In 2004, Allan Loeb's career was struggling and his agent dropped him. Nearly broke, Loeb moved to New York to join Gamblers' Anonymous and to write his "Hail Mary" script. In March 2005, he returned with his script The Only Living Boy in New York (2017)
. The script became a hit within Hollywood's agency circuit and soon, Loeb was signed by CAA. While that script was being pitched around town, Loeb started writing his next script, Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)
. Then in May 2005, The Only Living Boy in New York (2017)
sold to Bona Fide Productions and Sony. Then in July 2005, Dreamworks purchased Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)
from Loeb. Both scripts landed in the top four spots on the inaugural 2005 Black List of the Best Unproduced Scripts in Hollywood.