Study Guide

Crash Screenwriter

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Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco

What do Scooby-Doo, Sandra Bullock, and Gary Coleman all have in common? They've all spoken words written by Paul Haggis. Remember when Sandra Bullock said, "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?" and then devoured a box of Scooby snacks? Wait. We don't, either. We must have gotten a few of his scripts confused.

Anyway, before writing Crash (2005) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), Haggis worked as a TV writer, cranking out scripts for shows like The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, and The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour. That's quite the résumé.

Maybe because a couple of his shows had one or two Black people in them, Paul Haggis found himself qualified to write a movie about race. After being carjacked in real life in 2001, Haggis started brainstorming a movie in which he would try to figure out the identities of the carjackers. "Were they best friends or had they just met that night? Did they do this a lot or was this the first time?" he asked himself. (Source)

He eventually wrote a fictionalized account of his incident, attempting to draw broader conclusions.

Haggis' writing partner, Bobby Moresco, worked with him on the show EZ Streets and later created the short-lived NBC drama The Black Donnellys (2007). Despite the title, that show was not about race.

Together, the two received an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay in 2006. Paul Haggis also directed the film, so check out our "Director" page for more.

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