The Shawshank Redemption is arguably one of those Hollywood movies that will be remembered forever. It is made so well that barely anyone can find anything wrong about it. Everything about the movie, from the casting to the acting to the dialogue to the background, was done with care and made people feel something. But did you know that things might have turned out differently if Tom Cruise instead of Tim Robbins had played the main role? Read on to find out more.

The movie came out in 1994 and was a huge hit because of how hard-hitting the story was. Tim played the role of Andy Dufresne, the main character, and Morgan Freeman played Red. Aside from them, none of the other stars were well-known, but that could have changed if the director, Frank Darabont, hadn’t been so set on it.

Many A-list actors, like Nicholas Cage, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, and Kevin Costner, were said to have been considered for the role of Dufresne. Tom Cruise was also one of the candidates, and he even did table readings. As per Vanity Fair, the actor from Mission: Impossible didn’t want to work with Frank Darabont because he was a new director. The actor didn’t want to be in the movie, but he did make a condition. He demanded actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner to vet the project closely if he were to star in it.

Tom Cruise Would've Starred in "The Shawshank Redemption" But the Director "Refused" the $3-Million Offer

This didn’t really make Darabont convinced. He wanted the whole project under his control, which would not have been possible if A-list actors like Tom Cruise were in it. Reiner is said to have offered the director a “sh*tload of dough,” exactly $3 million, to give him the rights to the movie with the Top Gun actor in the lead. But he said no, despite being short on money.

You can continue to defer your dreams in exchange for money and, you know, die without ever having done the things you set out to do,

he had once said.

Charlie Sheen, the Two and a Half Men star, also wanted to play Red, and he once said,

I’ll do this film for fucking scale.

Even a 30-minute screen test didn’t help him get the job. Morgan Freeman got the part in the end.

Tell us what you think about Tom Cruise’s decision.


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