Who wrote Logan Lucky?

Speculation is rife about the identity of the screenwriter behind Steven Soderbergh’s new heist flick, but there is a long history of pseudonyms in Hollywood.

There are few real mysteries left in Hollywood, but this month, a new release has been at the heart of one. Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky is an eccentric screwball caper film, set in rural West Virginia. Featuring lashings of smalltown charm and authenticity, the screenplay manages to find the humour in its poor, oddball characters without laughing at them, and makes us delight in their haphazard heist plans and homegrown bombs.

Boasting a warm and funny screenplay that subtly manages to tackle issues of employment, education and health insurance in rural America, critics everywhere are heaping praise upon the writer – or would be, if anyone knew who it was.

Logan Lucky’s writer was credited as Rebecca Blunt – except there’s no record of such a person existing, and no cast or crew member ever met her. Before the film’s release, sources indicated that Rebecca Blunt was in fact a pseudonym, for either Soderbergh himself or his wife Jules Asner, a longtime E! network host who has never before written a screenplay.

Either option made sense; if it was Asner, using a pseudonym would protect the couple from accusations of nepotism, and allow Asner’s screenplay to be judged on its (many) merits. It may also protect Asner from cynics who have pigeonholed her as a model and TV personality; a common fate for people known for being in front of the camera. Before Stoker became a Nicole Kidman movie directed by Park Chan-wook, it was credited in Hollywood circles to Ted Foulke, the pen name used by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller. 

Had the screenwriter been revealed to be Soderbergh himself, this wouldn’t be a huge surprise either. The director famously wears many hats on his productions and often goes by other names in roles other than director. He was cinematographer Peter Andrews and editor Mary Ann Bernard on Magic Mike XXL, for instance. The Coen Brothers do something similar, using the name Roderick Jaynes when they serve as editors on their movies.

Writers have long used pseudonyms in Hollywood, most notably during the Blacklist era of the 1940s and ’50s, when many writers and filmmakers were denied work if it was suspected that they had communist ties or sympathies. And of course, there’s the infamous Alan Smithee, the official pseudonym used by directors who wish to disown a project. But in recent years, the practice has become rare. Oscar winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) is one of the few exceptions. He uses the name Michael deBruyn on rewrite jobs, as he did with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

According to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) website, a writer must use their own name in all writing credits, unless they have already established a pseudonym or registered one at the guild office before commencement of employment on a writing assignment.

The WGA declined to comment on the Logan Lucky case, while Soderbergh has objected to the idea that his screenwriter doesn’t exist. The director told EW, “When people make a statement like that they should be very careful, especially when it’s a woman screenwriter who is having her first screenplay produced.”

However, it was finally revealed this week that Asner was indeed the screenplay’s author – though Soderbergh is still playing coy, saying, “Well, that’s going to be news to Rebecca Blunt.”

I now can’t wait for Soderbergh’s meta film about the couple pulling off this elaborate identity cover-up – if it’s anything like Logan Lucky, it’ll be a ton of fun. 

 

Related Articles

Film Review: Delinquent Season

Mark O'Rawe's directorial debut is promising but overly theatrical.

Read More

Irish fashion: Deirdre Duffy and Wild Cocoon

Mayo designer Deirdre Duffy wants to give a hug to those who need it with her beautiful handwoven pieces.

Read More

Moe Dunford: On how Michael Inside became one of the best Irish films in a generation

Irish star Moe Dunford’s latest film, Michael Inside, is a powerful exploration of the failings of the Irish prison system.

Read More

Film Review: Love, Simon

Endearing and accessible coming-of-age story is quietly groundbreaking.

Read More

Film Review: The Quiet Place

Modern silent movie is also tension-filled horror.

Read More

Film Review: Making The Grade

Irish documentary about piano students proves slightly uneven.

Read More

Film Review: Michael Inside

Roe McDermott takes a look into this devastating Irish film drama.

Read More

Fashion Check: Shiny, happy people

Lookin' rather mellow, with all these shades of yellow - this Spring's colour has been set.

Read More

For Aisling Duffy, home is where the art is

The theme of Irish identity is explored in designer Aisling Duffy's stunning new collection.

Read More

We talk to Ben Mendelsohn about his turn in Ready Player One

Having made a career out of playing memorable bad guys, Ben Mendelsohn turns in another superb performance as the villain in one of the year’s most hotly anticipated films, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.

Read More

Traumatic Brain Injuries And Boxing: The Silent Epidemic

Paddy Considine’s new film Journeyman addresses brain injuries in boxing – but why aren’t there more public conversations about this danger? Roe McDermott talks to the filmmaker about sports, solidarity, struggles and his own self-doubt.

Read More

Film Review: Mary Magdalene

Powerful feminist overtones eventually give way to traditional Christ tale.

Read More

Film Review: Journeyman

Paddy Considine and Jodie Whittaker are heartbreaking in compelling but flawed boxing drama.

Read More

EXCLUSIVE: Tomb Raider Star Walton Goggins discusses his role in the new blockbuster.

Familiar from his roles in The Shield, Django Unchained and Lincoln, the actor talks about playing Lara Croft's nemesis in the franchise reboot.

Read More

Technology in Fashion: Designer Orla Langan

Langan has been generating quite a buzz for her stylish and innovative work.

Read More

Hot Press Talks to Rachel McAdams

Best known for her roles in the likes of Mean Girls and True Detective, Rachel McAdams discusses her new comedy thriller Game Night, her admiration for co-star Sharon Horgan, and the impact of the Me Too movement.

Read More

I, Tonya: Robbie Excells in Darkly Funny Exploration of Fame

Opening in Irish Cinema today, Margot Robbie glows in this role.

Read More

Game Night: Suburban Comedy Boasts Intense Action and Sly Humour

Opens in Irish Theatres on 2 March.

Read More

Lady Bird: Saoirse Ronan Is Oscar-Worthy In Brilliant Exploration of Adolescence

The film opens in Irish theatres today and is not to be missed.

Read More

Harvey Weinstein has been forced to apologise to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence

The Hollywood mogul, who is accused of sexual assault, falsely implied in court that the actresses support him.

Read More

The Mummy actor Brendan Fraser has shared his own #MeToo story

The 90s star has shared his own experience of being groped 15 years ago and says it contributed to the derailment of his career.

Read More

Opinion: Stop Declaring That #MeToo Is A Failure Just Because You Want It To Be

Roe McDermott writes about #MeToo and the tactics of dismissal

Read More

Film Review: Black Panther

Highly anticipated superhero movie superbly combines action, empathy and intelligence.

Read More

50 Shades of Grey and the nature of erotic fiction

With the release of Fifty Shades Freed this month, Roe McDermott explores the complex history of fan fiction and erotic literature, and shows why we shouldn’t dismiss the origins of EL James’ novels.

Read More

Director Sebastian Lelio talks about his boundary-pushing new film A Fantastic Woman

Oscar-nominated director Sebastian Lelio talks about casting a trans person in his new movie, A Fantastic Woman, and what he learned about combating prejudice from growing up in Pinochet’s Chile.

Read More

Film Review: The Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro's dark fairytale is a rich and rapturous feat of imagination.

Read More

Film Opinion: A new beginning for Hollywood?

Hopes are high that Black Panther marks a long overdue shift in Hollywood’s portrayal of black characters.

Read More

Film Review: Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Promising exploration of race undone by dodgy screenplay.

Read More

Film Review: Den of Theives

Cops and robbers heist flick collapses under the weight of its cliches testosterone.

Read More

In the new Hot Press: Sebastian Lelio talks about Oscar-nominated A Fantastic Woman

Oscar-nominated director Sebastian Lelio talks about casting a trans person in his new movie, A Fantastic Woman, and what he learned about combating prejudice from growing up in Pinochet’s Chile

Read More

Repealing To The Public: How one designer is drumming up support for Repeal the 8th in Ireland

Shubhangi Karmakar’s designs have attracted attention for their supreme stylishness – while also drumming up support for Repeal The Eighth.

Read More

Daniel Day-Lewis - Five of his greatest performances

With Daniel Day-Lewis currently lighting up screens once again in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated Phantom Thread, Roe McDermott looks at five of his greatest performances.

Read More

FIlm Review: Phantom Thread

Daniel Day-Lewis' final performance is an unnerving triumph.

Read More

Hot For 2018: The 8 Must-See Films This Year

Don’t settle in for that new episode of Fair City just yet! Roe McDermott’s guide to the year in cinema has all manner of screen delights to keep you entertained for the next 12 months.

Read More

Director Saul Dibb talks about new WWI film Journey's End

Acclaimed English director Saul Dibb discusses his stunning World War 1 movie Journey’s End, and – having previously worked with the disgraced producer – also talks about the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Read More

Film Review: Coco

Exploration of Dia De Muertos becomes a kaleidoscopic adventure.

Read More

Film Review: The Post

Streep captivates in stuff-but-powerful tale of journalism's battle with the US government.

Read More

Film Review: The Commuter

Liam Neeson's train thriller gets derailed.

Read More

Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances McDormand is ferocious in Martin McDonagh's compelling but flawed film.

Read More

Does Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Live Up To The Promise?

It's a four star show, for sure – but the award-scooping Martin McDonagh movie poses interesting political questions. Meanwhile, the magnificent Frances McDormand is superb throughout…

Read More

John Oliver opens up about confronting Dustin Hoffman about sexual harassment allegations

John Oliver, comedian and host of Last Week Tonight, has spoken out about his now infamous confrontation with Dustin Hoffman.

Read More

Lorde may cancel Israel concert after facing criticism from fans

Lorde has tweeted that she is considering cancelling a planned concert in Israel after facing intense pressure from fans.

Read More

Dave Franco talks to Hot Press about the making of The Disaster Artist

Dave Franco discusses his role in new biopic The Disaster Artist, which chronicles the eccentric Tommy Wisseau’s creation of The Room – widely described as one of the worst films ever made.

Read More

Film Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Latest Star Wars instalment stalls, despite spectacular visuals.

Read More

Sex Column: On the Art of Flirting

Some have argued that in the wake of various recent international sexual harassment scandals, flirting is in danger of being done away with. Not so, says our columnist.

Read More

Fashion Fortnight: Hot Press meets talented Irish designer Ciara Silke

It’s nominative determinism a-go-go this fortnight, as brilliantly talented designer Ciara Silke discusses her uniquely stylish silk scarves.

Read More

Ezra Miller talks with Hot Press about starring in Justice League and portraying The Flash

Ezra Miller, one of the stars of DC's Justice League talks about the challenges of portraying iconic superhero The Flash.

Read More

From The Latest Issue: We Remember Simon Fitzmaurice

Roe McDermott pays tribute to the late Irish writer-director, whose courage, resilience and creativity were an enormous inspiration to many.

Read More

Film Review: Condemned to Remember

Powerful documentary highlights the impact of xenophobia and hatred.

Read More

Film Review: Breathe

Sentimental sheen deflates power of disability activist biopic.

Read More

Film Review: Murder On The Orient Express

Classic whodunnit remake lacks suspense.

Read More

Film Review: Conor McGregor: Notorious

A fairly uncritical documentary that will please McGregor's biggest fan - himself.

Read More

Film Review: Marjorie Prime

THEATRE ADAPTATION PONDERS MORTALITY, MEMORY AND TECHNOLOGY

Read More

In the new Hot Press: Actor Ezra Miller talks Justice League, ballet and elderly assassins

With the latest DC comic adaptation Justice League due to land on November 17th, Roe McDermott caught up with Ezra Miller to talk about playing The Flash and the training that went into his preparation for the role.

Read More

How Katie O'Riordan and Theo + George are bringing style to sustainability

The Irish brand Theo + George is relaunching this season.

Read More

Film Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Irish actors steal the show in this darkly funny tragi-horror.

Read More

Cillian Murphy sings the Brexit blues as he talks about new film The Party

Irish star Cillian Murphy’s latest movie, The Party, is a fascinating exploration of the current state of British politics.

Read More

Sophie Fiennes: On Grace Jones, Bloodlight and Bami, and documenting an icon

Sophie Fiennes’ new documentary about Grace Jones, Bloodlight And Bami, offers a brilliant insight into the fascinating life and career of a cultural icon.

Read More

Opinion: Where does Hollywood go post-Weinstein?

As the fallout continues from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, thoughts turn to how the harrassment of women in the film industry can be prevented in future.

Read More

Film Review: Brawl In Cell Block 99

Vince Vaughan is superb in this slow-burning grindhouse flick.

Read More

Film Review: The Death of Stalin

Pitch black humour brings the laughs in Soviet-era satire.

Read More

Film Review: Thor: Ragnarok

The latest installment in Thor franchise proves amusing, but forgettable.

Read More

Film Review: Bloodlight and Bami

A documentary about iconic singer, which offers frustratingly little context.

