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'The Shawshank Redemption' Was Almost a Very Different Movie


The year 1994 was a banner one for filmmaking. In a 12-month span, Hollywood churned out timeless classics like The Lion King, Forrest Gump, True Lies, Reality Bites, and Clerks. But no movie of that year matches the longevity and acclaim of The Shawshank Redemption

Though it had meager box office beginnings, the film has achieved classic status. It currently sits at the top of IMDb's top rated films with The Godfather (1972).

In honor of the 24th anniversary of the film, check out some more fun facts about Shawshank, including some very different early casting choices and a costly gamble that could've blown up in the director's face.

Stephen King practically gave the rights away.

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Frank Darabont, who adapted the script and directed the movie, purchased the rights to Stephen King’s novella for $1. The story is the first of four in a collection called Different Seasons

Three out of the four have been adapted for the screen, with the first being Stand By Me (1986), based on The Body. Apt Pupil, adapted from the story of the same name, came out in 1998.

Frank also adapted two more of Stephen's works: The Green Mile (1999) and The Mist (2007).