UPDATE: John Henson replied to Business Insider with the following in regards to him rumored to have written “Logan Lucky:” “Unfortunately, I did not write ‘Logan Lucky.’ Steven, however… did write every single episode of ‘Talk Soup.'”
Steven Soderbergh has always enjoyed messing with Hollywood conventions, and this latest mischief might be his best yet.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the auteur — who enjoys using his father’s name for some of his cinematography credits (Peter Andrews), and his mother’s for editing (Mary Ann Bernard) — may have came up with a new one for the screenwriting credit for his upcoming movie, “Logan Lucky.”
The movie, which opens August 18 and marks Soderbergh’s first time directing a feature after a four-year retirement, has the name Rebecca Blunt as the screenwriting credit. This is her first credit of any kind, according to IMDb.
Honestly, each theory is as ridiculously fantastic as the next, and it becomes more plausible that a “Rebecca Blunt” doesn’t exist when you do a little digging. For a screenwriter who has written a script that caught Soderbergh’s attention, and has critics raving (the movie has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), she has no representation at all (according to IMDb Pro). Typically, buzz about the script and her talents would have already swirled around Hollywood, and she would have nabbed an agent or manager by now.
According to the THR story, Blunt never visited the set, though cast members Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig are said to have had email exchanges with her from the UK, where they believed she lives.
One source believes Asner, a former E! News host and author of a 2008 novel titled “Whacked,” penned the script. Another told the trade it’s Soderbergh himself, though it’s unclear why he would he use a pseudonym for the screenwriting credit, when he used his name for the cinematography and editor credits on “Logan Lucky.” Yet another believes it’s Henson, as he’s a friend of Asner’s and, according to THR, worked on a screenplay with Soderbergh years ago that’s similar to “Logan Lucky.”
Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Soderbergh and brought up the THR story.
“Well, that’s going to be news to Rebecca Blunt,” he said. “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.”
He went on to add: “Why are you going after her? She’s interviewed in the press kit. I happen to know that she’s working on something and that she’s on a deadline. She doesn’t want to do any press until after the movie opens. Isn’t she allowed to do that?”
So that brings us to the press kit. Yes, Blunt is mentioned and quoted in the press notes. According to the notes, Blunt is a friend of Asner, who passed the script to Soderbergh. Though the THR story references she might live in the UK, the notes say she grew up in West Virginia and now lives in New York City.
“Logan Lucky” is set around two brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, who live in West Virginia and plot to pull a heist across the line in North Carolina at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The notes also say Blunt is friends with Tatum.
“Chan’s from a small southern town, I believe he won a football scholarship to play in Florida but ended up blowing out his knee before the season started, so he became a stripper,” Blunt is quoted in the notes. “I thought of ‘Logan Lucky’ as, ‘What if Chan hadn’t become a male stripper and had gone back home?’ I ran into Chan and his partner Reid [Carolin] at a bowling alley and mentioned the the idea to them — at the time I called it ‘Hillbilly Heist’ — and Chan said, ‘That sounds great!’ I don’t know if he even remembers saying that and I never imagined all of this would really happen.”
In the press notes biography for Blunt, along with stating she was raised in Logan, West Virginia, and now lives in New York City, it also includes this gem: that in researching on the internet the explosive device the characters used in the movie to rob the speedway, she was informed her TSA PRE status was permanently revoked.
Soderbergh has admitted on numerous occassions that he has embellished certain things about his movies in the past while promoting them, so it’s possible this is all a hoax. And that’s what many will think until the real Rebecca Blunt stands up.
Business Insider contacted the movie’s distributor, Bleecker Street, but did not get an immediate response (representation for Jules Asner could not be found).