HOLLYWOOD – Frank Darabont is due to begin filming the long-awaited sequel to the 1994 prison epic The Shawshank Redemption in early December 2013. Regularly voted the greatest movie of all time, Shawshank also holds the titles of being the most watched film of all time, the most rented film of all time, the most durable film of all time and the most punctual film of all time.
According to a recent King & Sadler poll, over one billion people have seen the film and by 2020 every cellular organism on the face of the planet will own a copy on either Blu-ray or DVD. Rumors of a follow up have been circulating since 1999 when Jan De Bont revealed at the Berlin Film festival that he was working on a script tentatively titled The Shawshank Redemption 2: Back in the Habit. “I’d like to carry the story on ten years later” said a jovial Jan.
“Red and Andy are still living in Saywatanayo when they get a letter informing them that former Prison guard Byron Hadley was mistakenly incarcerated in Shawshank and has taken the inmates hostage, vowing to blow up the prison unless Andy returns to face him in mortal combat.”
Although Castle Rock initially gave De Bont the green light, the project was abandoned after Tim Robbins told the New York Times that he would rather “die screaming” then reprise his famous role. It wasn’t until the 10th anniversary in 2005 that Morgan Freeman let slip in an interview with National Geographic that Christopher Nolan had taken over the reins. “Christopher and I got to talking on the set of Batman Begins,” said a reflective Freeman.
“He told me about his idea to introduce an element of science fiction to the story. Shawshank would still be a prison, but a metaphorical prison existing in solely in the mind of Red who has fallen into a mysterious coma. Basically Andy has to enter Red’s mind and break back into Shawshank in order to save him.”
Freeman went on to say that if Robbins was still reluctant to sign up to another installment, Nolan had discussed the possibility of replacing him with one, or perhaps several other actors.
“Obviously Chris would like Tim back but if he doesn’t bite then we’d be looking at the likes of Will Smith, Tom Sizemore and Charlie Sheen to step into his shoes. Or possibly all three as each would represent a different side of Andy’s psyche”.
Unfortunately, due to contractual obligations Nolan had to make The Dark Knight (2008) and the script never got past the planning stage but rumor has it some of the scenes in Inception (2010) were born from those Shawshank brain storming sessions. So two projects failed to materialize and all word on a sequel fell silent, so it came as quite the surprise when Frank Darabont appeared at a press conference yesterday and revealed to the audience that The Shawshank Redemption: Part II had a script, a cast and was ready to roll.
“I’m really excited” said an excited Darabont. “Tim has agreed to reprise his role and Morgan is on board so we are all itching to get on location and re-kindle the old magic” When asked about the details of the script he remained tight-lipped. “I don’t want to reveal too much, but what I can say is that if you are a fan of Fortress 2 (2000) this will be the movie for you.”
As for other cast members Darabont was a little more open “We’ve got some big names on board. C. Thomas Howell, Joan Severance, Shannon Tweed and Judd Nelson will all be joining us on set and Denzel Washington will be making a cameo appearance as Reds long lost brother, Blue.”