Hope and Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays by Frank Darabont) edited by Tyson Blue
Gauntlet Press (Fall 2020)
Signed and Limited Editions: $199.00 – $4,000.00
Reviewed by Rick Hipson
Preceding the twenty and twenty-fifth anniversaries of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile comes Hope and Miracles, a literary celebration of two of Stephen King’s most iconic cinematic adaptations (Shawshank being the highest ranking film listed on IMDB). The book provides a cornucopia of behind-the-scenes insights, retrospectives, essays and more from writer/director Frank Darabont, Stephen King, RC Matheson and several others, including an exclusive interview from the late, but always great Michael Clark Duncan. Several never before released photos from Darabont’s personal archive are also included.
Of course, at the heart of the book is the two working scripts used on the sets, warts and all. Plus, there’s a detailed list breaking down every change made during the filming of Shawshank and a thorough documentation from James Cole during his four days on set of The Green Mile help support the scripts for a full appreciation of how both films evolved into completion.
This wonderfully packed passion project is a guaranteed standout out for any collector’s bookshelf. If you’re lucky — and wealthy enough — to snag the platinum lettered edition you’ll enjoy the added benefit of ogling over the signatures of Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Stephen King, Frank Darabont, RC Matheson et al, not to mention a frigging rock pick carved from a dead tree chopped down from the very set of Shawshank.
To read it is a genuine experience that sits you firmly on the apple box next to Darabont throughout every scene and every step along the way. And, if you’re a budding screenwriter, you can’t ask for a better example of how it’s done from concept to script to improvising along the way to where it all comes together in the editing room.
As Andy Dufresne once said in The Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Thanks to this book, the magic and relevance of these two quiet psychological masterpieces, beautifully packaged in a printed time capsule, provide examples of hope amidst tragedy in a time when such things are needed today like never before.