Author Stephen King is well known for being outspoken, and his dislike for Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of his book The Shining is equally well known. Now the author has blasted Shelley Duvall’s character Wendy in an interview with the BBC. He stated that Wendy was “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film. She’s basically just there to scream and be stupid.” King also went on to add that he feels the film is “cold ” in its regard for the characters; he also felt that Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson’s character) should have been an ‘every-man’ character instead of an eccentric man in meltdown.
Kubrick’s unflattering portrayal of the main characters actually worked well, as it adds to the atmosphere in the film. Nicholson’s performance in particular is outstanding, and the character has become a pop culture icon. However, The Shining would have been even better if Wendy’s character had more of an impact earlier in the film; she spends most of her time wandering around with nothing to do. King clearly had different ideas about how the characters should behave, and his disdain for the film is understandable, but harsh. Film adaptations often change some elements of the source material which can sometimes be a benefit instead of a hindrance.
King was interviewed by the BBC as part of the promotional tour for his new novel Doctor Sleep which is a sequel to The Shining. The book apparently focuses on Jack and Wendy’s son Danny as an adult. There are also rumours going around about a new film that may become a prequel to the Kubrick movie (this news is rather old though, and it is unclear how reliable the information is).