Stephen King Never Cashed His Royalty Check for 'The Shawshank Redemption'

Stephen King's short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was adapted into a film in 1994 [...]

Stephen King's short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was adapted into a film in 1994 which many regard as one of the best movies of the decade. The Shawshank Redemption built its massive fanbase thanks in large part to its frequent broadcasts on cable networks. In a new profile in the Wall Street Journal chronicling the film's success, King admits he never even cashed the check he received for the rights to the film.

The article reveals, "Mr. King never cashed the $5,000 check [director Frank Darabont] sent him for the right to turn his story into a movie. Years after Shawshank came out, the author got the check framed and mailed it back to the director with a note inscribed: 'In case you ever need bail money. Love, Steve.'"

By the time this project came together, King already had multiple massively successful films adapted from his works, including Carrie, The Shining, and Misery. The money clearly wasn't what motivated King to grant the rights to Darabont, but likely it was the filmmaker's vision of the story that excited the author.

For more than 40 years, King's works have been the inspiration behind movies and TV series, with recent years seeing a swell in adaptations that confirm this trend isn't slowing down anytime soon. The author has previously revealed that, when it comes to adaptations of his works, he enjoys them more when they stick closely to what he chronicled in the original stories.

"I think that they're the best when they stick close to the books because, I don't know, I feel a proprietary interest in that," King revealed to the Associated Press. "I always think that some of the adaptations that don't work that well are ones where they buy the concept, the basic concept, but then say well yes but we'll do this, that and the other thing to it. So I always feel a little bit like they bought my launching pad and put their own rocket up, and sometimes the rocket explodes... The ones that I like the best are the ones where they stick close to the story and where I see changes and things that have been altered and I say to myself, 'I wish I'd thought of that.'"

Next year will likely be another big one for King, with a new incarnation of Pet Sematary hitting theaters in April and IT: Chapter Two debuting in September.

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