Can you imagine 'The Shawshank Redemption' starring Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford? It almost happened!
The critically acclaimed film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is one of the most famous films of the 90’s, but it was almost very different.
Frank Darabont, who directed and wrote the film, was offered $2.5 million by Rob Reiner to let him write and direct it instead. Reiner also wanted to cast the two main characters differently, with Tom Cruise as Andy and Harrison Ford as Red.
In the audio commentary of the film, Darabont said that he seriously considered the proposal as he liked Reiner’s vision a lot. In the end, however, he declined because it was his "chance to do something really great" by directing the film himself.
Although the film was originally met with limited box office success, only barely covering the film's budget, after its re-release during Oscar season, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. It also saw much better success in rentals as well as a considerable amount of television showings.
It seems as though Darabont made the right decision.