From the Wall Street Journal:

Writer-director Frank Darabont on set during the filming of 'The Shawshank Redemption.' 'Shawshank' was adapted from a novella, 'Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption' by Stephen King, who sold the rights to then-unknown director Mr. Darabont in the late 1980s for $5,000.

Mr. Darabont chose the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield to serve as the fictional 'Shawshank' prison, so the cast gathered there in the summer of 1993 to start filming.

Mr. Darabont cast Morgan Freeman as Red, an omniscient lifer who befriends Andy on the inside. In the book, he is a red-headed Irishman.

Studio Castle Rock Entertainment offered Mr. Darabont a 'pay-and-play' deal under which he would get a few million dollars and a guarantee to direct another movie, if he agreed to turn 'Shawshank' over to director Rob Reiner. Mr. Darabont declined.

Mr. King never cashed the $5,000 check Mr. Darabont sent him for the right to turn his story into a movie. Years after 'Shawshank' came out, the author got the check framed and mailed it back to the director with a note inscribed: 'In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve.'

Check out the rest of the pictures HERE.


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