Frank Darabont talks about the enduring popularity of his film and how he adapted Stephen King's short novella into a long movie

By Jeff Labrecque
Updated October 08, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

”I wonder where 10 years went,” Andy tells Red in The Shawshank Redemption: 10th Anniversary Special Edition. Looking back on his first feature film, director Darabont feels the same way. ranks Shawshank as the second-most-popular movie of all time, after The Godfather.

Isn’t that hilarious? I think, ”It can’t possibly be there,” but it is.

How did you get ahold of Shawshank in the first place?

I asked Steve King for the rights, and I think he had a morbid curiosity to see how the hell anybody would try to make it.

You turned his 92-page novella into a two-hour-plus film.

Yeah, I’m a long-winded bastard, ain’t I?

Yet you stay true to his story.

It goes back to trying to speak in the author’s voice. Think of me as the ventriloquist dummy on Steve’s knee. I may be saying different words but I’m trying to make it sound like him. Without a great storyteller, a director’s just a schmuck with a viewfinder.

The Shawshank Redemption

  • Movie
  • R
  • Frank Darabont