Screenwriting by Committee | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Screenwriting by Committee



I just wanted to state to [Jonathan Rosenbaum] that in his review for Children of Men ["Thinking Inside the Box," January 5] he dismissively suggests that the film's script is the result of "creation by committee" given the number of writers credited.

However, Cuaron has stated absolutely that only himself and Sexton wrote the movie that exists now. The other writers credited are so due to WGA arbitration rules, which I'm sure Rosenbaum knows enough of to understand.

I appreciate Rosenbaum's criticism for offering a viewpoint that elucidates truth and often points out the power and perception of how films are sold versus the reality. I think it's a slight to have it stand in good stead something that isn't true.

Name withheld

Jonathan Rosenbaum replies:

I see that Cuaron has said that no other writers besides himself, Tim Sexton, and Clive Owen deserve credit for the film. He told the Web site Cinematical, "I met with one writer who was trying to turn this into a generic action movie, and the other two I didn't even meet, didn't even know existed." But my point was that Children of Men is in some ways a generic action movie--which implies a certain amount of group-think, regardless of how many people actually worked on the script.

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