in the 1970s Southwest, (it) revolves around the life of a gutsy getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate who goes from awful to wildly, stupidly, dangerously awful.” That could describe a goofy comedy, a gritty crime drama, an action-adventure romp, or some combination of all three.
The third series in the announcement may be even more mysterious. While the DC comic book series Justice League Dark is mentioned numerous times throughout the announcement, we don’t know if “Justice League Dark” will literally be the title, or even if the upcoming streaming show Abrams is producing will feature a team of superheroes as the name suggests. The report name-checks “Zatanna, Deadman, Swamp Thing and John Constantine,” and the latter two have already been the subject of live-action films and television shows. Could Abrams’ show be a solo affair for one of DC’s horror-oriented heroes, or an ensemble showcase? We’ll have our fingers crossed for Detective Chimp either way.