Yesterday’s trailer posting for The Good Lie prompted a friend to remind me that this Imagine/Alcon/Warner Bros. release (opening on 10.3) would most likely be collecting dust at Paramount if it hadn’t been for the efforts of screenwriter Margaret Nagle. Nagle wrote the script roughly ten years ago, or in the wake of Megan Mylan and John Shenk‘s The Lost Boys of Sudan, a 2003 documentary. (Nagle’s script was allegedly referred to in development circles by the same title.) The project sat at Paramount for five years without a discernible pulse, and then Nagle took advantage of a WGA regulation that allows writers of projects that have languished in development to reclaim them after five years. Dallas Buyer’s Club screenwriter Craig Borten revived that project the same way, saving it from development tedium at Universal. Nagle eventually set Lost Boys up with the fellows at Imagine and Alcon, which gradually led to Reese Witherspoon‘s coming on board in July 2013. “Sometimes the writer matters,” my friend says. Yes and good for that, but if Nagle really did rescue the Lost Boys project from a flatline situation at Paramount and then re-launch it with Imagine and Alcon and so on, why doesn’t she have a producer credit? Doesn’t that seem like a fair thing, that she would get a producer credit? Mainstream Hollywood answer: Sorry but no. You don’t get a producer credit because you’ve been tenacious and resourceful. You get a producer credit by fighting or muscling your way into the inner production circle and then baring your fangs and claws just as fearsomely as the other guys.