In the first 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.
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 removed 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 2/4/78, Kubrick describes the final showdown in the maze. The action had yet to be fully worked out, although he does have Jack getting trapped in the maze and freezing to death. Danny, however, does not walk backwards in his own footsteps to cunningly elude Jack. Instead, he uses an implement to systematically smash all the lights in the maze, plunging it into darkness as he follows his own tracks back out of the maze.
In a subsequent draft, Kubrick has Danny using the above mentioned toy laser gun, which is shown to have a flashlight built into it, to light his way out of the dark maze.
The second 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. Earlier 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.)