We’re not gonna lie, after watching the cringe-worthy “Iliad” scene from J.Lo’s new movie “The Boy Next Door” we wept for humanity a bit. Then, like the rest of the world we wondered “How the heck did this happen? Is Hollywood really that stupid?”
In case you missed it, the awful scene shows J.Lo’s hunky love interest / psychotic neighbor giving her a “first edition” copy of Homer’s The Iliad. You know, that epic 3,000-year-old-ish poem he wrote. The one in which the oldest version, called the Venetus A, dates back to the 10th century? Yeah. The "first edition" seen in the movie is clearly not 3,000 years old.
We just couldn’t let it go (seriously, The Iliad? Pick ANY other book), so we contacted the screenwriter, Barbara Curry, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and asked her point blank: “WTF happened?”
Turns out writers aren’t that dumb. But Hollywood producers are.
“Much of my original script was rewritten by the producers and the director. I was not given the opportunity to participate in the production of this movie,” Curry told Fusion. “As for the first edition ‘Iliad’ reference in the movie, that was not something I wrote in my original script,” she says.
However, Curry says she's not trying to disparage the film or the many talented people who worked on it. "My only point is that I had a different vision as reflected in my script. Of course, I am disappointed that my vision and my script weren't followed. But we all have different opinions about music, art, film."
That said, it’s no secret Hollywood likes to rewrite scripts over and over again (Too many cooks!) — and in this case, it bit them in the ass. Curry, who holds a JD from Northwestern, added, “I am not sure why they felt a need to change my script so very much. My original script had won numerous awards … I was told by the producer who actually purchased the script that he loved it and didn't want me to change a word. Someone else obviously disagreed.”
Someone who's never read the classics, apparently.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.