How M. Night Shyamalan Helped She's All That Get Made

One of my favorite things to do is drop the most random, bizarre fact I can remember into a normal conversation during a social event. Don't worry — these facts are never NSFW, because I'm a classy lady with standards, but they're certainly weird. One of my favorite facts to use in these situations is that M. Night Shyamalan helped co-write the 1999 rom-com classic "She's All That." I make sure to specify that the film came out in 1999, because that was the same year "The Sixth Sense" came out. Need I say more?

I've gotten some pretty funny reactions to this information. As a result, I often get asked to what extent he wrote the film, and my response was that he ghost wrote the film, attributing it to R. Lee Fleming Jr. instead. Besides, that's what Shyamalan seemed to imply in an archived 2013 interview. As it turns out, however, that isn't necessarily the case. Much like the rest of his filmography, the story of Shyamalan's foray into romantic comedies has a big twist that nobody could have seen coming.

Some sort of dork outreach program

After Shyamalan claimed that he ghost-wrote "She's All That," Fleming didn't exactly take it too nicely. The Daily Dot reported that the writer, whose credits include "One Tree Hill" and "Friends," posted and deleted quite a shady post on Twitter in response to a follower sharing the interview. He seemed to imply that Shyamalan was only a ghostwriter "in his mind." Yikes! Is it possible, then, that he was just stringing us along, kind of like how Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.) strung along Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook) throughout "She's All That?"

However, much like how Zack learns his ways and realizes his treatment of Laney was wrong, the story does have a peaceful resolution. According to "She's All That" producer Jack Lechner, Fleming wrote the original screenplay that was pitched to Miramax Films, but Shyamalan did the rewrites that caused the company to greenlight it.

"[Shyamalan] did a solid rewrite," Lechner told Entertainment Weekly at the time. "He made it deeper, made the characters richer."

It should be worth noting that, according to Lechner, there wasn't anything about Fleming's original script that was too different from the final product. It sounds like the original version of "She's All That" was a bit too shallow for the esteemed producers at Miramax, something that was fixed when it underwent that fateful round of ghostwrites.

"I can see how Fleming would say it's his movie, and I can see why M. Night would say it's his movie," concluded Lechner. "They're both right."