Screenwriter Says Oscar-Nominated Holdovers Was Brazenly Plagiarized

Posted March 9, 2024 by with 2 comments

The proof and evidence in this Variety exclusive about The Holdovers being plagiarized is overwhelming, so there can be no doubt that the screenwriter is telling the truth about his script—which he wrote over 10 years ago—being stolen. And Hollywood loves drama, so of course the exposé was published today, the day before the fucking Oscars, where Holdovers is up for five awards and is expected to win at least one. Read the whole article to get an idea of just how sleazy and corrupt these people are, but here’s an excerpt on what Stephenson (the original screenwriter) wrote to the WGA:

In recent weeks, after Stephenson’s exchange with Mackey went nowhere, he shot off an email on Feb. 25 to the WGA board with the subject line: “An urgent plea for help from a WGA writer in a truly extraordinary situation.” He wrote, “I can demonstrate beyond any possible doubt that the meaningful entirety of the screenplay for a film with WGA-sanctioned credits that is currently on track to win a screenwriting Oscar has been plagiarised line-by-line from a popular unproduced screenplay of mine. I can also show that the director of the offending film was sent and read my screenplay on two separate occasions prior to the offending film entering development. By ‘meaningful entirety’ I do mean literally everything- story, characters, structure, scenes, dialogue, the whole thing. Some of it is just insanely brazen: many of the most important scenes are effectively unaltered and even remain visibly identical in layout on the page.”

He continued: “I’ve been a working writer for 20 years – in my native UK before I came to the US – and so I’m very aware that people can often have surprisingly similar ideas and sometimes a few elements can be ‘borrowed’ etc. This just isn’t that situation. The two screenplays are forensically identical and riddled with unique smoking guns throughout.”


I tried to watch the first 20 or so minutes of this piece of crap last month, but it was so stupid and so corny, I had to turn it off. It’s completely contrived and plays like a bad after-school special from the 80’s, with horrific actors who were more like caricatures, not real people. So, if you’ve been thinking about watching The Holdovers before tomorrow’s Oscars, don’t even think about wasting your time. As bad as it is, no one deserves to have their work stolen. Hopefully the original screenwriter collects a fat paycheck and awful director Alexander Payne is humiliated into permanent retirement.

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