Cranston stars as Jack Torrance from the 1980 Stanley Kubrick adaptation, wearing the exact green flannel button-down beneath a burgundy jacket. Instead of attempting to murder his wife Wendy while reciting “The Three Little Pigs,” Cranston offers her a sugar-free Mountain Dew. “Same refreshing taste as the original,” he says hauntingly, “without any of the sugar!”
“Here’s Mountain Dew Zero!” he says with his head peeking through the shattered door, as Wendy (Tracee Ellis Ross) stops screaming and says calmly, “I am thirsty.” Instead of blood, a rush of lime green liquid pours through the Overlook Hotel lobby, as Cranston apes the creepy twins and chugs Mountain Dew.
It’ll be interesting to see what Stephen King says about the commercial, considering he notoriously hated Kubrick’s adaptation of his 1977 novel. “I don’t get it,” he told Rolling Stone in 2014. “But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t. The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene.”