Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros just issued an email to the members of the Writers Branch of the Academy in an attempt to fix its mistake of sending some of them the wrong version of the script for J Edgar by Oscar-winning Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black. Instead of Black’s final shooting script, the studio sent a version given it by Malpaiso that was used in post-production and for continuity, not the final version by which the writer’s awards-season chances should be judged. (For instance, it is missing the writer’s signature descriptions of action between the dialogue). I’d heard that Black was upset by the mistake and concerned it could hurt his Oscar nomination chances. While anything having to do with J. Edgar Hoover smacks of conspiracy, I’m told that the scribe is feeling better after the studio’s fast fix and chalks it up to being an honest mistake. The wrong scripts were sent to about one-third of the writer’s branch who specifically requested a script. Here’s the missive that Warner Bros sent today:

Dear Member of the Writers Branch:

It has just come to our attention that the version of the screenplay for “J. Edgar” that was sent for your consideration was not the shooting script written by Dustin Lance Black, but rather what is known as a continuity draft. The language in this continuity draft was not written by Mr. Black and was meant as a reference tool for post-production only. Please discard it.

We are attaching Dustin Lance Black’s shooting script of “J.EDGAR” to this email and hard copies will follow shortly. We hope you enjoy it.

We apologize for any inconvenience.