Study Guide

The Shawshank Redemption Production Studio

Production Studio

The Shawshank Redemption was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, a company that was named after a fictional Maine town that pops up in a number of stories by Stephen King, who wrote the novella on which Shawshank was based, so full circle there.

Of course, it wasn't just a coincidence. Castle Rock has produced a ton of movies based on King novels over the years. The company was founded by Rob Reiner and a few of his producer buddies, and they named it Castle Rock as a bit of an homage to the success of one of Reiner's King-inspired films, Stand By Me. Sure enough, every time we see the sun rising behind that lighthouse with the roving light, we worry that a killer clown is about to jump out and scare the stuffing out of us. Never happens though, thank goodness.

In fact, Reiner was hoping to direct the project himself, but Frank Darabont, who had bought the rights from King, was set on making this thing his baby. Right after the movie's release, though, it pretty much took a giant nose dive.

Castle Rock seemed to have a failure on its hands, but rave reviews and a cult following saved it. Probably helped that it wasn't cast with Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford, as Reiner had initially wanted. We don't think the movie really suffered from the lack of a Top Gun-Indiana Jones vibe.