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Frank Darabont (born January 28, 1959 in Montbéliardmarker, Doubsmarker) is a Hungarian-American film director, screenwriter and producer. He has directed the films The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist, all based on stories by Stephen King.


Early life

Darabont was born in a refugee camp in 1959 in Montbéliardmarker, Francemarker. His parents fled Hungarymarker after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. When he was still an infant, his family moved to the United Statesmarker.


By the age of 20, Darabont became involved in filmmaking. One of his first films was a short adaptation of Stephen King's The Woman in the Room, which made the semi-finalist list for Academy Award consideration in 1983, and was shown in its entirety in the 1986 syndicated television special, Stephen King's World of Horror. The short, a Dollar Baby, led to a close association with King, who granted him the "handshake deal" rights to another one of his shorter works, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from the collection Different Seasons.

Prior to his directing career, Darabont was a successful screenwriter with work on genre films that included: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Blob, The Fly II and an unproduced sequel to Commando. Darabont made his feature length directorial debut with Buried Alive, a TV movie with a $2,000,000 budget that aired on the USA Network in 1990. Darabont followed with an extended run as writer for George Lucas's short-lived television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. He became famous, however, after making good on the deal with Stephen King by writing and directing 1994 The Shawshank Redemption for which he was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay at the 1995 Academy Awards. The film was also nominated for six other Academy Awards including Best Picture.

After a five-year hiatus, Darabont returned to the screen with the well-received The Green Mile, a film he directed, scripted and produced. Like The Shawshank Redemption, this film is also based on a Stephen King work. The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture and Darabont was nominated for his second Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay. He followed this with The Majestic two years later in 2001 to considerably less fanfare. Following lukewarm reviews from critics, the film failed at the box-office, recouping only half of its $72 million budget internationally.

Darabont is known to have doctored the scripts of the Steven Spielberg films Saving Private Ryan and Minority Report. In 2002, he penned an early draft of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and while Spielberg reportedly loved it, George Lucas rejected it.

In 2005, Cemetery Dance Publications published Darabont's novella Walpuski's Typewriter in a limited edition. The story, originally written in his early twenties, first appeared in Jessie Horsting's magazine Midnight Graffiti. His 2007 film The Mist marked his fourth adaptation of a Stephen King work, and the film received worldwide praise from many audiences, and gained a decent revenue at the box office.

Recently, director Guillermo del Toro commented that he had read a draft of Frankenstein written by Darabont that he would "kill to direct." However, in recent months Del Toro has been attached to many other projects and it looks as if his involvement in the project is unlikely. No official word has been given on the film's development. Darabont has also explained that he will be adapting King's The Long Walk into a film. No plans have been made for it yet, but Darabont explained that he would "get there eventually."

Darabont appeared in an October 26, 2008, episode of Entourage called First Class Jerk, where he propositions Vincent Chase to star in a TV show he is executive producing. He appeared in a September 12, 2009, episode where he is now the director of the film about Enzo Ferrari, who Vince is portraying.

According to the Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion series by Titan Books, Darabont - a huge fan of the re-imagined series - was slated to direct "Islanded In a Stream of Stars", the penultimate episode of the show's final season. Due to scheduling conflicts, he was unable to take the job, which fell to series star (and previous helmer) Edward James Olmos.

Darabont is currently at work on a new AMC series based on Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.


Feature films
Year Film Other notes
1983 The Woman in the Room Short Film
1987 A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Writer Only
1988 The Blob Writer Only
1989 The Fly II Writer Only
1994 The Shawshank Redemption Festival, Studio Crystal Heart Award

Hochi Film Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Humanitas Prize for Best Film

Kinema Junpo Reader's Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Film

USC Scripter Award (shared with Stephen King)

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated - Golden Globe for Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated - Director's Guild of America Best Director

Nominated - Writer's Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Writing

Heartland Film
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Writer Only
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Writing (shared with Steph Lady)
1999 The Green Mile Nominated - Academy Award for Best Picture

Nominated - Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Director

Nominated - Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay

Nominated - Director's Guild of America Award for Best Director

Nominated - OFCS Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated - Nebula Award for Best Script

Nominated - USC Scripter Award (shared with Stephen King)
2001 The Majestic
2007 The Mist Won Saturn Award (Best DVD Special Edition Release 2 disc Special Edition.)

Won Saturn Award (Best Supporting Actress Marcia Gay Harden)

Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Director

Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Horror Film

Nominated - Empire Award Best Horror

Nominated - Young Artist Award (Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actor Age Ten or Younger Nathan Gamble)
2010 Fahrenheit 451 Upcoming Film
TBA The Long Walk Upcoming Film


  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Awards
  2. The Green Mile (1999) - Awards
  3. Action Alliance Message Board - Home
  4. Lilja's Library - The World of Stephen King [1996 - 2008]
  5. [1]

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