Although it went on to become a widely celebrated film, The Shawshank Redemption was not an immediate hit upon its 1994 release. And on Tuesday’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Morgan Freeman — who played Red in the 1994 drama — explained that he thinks he knows why.
When asked by the host if he thought Shawshank would be as popular as it is, the 79-year-old actor said he knew it was a special project after reading the script. “I read the script and it was so well done, such a good script,” he told Meyers. “And I said to my agent, ‘OK, I’ll do anything in here.'”
However, Freeman also revealed that he believes the title of the movie was its biggest problem. “The original title was Stephen King’s book, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” he said. “Now, don’t choose Shawshank Redemption when you’ve got Rita Hayworth! But they said when I complained — and I did — that it won’t fit on the marquee. So what? Just put Rita Hayworth… You’ve got the one-sheet there, it’ll say the rest of it! But they chose not to, and so it took a while to catch on.”
Watch the full clip above.