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Dream Casting The Shining With More Diversity – CINEMABLEND


Now, just like the last time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining. In fact, I love The Shining! (Even though its author, Stephen King, hates it). But I also think a hypothetical remake of The Shining would be kind of rad. Especially if it had more diversity in it since diversity can make an already great story feel even more unique. And before some of you say, “What if Black Panther was replaced with white actors? Would that be okay?” Well, all I have to say is, sure, why not? That could be your list if you want it to be. (Adrian Brody as T’Challa, perhaps?) But here’s my list of what actors I would want to play in The Shining if I had a diverse cast in mind.

Nobody could replace Jack Nicholson, so I wouldn’t even bother to. Instead, I would want a quieter, more introspective Jack Torrance who might be questioning his own sanity before he even got into the hotel. And I think John Cho would be perfect for that role. John Cho can play quiet and reserved, but there can also be a lot of rage bubbling beneath the surface, as seen in the movie Searchingwhich is about a father who won’t give up hope looking for his missing daughter. It would be impossible to forget Jack Nicholson’s insane performance, so why not try a different approach? I would like a Jack who is trying to figure out if he’s going insane or not, only to submit to insanity anyway. Pretty cool.

You know who would fight back? Antebellum’s Janelle Monae. Because here’s the thing. If I were to swap roles in a remake of The Shining, I don’t want the same thing as the original but with different actors. I actually want something different as a whole. And Janelle Monae has proven in Antebellum (especially in the third act) that she won’t take crap from anybody. So I think her presence would change the whole movie. She would definitely fight back. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The youngest (and brightest) child of Louis and Jessica Huang on Fresh Off The Boat, Ian Chen, at 14 (now) is a lot older than Danny Lloyd was in The Shining, but that’s okay. Ian Chen played a precocious, somewhat know-it-all character, and I think it would actually be pretty interesting to have a teenage Danny who thinks he might actually know what’s going on, but tries to doubt it, just like his father. Along with a mother who fights back, I think it would create an interesting dynamic of a wise teenager with the shining who doesn’t know what to do with his ability, or who to trust.

Since Dick Hallorann was already played by a person of color in the original, I thought it would be interesting to gender swap the roles this time around. Instead of a black man, I want a white woman. And to fill that role, I would pick none other than Tilda Swinton. Ms. Swinton has already played a man’s role when she portrayed the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, as the character was a man in the comics. But I’m mainly thinking of Tilda Swinton’s performance in Snowpiercer when I envision her for this role. I see her as being somebody who outwardly seems crazy to Danny, but who actually reveals how sagacious and brave she is in the face of all these ghosts. I also don’t think this version would allow herself to be hit in the back with an axe. She’d already see him coming a mile away and could maybe even communicate with the ghosts. Reason with them, perhaps? Who’s to say?

The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar might seem like a terrible choice for the creepy Lloyd in the movie, but hear me out with this one. Lloyd’s quiet but firm approach in the original movie fit perfectly with the kind of hotheaded Jack Torrance he was dealing with. But I’m seeing a more cerebral Jack with John Cho, and this Jack would be the kind of person who actually needs to be eased into following his baser instincts, and I think humor would be a great way to ease him into that situation. Enter Kunal Nayyar, who can be hilarious, but also charming in his own way. I’d love to see a ghost who seems like he wants to be your friend, and will be, if you’re just willing to kill your family to become one with the hotel.

And that’s the list. I’m sure there are better choices that I could have made, but those are the ones that I came up with. But what do you think? Sound off in the comments.

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