'Fans from all over the world': Shawshank Redemption turns 30 this summer in Mansfield

Mansfield News Journal

Celebrities are expected to soon confirm whether they will be in Mansfield this summer for the 30th anniversary of The Shawshank Redemption.

Every member of the movie's cast and crew has been invited, according to Dan Smith, associate director of the Ohio State Reformatory, the iconic prison recognized worldwide as Shawshank State Penitentiary.

"Of course, we would love all the actors to be here," Smith said. "We'll start to release cast names by next week. It will be a continuing work in progress, because of scheduling — there are always conflicts they have."

The Ohio State Reformatory was made famous worldwide by the 1994 film "The Shawshank Redemption."

The Shawshank Redemption 30th anniversary celebration will take place Aug. 9-11 at the movie's 15 filming sites throughout North Central Ohio, known as the .

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Mansfield is home to the best movie ever made

Stephen King brought the story to life sometime in the 1970s with his novella "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," which was published in 1982 along with three others in the book "Different Seasons."

"Shawshank Redemption" was filmed over the summer of 1993, then released in September 1994.

The Internet Movie Database still , ahead of "The Godfather" and "The Dark Knight."

Director Frank Darabont and nearly a dozen other cast and crew returned to Mansfield in the summer of 2019 to celebrate their picture's 25th birthday.

Director Frank Darabont shares memories from the filming of "The Shawshank Redemption" in 2019 during a 25th anniversary celebration in Mansfield.

Darabont told an audience then that Castle Rock Entertainment had originally planned a very different cast and crew, which included Hollywood legends like Rob Reiner and Tom Cruise.

"It wouldn't have been this movie," Darabont said in Mansfield in 2019. "It wouldn't have been my movie."

'Something going on at all of the Shawshank Trail sites'

Those who returned to Mansfield in 2019 with their director included Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), Gil Bellows (Tommy) and Mark Rolston (Bogs Diamond).

There were also Scott Mann and Renee Blaine, who played the man and woman found having an affair at the start of the movie, as well as Claire Slemmer, a local woman who portrayed a bank teller.

Alfonso Freeman, Morgan Freeman's son, even visited Mansfield in 2019 to share how the movie helped him break into the acting community.

Dan Smith and Jodie Snavely show off a t-shirt commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Shawshank Redemption outside the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield.

As a whole, the film's 25th anniversary attracted more than 19,000 people to Richland County, according to Jodie Snavely, special projects director for Destination Mansfield.

The goal is to exceed that number of guests this year, making the 30th anniversary even more memorable than the 25th.

"We've all partnered together and there will be something going on at all of the Shawshank Trail sites," Snavely said. "Malabar Farm will have wagon rides back to Pugh Cabin, where the opening scene was filmed, and of course the wood shop in Upper Sandusky will be open."

The complete list of Shawshank events that will take place this summer is still growing.

"There will be so many great things," Snavely said. "Fans from all over the world can come and enjoy the celebration weekend."

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