Steven Soderbergh is officially out of retirement with Logan Lucky, a new Channing Tatum-starring heist movie. But, believe it or not, the director's surprise comeback isn't the main mystery surrounding the film. Instead of asking why Soderbergh returned to the movies, fans have been wondering if Logan Lucky screenwriter Rebecca Blunt is a real person. The movie is her first credit on IMDB, and there is almost no information about her online. She has yet to do press for the film, and no one in the star-studded cast has admitted to meeting her in person. Sounds like a wacky Hollywood mystery, right? However, it turns out that questioning Blunt's existence actually might not be so ridiculous after all.
Many fans have suggested that Blunt isn't a real person, but a new pseudonym for Soderbergh. The director has a history of working on his own films under one or more pseudonyms; in Behind the Candelabra, Magic Mike, and Side Effects, he worked as an editor under the name Mary Ann Bernard. According to IMDB, the filmmaker has also written screenplays under the name Sam Lowry. A report from The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Blunt is a pseudonym not for Soderbergh, but for his wife, Jules Asner. Meanwhile, another source told THR that the writer was, indeed Soderbergh himself, and the article also included the possibility that the writer is really John Henson, a friend of Asner's. Bustle has reached out to Soderbergh's rep for comment, but hasn't heard back at this time.
The mystery of who wrote Logan Lucky has yet to be put to bed, as Blunt continues to stay in the shadows. There have been no major press conferences for the film, and Blunt has never been seen by the cast or crew. They reportedly believe that she lives in the U.K. and have corresponded with her only via e-mail.
Soderbergh responded to the report, assuring the press that Blunt is, indeed, a real person. He suggested that the reason she hadn't been seen by the press was because she was working on another project. "I happen to know that she's working on something and that she's on a deadline," the director said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "She doesn't want to do any press until after the movie opens. Isn't she allowed to do that?" Notably, he also refuted THR's claim that journalists have not received press notes that include interviews with Blunt, saying, "She's interviewed in the press kit." In a separate interview with Vanity Fair, Soderbergh volunteered a few more details about Blunt. He told the magazine that the screenwriter is a friend of his wife who worked as a journalist and grew up in West Virginia, where the film is set. Sounds convincing enough, except for the fact that Soderbergh has duped fans before.
The idea that Blunt is a pseudonym isn't all that controversial, though neither is the idea that a first time screenwriter would want to remain in the shadows. However, Soderberg'hs response to the rumors could be cause for concern. In his interview with EW, the director warned against undercutting Blunt's achievements as a female screenwriter. "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," the directer said. Soderbergh has a valid point, but only if Blunt is actually real.
Let's suppose for a moment that Blunt is a pseudonym for Asner, a former TV personality. Like Blunt, Asner has no previous screenwriting credits to her name, which would make Soderbergh's comments hold true. However, if Blunt is a pseudonym for the director himself, the comments run the risk of being extremely offensive. It's one thing if Blunt truly is a stand-in for a first time female screenwriter, but if Soderbergh is the real writer, then his chastisement of others for questioning the contribution of a fictional female writer is, frankly, pretty disgusting. Assuming Soderbergh is the real writer, his cry of sexism to throw reporters off his tracks belittles the very real challenges women face in Hollywood.
Hopefully Blunt really is a real person, and that when all is said and done she gets the credit she deserves for writing Logan Lucky.