The Stephen King Novella
No, “The Shawshank Redemption” isn’t based on a true story. The film is based on the book called “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption,” a novella published in Stephen King’s “Different Seasons” in 1982. And it wasn’t even the only story from that book that made it onto the big screen. “Apt Pupil” and “The Body” have also been adapted to film.
But that last one is much better known as the legendary 1986 movie “Stand By Me.” Yes, Stephen King knows how to write. Anyways, director and screenwriter Darabont and Stephen King first met when Darabont was just a film student who wanted to adapt the short story “The Woman in the Room” into a short film. King liked Darabont’s finished product so much that when Darabont asked him about “The Shawshank Redemption” story, King was happy to comply.