Diane Drake

Diane Drake is an American screenwriter and teacher, and former Vice President of Creative Affairs for Sydney Pollack's production company,[1] Mirage Enterprises. She lives in Los Angeles and is best known for the films Only You and What Women Want.

Diane Drake
BornLos Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationScreenwriter, teacher
Alma materUniversity of California, San Diego
SubjectCommunications/Visual Arts
Notable worksOnly You, What Women Want
Years active1988-

Early life

Drake was born and grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California.[2]

She studied Communications/Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego.[2]


Diane Drake worked for Sydney Pollack's production company, Mirage Enterprises, from 1988-1992, rising to the position of Vice President of Creative Affairs.[2]


Drake began writing screenplays in 1991. Her first screenplay, Dog Meets Cat, though never more than optioned material,[3] earned her a writing assignment with Hanna-Barbera. She worked on rewriting The Prince and the Pauper, with dogs, in a project that was never produced.[1]

In 1992 she wrote a spec script called Him, which sold to TriStar Pictures for $1 million.[3] It was produced in 1994 as Only You, starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr.[4] The movie was remade in China by the Huayi Brothers in 2015.[5]

In 1995 Drake wrote a spec script called Ladies Man, in which a male protagonist who works in advertising has a freak accident which gives him the ability to read women's thoughts. In November 1995, Caravan Pictures which was based at Hollywood Pictures, a division of Disney studios, optioned the script for 18 months.[6]

According to the New York Post, Drake's agent, Justin Dardis of APA, sent Ladies Man to Nancy Meyers in 1996 as a writing sample.[7] In 1999 Nancy Meyers rewrote a script by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, called Head Games, based on a pitch they sold to Touchstone—another division of the same studio that had bought Drake's script—in June, 1997, (nineteen months after Drake's original script had been optioned by the studio and one month after the studio's option on Drake's work had expired.) [8] Head Games was developed with Todd Garner, who served as an executive under Joe Roth, co-owner of Caravan Pictures.[9] Their work also had a male protagonist able to read women's thoughts. Meyers changed the title of Head Games to What Women Want, a line of dialogue taken directly from Drake's script. The New York Post said:

Diane Drake has refused to comment on this publicly, but Paramount Studios granted her a story credit on the 2000 movie. What Women Want went on to become the second largest grossing romantic comedy of all time in North America.[10][11] The film was remade in China in 2011[12] as What Women Want, with Andy Lau and Gong Li. It was remade again as What Men Want in 2019, with a female protagonist, played by Taraji P. Henson.


In April, 2016, Diane released her first book, Get Your Story Straight; A Step-by-Step Guild to Screenwriting by a Million-Dollar Screenwriter.


Diane Drake has been an instructor[13] with the UCLA Extension Writer's program since 2009.

Script consultancy

Diane has done private consulting through her official website dianedrake.com since 2011.

See also


  1. An interview with Diane Drake, Adelaide Screenwriter. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  2. Bluecat Screenwriting Competition, Interview with Diane Drake. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  3. TriStar ponies up $ 1 mil for 'Him', Variety Magazine. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  4. 'Only You', Variety Magazine. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  5. Hollywood Reporter October 17, 2014
  6. Spec sold on way to E.R., Daily Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
  7. Paula Froelich & Chris Wilson (December 15, 2003). "SCRIPT-LIFTING CHARGED IN SUIT". New York Post.
  8. Hollywood Reporter Archives June 2, 1997
  9. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0307776/bio
  10. Box Office Mojo. Romantic Comedy. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  11. Cameron Diaz in 'What Women Want' Sequel Archived 2012-05-23 at the Wayback Machine, News in Film. Retrieved April 10, 2012
  12. What Women Want, Variety Magazine. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  13. Diane Drake Archived 2012-03-14 at the Wayback Machine - UCLA Extension Writers' Program
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