Stephen King is a legend who is famous for his many novellas. Many filmmakers have adopted his work, and he was used to it. Authors usually get a royalty check for the film, but Stephen Stephen, as an author, is not at all bothered to get the cash for his novella. It was the year 1994 when his novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption landed in theaters.
The story about ‘check’
It happened when Frank Darabont mailed Stephen a $5,000 check for using his novella. But Stephen being himself didn’t bother to encash the check. He instead framed it and sent it back to Frank with a note saying, “In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve”.
It was in 1983, Darabont and King worked together in ‘The Woman in the Room.’ Darabont successfully secured film rights for only a dollar. It was Stephen’s dollar baby plan that allowed budding directors to adapt his short stories for a low price. It was, although fortunate that Stephen loved the finished product so much that he also granted an official release on home video.
Making of Shawshank Redemption
Shawshank Redemption is one of the mesmerizing stories that Darabont found himself attracted to. According to him, it was full of emotional content. Apart from this, it has beautiful relationships, characters, and the obstacles they face and overcome. The most significant and trickiest aspect of adapting King’s story was the issue of institutionalization. It was at the release that the movie became a super hit and became Darabont’s most beloved film. During the 67th Oscars, it helped him get into the nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The success of Shawshank Redemption
It has been so many years since the release of the movie. It is evident that the film didn’t do well at the box office, but it slowly grew popular. The credit behind this success goes to Ted Turner. He was the owner of Castle Rock Entertainment for a brief period. It was Turner who started airing Shawshank Redemption on TV for many years. It was how the movie became popular amongst the viewers.
Some interesting facts about Darabont:
- After the release of The Shawshank Redemption, Darabont adapted two more Stephen’s novella. In 1999, Darabont earned his second Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for The Green Mile during 72nd Oscars. He also received his first Best Picture nomination at the award ceremony.
- In 2007, his movie The Mist was in nominations for Best Horror Film and Best Director at the 34th Saturn Awards.
- Apart from awards, he also played a ghost on the screen in 1997. It was for a TV mini-series – The Shining.
Even though Darabont’s film career was at a halt after The Mist, he found success as showrunner for The Walking Dead. Possibly, Darabont might be thinking of making yet another masterpiece from King’s work, but let’s wait and till then watch Shawshank Redemption, in case you haven’t till now.