Deadline reported the recipient of the Cannes Film Festival Award and a Peabody Award will be costarring in an indie horror film called The Forest Hills, from writer-director Scott Goldberg.
Duvall is famously known for playing the protagonist Wendy Torrance–opposite Jack Nicholson's John Daniel Edward "Jack" Torrance in The Shining.
The 1980 film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick was based on Stephen King's 1977 psychological horror novel.
Since retiring from acting in 2002, she has been relatively enjoying the better part of life away from the limelight in her home state of Texas.
The newly announced film could be just a one-off appearance for Duvall or it may be the beginning of her path back into the industry.
Nevertheless, fans are eagerly anticipating seeing her return.
The Forest Hills is described as a movie that "follows a disturbed man who is tormented by nightmarish visions, after enduring head trauma while camping in the Catskill Mountains."
It also stars Edward Furlong, Chiko Mendez, and Dee Wallace.
Duvall will play the mother "of the mentally and emotionally disturbed Rico," played by Mendez, and serve as his inner voice.
Goldberg shared his excitement about the upcoming horror film and praised Duvall's contribution to the genre.
“We are huge fans of The Shining and it’s honestly one of my favorite horror movies of all time, up there with John Carpenter’s Halloweenand George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead with the dark tones they delivered in their movies, along with perfect scores and elements that make them my personal favorites,” said Goldberg.
“Shelley contributed to The Shining being an absolute masterpiece by giving her all, and performing in a way that really showcased the fear and horror of a mother in isolation.”
Duvall started acting professionally after being discovered by director Robert Altman, who cast her in films like 1971's McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and the cult film Nashville (1977), which was her breakthrough role.
She became famous for her portrayal of Olive Oyl in the live-active feature of Popeye–also directed by Altman–in 1980, and for The Shining.
Fans embraced news of her return.
There were many negative reports of what went on behind the scenes of The Shining, many of which cited Kubrick's on-set abuse towards Duvall.
He reportedly isolated her during production and put her through exhausting and stressful shoots–like the baseball bat scene, which Duvall had performed 127 times.
Duvall's performance in The Shining landed her a Razzie Award for Worst Actress in 1980.
But after the horrible conditions she endured came to light 40 years later, Razzie's co-founders John J.B. Wilson and Maureen Murphy retracted the satirical recognition.
Earlier this year, Murphy said:
“Knowing the backstory and the way that Stanley Kubrick kind of pulverized her, I would take that back."
“We’re willing to say, ‘Yeah, maybe that shouldn’t have been nominated.’ Everybody makes mistakes. That’s being human.”
With the announcement of her return to the silver screen, people hoped she had a much better experience this time around.
When she went to Texas in 1994 to shoot the Steven Soderbergh film The Underneath, she made the decision to move there and leave public life in Los Angeles for good.
Eight years later, she retired from acting, after 32 years in the business.
After agreeing to an interview with Phil McGraw on his show in 2016, Duvall appeared on Dr. Phil.
The segment received backlash and the public accused the show of exploiting Duvall after USA Today reported that she appeared to be suffering from a mental illness.
In February 2021, a writer for the Hollywood Reporter said of Duvall:
"I only knew that it didn't feel right for McGraw's insensitive sideshow to be the final word on her legacy."
"The article noted that her memory was 'sharp and full of engrossing stories.'"
In the interview, Duvall touched on her time during The Shining and revealed how much of a toll it took on her emotionally after being told to cry virtually every day over the film's 56-week shoot.
“After a while, your body rebels," she told the media outlet.
"It says: ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry every day.’"
"And sometimes just that thought alone would make me cry. To wake up on a Monday morning, so early, and realize that you had to cry all day because it was scheduled—I would just start crying.”
When asked if Kubrick was deliberately cruel to her during production on The Shining, Duvall commented.
“He’s got that streak in him. He definitely has that. But I think mostly because people have been that way to him at some time in the past.”
Since leaving acting, she has been in a relationship with musician Dan Gilroy, and the pair has been generally keeping a private life.
But the news of her return to Hollywood is a welcome one, and fans are looking forward to seeing her back on the screen.