Not many movies have been as lauded and influential as The Shawshank Redemption. Pretty much everyone has seen it — if you haven’t, just channel surf your way to AMC this weekend, it’ll probably be on all day. Not only does it have one of the best screenplays in the history of film, it also has Morgan Freeman doing his thing. Enough said. Even though there’s no shortage of places to re-watch director Frank Darabont’s classic, it’s crazy to think that the film debuted 20 years ago.
The cast, including Freeman, Darabont and Tim Robbins reunited this week to celebrate that milestone anniversary and to share some little known facts about the film. According to Darabont, who adapted a Stephen King novella to bring Shawshank to life, the bromance of Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd Redding would have never happened if he hadn’t been afraid of doing another horror story:
I wanted to do The Mist. I never wanted to be compared with George Romero and David Cronenberg. I thought I’d try something off of that track, and if it worked out, I’d do The Mist later and not just be ‘the horror guy.’“
Darabont also revealed that the ending of the story was originally a bit less satisfying:
The original script ended with Red on the bus, uncertain but hopeful about the future; that’s the way the [King] story ended. But [studio executives told me], ‘After two-plus hours of hell, you might owe them that reunion.'”
I guess we should’ve offered a spoiler warning, but what the hell. One thing I will warn you about is Robbins’ gross story about his “escape” from prison. The scene is when Robbins’ character flees the prison through the sewers, crawling through miles and miles of sh*t towards freedom. The actor recalls that it wasn’t all movie magic, with plenty of actual wading through feces taking place for that particular part of the movie:
It was cow country, enough said. It wasn’t actually human shit; it was cow shit. It was pretty toxic.”
Check out the rest of the reunion here and if you haven’t seen the movie, go take some time and watch it. One of the best.
(Via The Oscars)