Frank Darabont Ferenc was born on 28 January 1959 to Hungarian parents in the French town of Monbeliard, where his parents were seeking refuge from the Soviet response to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Now simply Frank Darabont, he is an American film producer, director and screen-writer, perhaps best known for his involvement in such films as “The Shawshank Redemption”, and TV series “The Walking Dead”, since his debut in the early ’80s.
So just how rich is Frank Darabont? Sources state that Frank’s estimated net worth is now over $15 million, accumulated from his varied career of over 40 years in the entertainment industry
Frank Darabont Net Worth $15 Million
Soon after Frank’s birth, the family moved to the United States. Darabont grew up in Los Angeles and decided to pursue a career in film-making after having seen the film “THX 1138” by George Lucas. He decided to start working on his dream career right after graduating from Hollywood High School, and so never went to college. Soon he got his first production assistant jobs on such projects as “Hell Night”, “The Seduction” and “Trancers”. He wrote and directed his first short film entitled ‘The Woman In The Room’ in 1983, and this film got him onto the semi-finalists’ list for that year’s Oscars.
Darabont’s work quickly became noticed, and he was approached by Chuck Russel, who offered him creative collaboration, and the two went on to write a number of film scripts. One of their most successful was the film “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 : Dream Warrior”. Darabont and Russel continued writing scripts until 1990, when Darabont’s directorial debut, a TV film called “Buried Alive” was released on the USA Network. However, alongside his directorial career, Darabont kept working as a screen writer, and among other projects, he wrote for the television series “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”.
Author Stephen King was impressed by Darabont’s early adaptation of one of his stories, and subsequently granted him the rights to another of his works, “The Shawshank Redemption”, which was only a moderate success at the box office, but was greatly acclaimed by critics, and for which Darabont received seven nominations at the Academy Awards in 1995, including for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Darabont’s later achievements include “The Green Mile” (1999), another Stephen King adaptation, which is the highest grossing movie of all of Stephen King’s adaptations, it which took an impressive total of $286 million at the box office worldwide. Other highly successful works of Darabont are “The Mist” (2007), a horror movie that was very well received by critics, and the first season of “The Walking Dead”, a TV series based on a comic book of the same name. The series was very popular and received many positive reviews, however, Darabont was made redundant in 2011 due to budget cuts and irreconcilable differences with the executives of the TV channel that ran the series, which Frank claimed left him millions of dollars short in payments.
Soon after parting from “The Walking Dead”, Daramont was hired to develop a new TV series, called “Mob City”. He felt very enthusiastic about the project and cast a number of his regular actors as he believed the project would be successful. However, “The Mob” only ran one season in 2013 before it was cancelled despite mostly positive critics’ reviews.
One of Darabont’s latest works is the 2014 version of Godzilla. He rewrote the screenplay for the movie, saying he wanted to picture Godzilla as a ‘terrifying force of nature’. Overall, Frank has worked on almost 30 films, and is into double figures with TV series and films too.
In his personal life, Frank is married to costume designer Karyn Wagner: they have worked together on several films
He was short listed as a director for The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016) and eventually agreed to co-write and direct the film before dropping out.
Was hired in 2004 to write the script for Mission: Impossible III (2006) after screenwriters Robert Towne and Dean Georgaris failed to deliver good enough drafts. Darabont's script would get polished by Joe Carnahan who was originally attached to direct following David Fincher's departure. Eventually, Cruise hired J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci to write the script for the project.
Currently working on adapting "The Mist," a short story by Stephen King, into a film. No studio announcement has been made as of October 2004, but if all goes on schedule, the final product should see theatrical release in the second half of 2006. (Source: Daniel Robert Epstein's interview with Frank Darabont at http://suicidegirls.com/words/Frank+Darabont/ ) [October 2004]
In Shreveport, Lousiana in the middle of Pre-production on "Stephen King's The Mist" [January 2007]
Frequently makes adaptations of stories or novels by Stephen King.
[on screenwriting and being a screenwriter] Don't get into this business if it's about trying to make a million-dollar sale. We've got plenty of assholes around trying to achieve that goal. There are more dilettantes in the game than real, committed, I'm-gonna-go-down-swinging kinda people. We need more of the latter and less of the former. We need people who care about this as an art form. Movies should count for more than an opening-weekend gross, because whatever had a huge gross this week, will they be talking about it in 50 years? Will it be [a] credit to the art form, the way we talk about Casablanca (1942)?
