The Eight Men Out writer/director admits he is often called on as a “screenwriter for hire” – and his resume should be swelled by projects like The Mummy and The Alamo – but he chooses not to be credited if he hasn’t put in the bulk of the work.
He explains, “I worked on The Mummy years ago when Joe Dante was going to direct it. A year after they sent me the script they were gonna use with new directors and the Writer’s Guild asked me if I should be included in the credits. I said no because it was completely different and there were 15 other names of writers on there.
“As a screenwriter sometimes you’re the first or the last and it’s pretty rare you’re just the person. In the last 10 years I’ve asked to leave my name off the credits more than I’ve asked them to put me on.
“It happened with The Alamo. I worked on it when Ron Howard was gonna be the director and, by the time it came out, there wasn’t any of my work left, so I didn’t feel like I should be in the running for credit.”