Frank Darabont on Horror Movies and His Rejected Indy Script

Two highlights of the new MTV interview with Frank “Shawshank Redemption” Darabont, who is directing Stephen King’s The Mist:

MTV: You obviously are a great lover of the horror genre. What do you think of films like “Hostel” and “Saw”?

Darabont: The torture-porn thing is pretty distasteful. I’m just not into it. Horror unfortunately tends to go in these cycles where it puts itself back in this ghetto. I just don’t find anything amusing about people getting tortured. I wish we weren’t making these movies. I think it degrades the culture. I think it diminishes the human spirit.


Darabont: Absolutely. I spent 20 years of my career primarily being a writer for hire. I had a few bad experiences to reinforce the decision that had been forming to get the hell out. I can’t be chained to my computer anymore, not for the paycheck.

MTV: Would you say one of those bad experiences is the time you spent writing the aborted “Indiana Jones 4″ script?

Darabont: “Indy” is definitely in that category, topping the list. It showed me how badly things can go. I spent a year of very determined effort on something I was very excited about, working very closely with Steven Spielberg and coming up with a result that I and he felt was terrific. He wanted to direct it as his next movie, and then suddenly the whole thing goes down in flames because George Lucas doesn’t like the script ….

MTV: Did you ever speak to George Lucas directly?

Darabont: Yes! I told him he was crazy. I said, “You have a fantastic script. I think you’re insane, George.” You can say things like that to George, and he doesn’t even blink. He’s one of the most stubborn men I know.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Adam

    I think we can be confident that George Lucas does not know what he is doing.

  • FearScene

    I really look forward to seeing what he does with The Mist — I loved what he did with Shawshank Redemption.

    As far as the Indy script, I sure hope George Lucas knows what he’s doing. The first three Indy movies are some of my favorite movies of all time and I hope he doesn’t get stubborn and ruin the fourth and probably final entry in the series.

  • Jason

    George Lucas didn’t like the script! Ha! That’s mildly amusing.

  • Joseph

    It’s nice seeing someone speak out against George Lucas as well. I love the guy, but he just can’t seem to understand a good script.

  • Phillip

    So good to hear a voice from Hollywood speak out against the “torture-porn” (and the fact that he use THOSE WORDS!) genre. Very refreshing.

    And its not hard for me to imagine George Lucas being stubborn.