I'm Willy Loman wandering around with a briefcase under his arm. Truth is, most people in Hollywood are. There's tremendous bureaucracy designed to prevent you realizing your creative vision. They will try to find every reason in the world not to make your movie. It's a very interesting and perverse situation. The only person who can, with impunity, make the movie he wants to make has got to be Steven Spielberg. And I'm sure even he has a bumpy day or two. The rest of us are flailing around trying to find somebody who'll believe in what we believe in. It's tougher than ever, really, because the kinds of movies that I wish to make are not the obvious thing being shoveled out by Hollywood every day. I keep getting sent these scripts, and offers coming through to direct this and direct that. My problem is that I don't want to spend two hours watching them, much less two years making them.
[on the ending of The Mist (2007)] That's one of the reasons we shot it so quickly and cheaply, because of that ending. I wound up making it for about half the budget that I had been offered, which came with the caveat that I changed the ending, and I didn't know what another ending would have been, frankly. And I think trying to adjust it would have felt like a total sellout to me. Honestly, it's the ending I had in mind, and whether you love the ending or hate the ending, I stand by it. I think cinema is an art form, it's all expression. I thought, "Okay, let's make it for half that budget and keep that ending, so I can make the movie I set out to make". Otherwise, I'm just a hired monkey.
[on his struggles getting "Fahrenheit 451" made] Hollywood doesn't trust smart material, if you show them a really smart script. I actually had a studio head read that script and say, "Wow, that's the best and smartest script that I've read since running this studio but I can't possibly greenlight it". I asked why and he says, "How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?" And I said, "Well, let's make a good movie and I bet that will take care of itself". But that argument cut absolutely no ice. The movie was basically too smart for this person, too metaphorical, etc., etc. It's a bit of a battle you've got to fight. When you're faced with it, how do you overcome that prejudice?
Stanley Kubrick was a big inspiration. People accuse me of never using my own material. But when did Kubrick? You look at his films and they are completely unique . . . completely separate entities. Sometimes an artist rises above his source material. I'd like to think that my films are personal enough to exist without hearkening back to their respective novels.
[on The Shawshank Redemption (1994)] I really don't think you can get tired of the kind of loving reaction that people have for this movie. It seems to have become its own ambassador to the world. It does mean something to people, and that's so fantastic to me. How many people have even one thing like that in their lives? If [my] obituary is, "Frank 'Shawshank Redemption' Darabont died today at the age of"--hopefully--"110", that would be awesome. Of course, I hope people check out the other films I've made, too, and I hope they enjoy them and I hope I get to make some more that they enjoy. But, hey, if the one thing I'm remembered for is "Shawshank", why on Earth would I complain about that? Few people are remembered for anything.
The human race is fundamentally insane. If you put two of us into a room together we're soon gonna start figuring out good reasons to kill one another.
The Majestic (2001) is a movie I'm very proud of and I really love. It achieved exactly what I set out to make. And I find it very moving. It's a very sweet and quaint movie. That's always a tough sell.
If you look at a classic horror movie like The Exorcist (1973), part of what makes it so scary is that it feels so damn real. If you add a layer of too much hysterical, theatrical reality, then audiences take it less seriously. But if you play it for absolute reality, then the dread and the horror - which is why we go to horror movies in the first place - is reinforced.
[on his rejected script for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) (aka Indiana Jones 4)] Steven [Steven Spielberg] was very, very happy with the script and said it was the best draft of anything since Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). That's really high praise and gave me a real sense of accomplishment, especially when you love the material you're working on as much as I love the "Indiana Jones" films. And then you have George Lucas read it and say, "Yeah, I don't think so, I don't like it". And then he resets it to zero when Spielberg is ready to shoot it that coming year, [which] is a real kick to the nuts. You can only waste so much time and so many years of your life on experiences like that, you can only get so emotionally invested and have the rug pulled out from under you before you say, "Enough of that".
[on Stephen King from an interview in Creative Screenwriting] We have a joke now - because the first two films I directed were period prison movies - that my directing career will stall unless he writes another period prison story.
[on Quentin Tarantino from an interview in Creative Screenwriting] I find Quentin's work very interesting, because he does dabble so well in the nihilistic world, but yet, there's a real streak of humanity in his work. It's not about the nihilism, it's about people in a sense operating as honorably as they can in a nihilistic world.
[October 1994, in "Premiere" magazine] If you're going to succeed, you've got to be like one of those punch-drunk fighters in the old Warner Bros. boxing pictures: too stupid to fall down, you just keep slugging and stay on your feet.