Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

On The Rise 2012: 5 Screenwriters To Keep An Eye On In The Next Few Years

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist April 10, 2012 at 11:59AM

Unlike in theater or television, writers generally get the short end of the stick in the movie business. When a film doesn't work, the script is blamed, when it does work, the director gets credit. Writers get fired, rehired, fired again, rewritten and screwed out of credit. But that's not to say that once they get the momentum behind them, a screenwriter can't become just as talked about as actors, actresses and directors around Hollywood watering holes and meeting rooms.
13


Graham Moore
Graham Moore
Topping the Black List isn't necessarily the shortcut to fame and fortune you'd like it to be. In the seven years of its existence, some of the No. 1 scipts have made it to screens, but didn't exactly set the world on fire -- "The Beaver," "Things We Lost The Fire," "Recount" -- while some still languish in development hell -- "The Brigands of Rattleborge," "The Muppet Man," "College Republicans." But Graham Moore, who topped the 2011 list, doesn't seem to have any reason to worry: his calling card, "The Imitation Game," was sold to Warner Bros. last year and has been put right on the fast track. Moore, a 30-year-old Columbia grad (where he studied religious history), began his screenwriting career with pal Ben Epstein, but first turned heads on his own with his best-selling novel "The Sherlockians," about a Sherlock Holmes-obsessive trying to solve a real murder, while also investigating Arthur Conan Doyle's face-off against a real-life killer. Despite (or perhaps because of) the mania around Holmes at the moment, the film rights are still available, but Moore had already moved on, penning the spec script "The Imitation Game," about the life of Alan Turing, the genius computer pioneer who helped crack the Enigma code, only to be persecuted after the war for his homosexuality; he ended up killing himself with a poisoned apple. The script is a thrilling, beautifully-drawn read, and it's no surprise it ended up being one of the biggest sales of last year. Initally eyed by Leonardo DiCaprio and "Harry Potter" director David Yates, the film recently landed "The Disappearance Of Alice Creed" helmer J. Blakeson, and is moving full speed ahead. But DiCaprio was clearly impressed anyway, as he hired Moore to adapt the beloved best-seller "The Devil In The White City," about serial killer H.H. Holmes who may have murdered as many as 200 people against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

Drew Pearce
Drew Pearce
Of all the places for the most in-demand tentpole screenwriter around to come from, the British comedy world is somewhere you'd least expect to find that kind of talent. But that's the unlikely origins of Drew Pearce, and very few writers are hotter than him right now. Pearce started out as the creator of the short-lived entertainment show "Lip Service," an ITV2 series that compiled clips from talk shows around the world. But soon after, he turned heads as the creator and writer of "No Heroics," a sitcom that featured a group of hopeless British superheroes gathering in a pub together. The show wasn't watched by many, and only lasted a season, but it was very funny, and gained enough attention to be picked up for a U.S. remake at ABC. The pilot, which starred Freddie Prinze Jr, Eliza Coupe ("Happy Endings") and Josh Gad ("Book of Mormon") didn't get picked up, but clearly the combination of superheroes and comedy were enough to get some attention, as he was swiftly hired by Marvel to pen their adaptation of "Runaways," Brian K. Vaughan's series about the superpowered teen children of supervillains. The film got as far as casting, under "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" director Peter Sollett, but the "Avengers" juggernaut saw it put on hold, and it's yet to get going again. But clearly it was not because of Pearce's script: Marvel hired him back for their golden goose, "Iron Man 3" -- all the more impressive considering that Shane Black, the writer of "Lethal Weapon" and "The Last Boy Scout," is directing the film. And after that, Pearce seems to have booked gig after gig: he's penning an adaptation of DC Comics' "The Mighty," about a cop who takes on a superhero, for Paramount; he was picked for another huge franchise with "Sherlock Holmes 3" (his Twitter by-line wryly comments "I mostly write threequels") and he's got an original action-comedy in the works too, "Secretaries Day," to be directed by "Easy A" and "Friends With Benefits" helmer Will Gluck. And all of this in only a couple of years. Imagine what he can get done in the next 24 months.

Josh Zetumer
Josh Zetumer
It's quite possible, common even, for a Hollywood screenwriter to make a good living for many, many years without ever having a credit on a produced feature. And Josh Zetumer is about as successful as it's possible to be without (so far) having a movie in theaters. Zetumer broke in with the taut Black List-ed script "Villain," about a man confronted and tortured in the mountains by his brother, who blames him for having his kids taken away by social services. That landed him right at the deep end, hired by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way company to adapt an Atlantic Monthly article into "The Infiltrator," a thriller about a British spy undercover in the I.R.A. Again, that film's not yet made it out of development hell, but it worked, as Zetumer is perhaps the only man to have written for two of the biggest espionage franchises -- he did a script polish on 007 entry "Quantum of Solace," and was hired by Universal (albeit without the knowledge of Paul Greengrass, hence the director's exit from the franchise) to write an unused draft for a fourth 'Bourne' movie. At the same time, he also did some rewrites on the original "Sherlock Holmes," and also was one of the many writers who've tried to crack Frank Herbert's "Dune."  Finally, 2013 will see one of his scripts make it to the screen:  he penned MGM's "RoboCop" remake, and that film is finally moving forward, with Joel Kinnaman in the lead and Jose Padilha directing. That's only going to make him more in demand, and he's got two original projects in the work alongside it: a secret genre project called "Vale" at Warner Bros, which "Gangster Squad" director Ruben Fleischer is involved with, and a script that Universal hope will become a new spy franchise.

This article is related to: Drew Pearce, Andrew Baldwin, Kelly Marcel, Josh Zetumer , Graham Moore, Features, On The Rise Features


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates