This story of a talented screenwriter and the struggle over credits in Hollywood is “an insightful behind-the-scenes look at a behind-the-scenes man” (Stephen Harrigan, screenwriter and bestselling author of The Gates of the Alamo).
Whether writing love scenes for Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun, running lines with Michael Keaton on Beetlejuice, or crafting Nietzschean dialogue for Jack Nicholson on Batman, Warren Skaaren collaborated with many powerful stars, producers, and directors. By the time of his premature death in 1990, Skaaren was one of Hollywood’s highest-paid writers, though he rarely left Austin, Texas, where he lived and worked.
Yet he had to battle for shared screenwriting credit on these films, and his struggles yield a new understanding of the secretive screen credit arbitration process—a process that has only become more intense, more litigious, and more public for screenwriters and their union, the Writers Guild of America, since Skaaren’s time. His story, told through a wealth of archival material, illuminates crucial issues of film authorship that have seldom been explored. In Rewrite Man, Alison Macor tells an engrossing story about the challenges faced by a top screenwriter at the crossroads of mixed and conflicting agendas in Hollywood.
“A careful, thoughtful account of the career of somebody essential to the creation of films many watch and enjoy, but not accorded the same adulation by fans or journalists as brand-name celebrities.” —Publishers Weekly