Read More

In the new Hot Press: Cillian Murphy discusses his latest role in Sally Potter's political allegory, The Party

In a rare media appearance, Cork-born actor Cillian Murphy - The Wind That Shakes The Barley, The Dark Knight trilogy - sat down with Roe McDermott to discuss British politics, fatherhood and his darkly humorous new project, The Party.

Read More

Checkmate: Checks and Plaids are Officially Back In for Autumn

With checks and plaids back in favour this autumn, Roe McDermott gives the lowdown on this exciting new trend.

Read More

How designer Melissa Curry created a collection of life-affirming jewellery

Designer Melissa Curry's superb new jewellery collection, Success, has bee embraced by everyone from Saoirse Ronan to Arianna Huffington.

Read More

Harvey Weinstein: It's about Misogyny and Complicity Writ Large

For far too long, there has been a conspiracy of silence about the issue of sexual and emotional abuse. Now, that has to change... By Roe McDermott.

Read More

Film Review: The Glass Castle

Woody Harrelson oozes charisma as a dysfunctional dad in this too-tidy adaptation of Jeannette Walls' 2005 memoir.

Read More

Film Review: The Mountain Between Us

Kate Winslet and Idris Elba charm their way through boring romance flick.

Read More

Film Review: Blade Runner 2049

Visually jaw-dropping and philosophically complex sci-fi sequel simply astounds.

Read More

Film Review: The Ritual

Faltering supernatural thriller has shining moments of psychological horror.

Read More

Film Review: It's Not Yet Dark

A powerful documentary about Irish filmmaker, Simon FitzMaurice's struggle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Read More

Film Review: The Party

Witting drawing room drama acts as sharp social satire.

Read More

Film Review: Home Again

Daughter of Nancy Meyers plays it too safe in directorial debut.

Read More

Film Review: Daphne

Sharply observed character study captures a generation's emotional isolation.

Read More

Film Review: Brimstone

Sadistic frontier thriller is cleverly devised by excessively bleak.

Read More

Film Review: Lego Ninjago Movie

Bright and funny instalment maintains, not elevates, the excellent Lego film franchise.

Read More

Fashion: Red Alert

Having re-emerged on the catwalks of New York and Milan, one particular colour is back with a vengeance this autumn. By Roe McDermott

Read More

Back to the Future: Interview with designer Colin Horgan

Colin Horgan’s hugely imaginative, neon-bright designs have found favour with stars such as Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga.

Read More

Work Experience: Interview with The Work director Jairus McLeary

Jairus McLeary’s new documentary, The Work, is a powerful exploration of a therapeutic programme that’s changing the lives of US prisoners.

Read More

Film Review: The Work

Raw and intimate doc about therapy in prison explores effects of toxic masculinity.

Read More

Film Review: Patti Cakes

Gritty but high-energy underdog tale about rap launches a new star.

Read More

Film Review: Mother!

Cult director astounds with apocalyptic fever-dream.

Read More

Fashion: Unstoppable X Machine

Inspired by The X Files, Caoimhe MacNeice's latest collection has been worn by screen icons like Juliette Lewis.

Read More

Fashion: Freshers' Chic

Attention students! A few simple revisions of your existing wardrobe will get you As in fashion all year.

Read More

Film Review: Wind River

Icy and insightful crime thriller explores the struggles of indigenous Americans.

Read More

Film Review: The Drummer and the Keeper

Warm film about mental health and friendship proves thought-provoking.

Read More

Student Special: The new wave of cult classic in film

We know the staple youth movies – but students have turned to a new wave of cult classics in recent years.

Read More

Film Review: Una

Fascinating but flawed thriller about the effects of sexual abuse.

Read More

Revolution in the Head: Hot Press speaks to Irish hat designer Margaret O'Connor

Margaret O’Connor’s stunning hat designs have attracted the attention of a wide range of celebrities, from Lady Gaga to Finbar Furey.

Read More

Fashion Column: Patent leather makes a comeback

Read More

Film Review: Detroit

Film about police brutality in 1967 feels exploitative instead of insightful.

Read More

What Female Action Stars Are Fighting Offscreen

For all of the action blockbusters spearhearded by women this summer, actresses in the genre are still struggling to have their work appropriately recognised.

Read More

Film Review: Final Portrait

Witty exploration of the artistic process evokes the absurd profundity of Beckett.

Read More

Film Review: Song To Song

Underwhelming effort from legendary director.

Read More
 

Advertise With Us


For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below

Advertise

Find us elsewhere