Was Good Will Hunting Originally an Action Thriller?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: “Good Will Hunting” was originally an action thriller.

When it comes to films from original screenplays, it is sometimes shocking just how different the finished film looks from what was originally envisioned in the first draft of the screenplay. The Ghostbusters were originally time travelers, E.T. was originally a killer alien, “Snakes on a Plane” was originally a serious thriller, “Die Hard With a Vengeance” was once both “Lethal Weapon 4” and an original Brandon Lee starring vehicle!

That was the case for 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” the smart and touching story about a math genius with a tortured past being forced to see a therapist and work through his many issues. Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the film ended up becoming a major hit and won its young writers (who also starred in the film) the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.


However, amazingly enough, when Damon and Affleck first wrote the film, it was an action thriller! Read on to see how it all happened…
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