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X-MEN Writer Sets Record Straight Regarding Final Credit
July 14, 2000
My name is David Hayter. I am the 'mysterious' idividual who will be receiving screenplay credit on the film, 'X-Men'. I thought I might shed a little light.
My claim to the credit is not that my name was on 'the final shooting draft' of the script. It was that a significant portion of the final shooting draft was made up of my work. It is no secret that many writers were brought on in the course of this film. ALL of their drafts were submitted to the WGA for arbitration. It is not who writes last, but who writes most. I was not a 'production assistant' on the film. I worked as a writer on the film for thirteen months and, at the end of it all, out of sixty submitted drafts (this is including ALL drafts of the script--dating back to the first Andrew Kevin Walker draft) my name was on twenty-four of them.
My name is on the film because my work is in the film, and it was submitted right along with all of the other A-List writers that always come up when discussing this script. I respect all of them immensely, by the way, and had the pleasure of reading everything they wrote. The decision of the WGA is simply based on this: To receive credit for a screenplay, you must be responsible for writing a certain percentage of the screenplay. In the end, after all of the work that was done, I was the only writer able to claim that percentage. It is not a reflection of anybody's work or desire to be credited.
Finally, I would like to make it clear that I am, and always have been, a huge X-Men fan, and have made my best efforts to keep the film in line with what fans want to see--with what I wanted to see when I was the kid in the comic store. I expect to take some hits as I have not won an Academy Award, nor written greatly loved hits of the past. But if I can, I would at least like to keep the facts straight.
David HayterMr Hayter's letter was written in response to news reports questioning the reasons for his receiving sole screenplay credit on the film.