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“Completely Tormented”: How Tom Cruise Was Almost Cast In The Shawshank Redemption (& Why He Wasn’t)

Summary Tom Cruise nearly starred in The Shawshank Redemption, but chose not to due to director Frank Darabont’s lack of experience.
The film’s success is attributed to Darabont’s direction and casting of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, making it a classic.
Despite initial box office failure, The Shawshank Redemption remains highly acclaimed and inspiring without Cruise or Reiner.
Tom Cruise was nearly cast in The Shawshank Redemption, but his preferred director not being able to secure the rights to direct it made it a completely different movie. Directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption is one of the best Stephen King adaptations, and a major contributing factor to its legendary status lies in its excellent casting and masterful direction of its source material. Based on the 1982 King novel, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, The Shawshank Redemption is perhaps most notable for its engaging story, well-crafted drama, and compelling protagonists played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
Although The Shawshank Redemption bombed at the box-office, it still remains one of the most inspiring movies to date. However, things might have been completely different had A-list superstar Tom Cruise been cast in the film. Furthermore, the film would have looked and felt entirely different had Cruise been able to secure his preferred choice of director over his version of the film. However, The Shawshank Redemption did just fine without Cruise’s involvement. Nevertheless, if one director could have replaced Darabont, Cruise would have signed on, and things would have been completely different.
Related The 25 Best Quotes From The Shawshank Redemption The best Shawshank Redemption quotes offer some interesting insights into life, hope, and freedom, and these are the greatest of them all.
Tom Cruise Almost Played Andy In The Shawshank Redemption – Why He Didn’t
Cruise didn’t believe Frank Darabont was an experienced enough director to work with.
Still at the top of his game in the mid-90s, Tom Cruise nearly played Tim Robbins’ Andy Dufresne role in The Shawshank Redemption. While the 1994 adaptation of King’s work was still in development, beloved filmmaker Rob Reiner was interested in directing the film. However, Darabont was already attached to direct it, which prompted Reiner to attempt to purchase the rights to direct from a then relatively unknown Darabont for $3 million. While a new director turning down millions of dollars might seem crazy, it makes sense considering Darabont believed strongly in his own vision.
The Shawshank Redemption would go on to enjoy major critical plaudits and continues to inspire generations nearly thirty years later without Cruise or Reiner’s involvement.
As per Collider, Cruise was not interested in working with Darabont at the time due to his lack of experience as a director. Cruise’s decision is valid when one keeps in mind his star power at the time. Furthermore, considering Cruise’s successful collaboration with Reiner in 1992’s A Few Good Men, it makes even more sense why he would prefer to work with a tested and trusted director over a relative newcomer. Nevertheless, The Shawshank Redemption would go on to enjoy major critical plaudits and continues to inspire generations nearly thirty years later without Cruise or Reiner’s involvement.
The Shawshank Redemption’s Director & Casting Choices Worked Perfectly
Darabont’s direction of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman is arguably the best things about the film.
The Shawshank Redemption is perhaps best known for its ending, but Darabont’s directing of the challenging material that highlights themes of morality and forgiveness can’t be understated. Although The Shawshank Redemption was his feature-length debut as a director, Darabont’s extensive writing career and admiration for King’s work made him the perfect choice for the adaptation. Furthermore, Robbins as Andy and Freeman as Red works perfectly as their differences in age with respect to its prison setting helps get across its themes better. Although Cruise and Reiner would have made a good movie, The Shawshank Redemption is perfect as it is.
The Shawshank Redemption Where to Watch *Availability in US stream
buy Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman star in Frank Darabont’s 1994 adaptation of Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. After being sentenced to life in prison for the alleged murder of his wife, Robbins’ Andy Dufresne learns the value of hope, persistence, and true friendship as he befriends kindhearted convicts like Freeman’s “Red” Redding and uses his wits to expose the secret crimes of Bob Gunton’s cruel penitentiary warden Samuel Norton. Director Frank Darabont Release Date October 14, 1994 Studio(s) Columbia Pictures Cast William Sadler , Tim Robbins , Bob Gunton , Clancy Brown , Morgan Freeman Runtime 142 minutes
Source: Collider



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