So it turns out that M. Night Shyamalan, the same dude that brought us the 19th century psycho-thriller,The Village, may or may not have written She’s All That. If this is true, I’m suddenly a M. Night fan. She’s All That is one of those movies that I will always stop to watch if it’s on when I’m aimlessly flipping channels. Other films like this include: 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, Saving Silverman, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, etc. You know the type.
In a recent interview, M. Night laughed off his ghostwriting credit for the Rachael Leigh Cook/Freddie Prinze Jr. 1999 teenage prom-com. He also admitted to having written Stuart Little the same year as The Sixth Sense, which also kind of blows my mind.
R. Lee Fleming Jr., the credited writer for She’s All That, responded to M. Night’s recent claim on Twitter (in a tweet that has since been deleted), implying that he only ghost-wrote “in his dreams.” He then pulled the tweet-and-delete again with a choice quote from Mark Twain: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Innn-teresting.
Regardless, ghostwriting isn’t uncommon in Hollywood and most writers and artists have their hands in a ton of creative endeavors at any given time.
Like who, you ask?
Who: Aaron Sorkin – Academy and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter. Best known for: The West Wing, The American President, Moneyball, The Social Network, Newsroom.
What: The Rock and Schindler’s List – In both ’90s films (the former, a Michael Bay action-thriller and the latter, the epicly sad Steven Spielberg Holocaust drama), the famous quipster did uncredited script work, rewrites and polishing jobs.
Who: Nas – Oft-beefing Illmatic rapper, ex-husband of Kelis, “Nostradomus,” major hip-hop player. Best known for: “Hate Me Now,” “Life’s a B*tch,” “One Mic,” “Made You Look,” “If I Ruled the World,” etc.
What: Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” (sung by: Will Smith) – Nas is a pretty hard dude. “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” isn’t exactly what you’d expect from someone with serious street cred, but Nasty Nas is, in fact, responsible for co-writing the shimmy- friendly hit. Despite major critical success, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” is the only song that got Nas a Grammy.
Who: Shel Silverstein – Author, cartoonist, children’s book poet. Best known for: The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic.
What: “A Boy Named Sue” (sung by: Johnny Cash) – Shel Silverstein’s timeless children’s stories and poems were sentimental, sarcastic and hilarious all at once. As a song in the same vein, “A Boy Named Sue” was originally a poem that Silverstein wrote and later introduced to Johnny Cash and wife June Carter. It gained infamy when Cash both performed and recorded for the first time in 1969 at the infamous San Quentin State Prison concert.
Who: Joss Whedon – Screenwriter, producer, titan of the supernatural and super heroes alike. Best known for: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alien Resurrection, The Avengers, etc.
What: Speed – Joss Whedon’s got a vivid imagination. As the mind behind Buffy and the big-screen adaptation of The Avengers, an explosive-ridden bus doesn’t exactly seem (pardon the pun), quite up to speed for the Hollywood heavyweight. But similar to Sorkin, Whedon was an uncredited re-writer for several films before coming into his own — The Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock blockbuster included.
Who: Barry Manilow – Adult contemporary pop singer and songwriter, cheese-tastic Vegas headliner. Best known for: “Copacabana (At the Copa),” “Mandy,” “Looks Like We Made It,” etc.
What: “Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There” (commercial jingle) – “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there! WITH BARRY MANILOW!” Yep, it’s true. Manilow, the consummate entertainer who first got his gig on in the ’70s alongside Bette Midler and Dionne Warwicke, is responsible for the catchy little ditty that accompanies the commercials with Fairy God-Agents we all wish we had.
Who: Otis Redding – Georgia-born ’60s-era pioneer of soul, rhythm & blues. Best known for: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” “Shake,” etc.
What: “Respect” (sung by: Aretha Franklin) – Redding actually wrote and recorded the song, which started out as “a brawny march [wherein] he called for equal favor with volcanic force,” two years before Aretha made it her own in 1967. Franklin’s version went on to win her two Grammys and an induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Who: Dolly Parton – Big-boobied Tennessee queen, godmother to Miley Cyrus, one of the most successful females in country music of all time. Best known for: “9 to 5,” “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” etc.
What: “And I Will Always Love You” (sung by: Whitney Houston) – Most people assume that “I Will Always Love You,” the chart-topping ballad made famous by Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, was written by Houston herself. In actuality, Parton wrote and recorded the song, which stemmed from the end of a professional relationship, two decades prior in 1972.
Who: Paul Shaffer – Loyal bandleader, musical director and sidekick to David Letterman since 1982.
What: “It’s Raining Men” (sung by: The Weather Girls) – Shaffer’s long-been known for his quick-witted commentary, affable demeanor and musical accompaniments on the Late Show With David Letterman. But who knew he was responsible for one of the greatest gay anthems of all time? Allegedly, the straight, married bandleader originally co-wrote “It’s Raining Men” for another artist and peddled the song to Diana Ross, Donna Summer and Cher before The Weather Girls took it under their umbrella.