A script doctor, also called a script consultant, is a screenwriter or playwright hired by a film, television, or theatre production to rewrite an existing script or polish specific aspects of it, including structure, characterization, dialogue, pacing, theme, and other elements.
Script doctors generally do their work uncredited, for a variety of commercial and artistic reasons. They are usually brought in for scripts that have almost been "green-lit", during the development and pre-production phases of a film, to address specific issues with the script, as identified by the financiers, production team, and cast.
Under the Writers Guild of America screenwriting credit system, a screenwriter must contribute more than 50 percent of an original screenplay or 33 percent of an adaptation to receive credit. Uncredited screenwriters are not eligible to win the Academy Award for Best Screenplay or the Writers Guild of America Awards.
People considered script doctors
Many screenwriters have been called "script doctors" for doing uncredited work on screenplays. Some well known script doctors include: