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HomeDiscoveryNo One Remembers Who Wrote Speed's Most Famous Line

No One Remembers Who Wrote Speed’s Most Famous Line

The sole credited writer and two script doctors for Speed have failed a pop quiz to answer a long-standing mystery about the movie: Who wrote the line, “Pop quiz, hot shot”? No one recalls who actually wrote the famous phrase for Dennis Hopper’s villain Howard Payne in the 1994 action flick.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 50 MPH podcast tried to get to the bottom of who actually wrote the “pop quiz” line. It’s long been believed script doctor Joss Whedon–who also directed the first two Avengers films–was responsible. In fact, even the man credited for the screenplay, Graham Yost, has always denied writing the phrase and said Whedon deserved the praise.

But Whedon said that’s not true. “That was already in,” he said. “It’s the only line people remember. But I cannot take credit for it, for it is not mine.” Apparently 50 MPH host Kris Tapley did some digging and thinks another script doctor named Paul Attanasio penned the line. But Attanasio has no recollection of adding that phrase, either.

Speed was one of the biggest movies of 1994, earning over $350 million worldwide. The action movie starred Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, and Hopper. The film also won two Oscars for sound and led to a 1997 sequel called Speed 2: Cruise Control. However, Reeves didn’t return for the follow-up.

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