(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
After all, this is a guy whose screenwriting and directing credits include some pretty ghostly films like "The Sixth Sense" — a far cry from the poppy, pretty-girl-all-along plot of "She's All That."
While Shyamalan's claim in an interview with Movies.com was sort of shocking, it did actually fall within the realm of possibility that he'd worked on the Rachael Leigh Cook-starring script. Sure, the credited screenwriter was R. Lee Fleming Jr., but every Hollywood script passes through a lot of hands before it's set in stone. And if Shyamalan, fresh off of the disastrous "After Earth," wanted to relive a box office glory ("She's All That" grossed $63 million in the U.S. on a $10 million budget), who could blame him?
Well, for starters, the guy who says he and he alone wrote the film. Fleming, who's active on Twitter as @QualityShorts, tweeted out that Shyamalan — like the premise of his Nickelodeon animated series adaptation, "The Last Airbender" — is confused and delusional.
However, that tweet, which was a reply to curious users @jxmitchell and @nicolarz, and which read: "Only in his [Shyamalan's] mind, James." (June 11, 2013) — has since been deleted. Curiouser and curiouser.
Additionally, an investigative piece done by The Daily Dot into the Shyamalan/Fleming beef also claims that Fleming has active Instagram and Facebook accounts (though searches for both turned up nothing.)
So okay, let's entertain M. Night for a second — supposing he really was the writer behind "She's All That," then who would Fleming be?
Someone who's much more likely to write "She's All That" than Shyamalan, that's for sure. Fleming worked on the 2001 comedy "Get Over It," has written for "Friends" and "One Tree Hill," and is even currently a producer for ABC Family's "The Lying Game."
The Daily Dot piece briefly entertains the notion that M. Night Shyamalan actually is R. Lee Fleming, and vice versa, but shoots down that idea as being implausible — Fleming's Internet presence, while limited, doesn't appear to be some clever self-promotional or marketing ploy.
He's a real dude as far as we — and everyone else — can tell.
Shyamalan's out-of-nowhere claim has reached a new level of bizarre and now it's even less clear who the heck wrote "She's All That!?"
Ahh, another chapter in the strange saga of Shyamalan's career has come to a close.
- Arts & Entertainment