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Author Topic: Good Will Hunting
OrsonWelles
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Now I don't know where I first heard this rumour, but apparently the script for Good Will Hunting, written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and the one that launched them into stardom, was actually written by someone else, and they just passed it off as theirs to get a break. William Goldman (he of Princess Bride fame) is mentioned more often than anyone else. Can anyone give me a definite yes or no on this urban legend?
Posts: 17 | From: Canberra, Australia | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Well considering they won an Oscar for it, I am sure the "rightful" author would have slapped them with a lawsuit so hard that they would still be having headaches.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I'd also heard a rumor that Kevin Smith was responsible:
From the Wiki on Kevin Smith

Smith was co-executive producer for the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, assisting friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with making and marketing their film. After Damon and Affleck received Academy Awards for their screenplay, critics alleged that Smith himself was responsible for the script, a rumor which Smith vehemently denies.

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Michelle

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Well considering they won an Oscar for it, I am sure the "rightful" author would have slapped them with a lawsuit so hard that they would still be having headaches.

I thought I recalled them say "We feel like the Milli Vanilli of screenwriters" at their acceptance speech but they didn't. I must be remembering something else... did one of them say it on a TV show or did someone else say that? I'm sure I heard it.

Anyway, I think the point of the rumor isn't that they stole the script but that they were given it to use as their own, and didn't write it themselves, in which case the person who would have gotten the Oscar wouldn't have sued.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I don't think it is a Kevin Smith script. I mean the styles are similar, but still pretty different. Also, love as I do Kevin Smith, his characters are pretty one dimensional. Even if he was part of writing the script, someone else had to help develop the characters.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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faceless007
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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IIRC, William Goldman talks about that rumor somewhere in his (quite hilarious) book Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade, but for the life of me, I can't remember what he actually says, and my copy's at home.

Wait a second: Amazon.com book search rules. Basically, Goldman denies the whole thing. If you want the whole account, go to its Amazon.com page, search inside the book for "good will hunting," and go to page 332.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Did a little digging. Lots of people credit William Goldman and some even say he admitted to it in his book Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade. Here is an excerpt from the book.
quote:
Doctoring is tricky, particularly when it comes to taking credit for success (or blame for failure). Of course, what I'm best known for of late is the doctoring job I did on Good Will Hunting. If you go on the net and look up my credits, there it is, the previously uncredited work on that Oscar-winning smash.

The truth? I did not just doctor it. I wrote the whole thing from scratch...

He goes on to describe a deal he made to help the two in which they would admit he wrote it after its success (or failure?). Then Goldman was later paid off to not take credit. But with the title of the book, you should be suspicious, no? Some people read the paragraphs quoted above and say, "Aha! So Goldman did write it!" They apparently have trouble reading a few paragraphs after the revelation to find out which lie he's telling. (ETA - Spanked by faceless!)

Anyway, after reading Goldman's account, I think Affleck and Damon wrote it.

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Buzzkiller
Deck the Malls


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Personally, I never understood the fuss about that screenplay. (I mean, aside from the fact that it won an Oscar.) I always thought it was a bit immature and heavy-handed--exactly the sort of thing one would expect a very young person to write--so it exasperated me when people would rave about MattnBen as if they were prodigies or something.

Ahem. Resume topic.

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I'm with you Buzzkiller, when I saw Good Will Hunting, all I could think was, "What's all the fuss about?" I don't think it's a particularly brilliant movie, heck I don't even think it's a particularly GOOD movie. Perhaps it's just a taste thing?

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I don't think it is a Kevin Smith script. I mean the styles are similar, but still pretty different. Also, love as I do Kevin Smith, his characters are pretty one dimensional. Even if he was part of writing the script, someone else had to help develop the characters.

Oh, I don't think he wrote the script either, but I'd heard his name associated with the rumor.

I do think he's a good script writing, just that his visuals aren't that inspired -- but he knows that. I love listening to his commentaries on the DVDs where he goes to colleges, and answers questions.

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Michelle

Posts: 953 | From: Ely, Minnesota | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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