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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.
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Honorable Mentions: In terms of more established names who've had a good last few months, there's Michael Bacall, who co-wrote "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World," and had two massive hits within weeks of each other, "Project X" and "21 Jump Street." He's now writing a "Tropic Thunder" spin-off for Tom Cruise. Craig Mazin's been around forever, but he's one of the hottest comedy writers around after the one-two punch of "The Hangover Part II" and the upcoming Melissa McCarthy vehicle "Identity Theft" -- he's writing the third 'Hangover' at the moment.

"Underworld: Awakening" scribe John Hlavin has a bunch of projects in developments, including "Risk" for Will Smith and the Robert Ludlum adaptation "The Janson Directive" for Universal. Matthew Aldrich placed in the top five of the Black List for his comedy-drama "Father Daughter Time," which Matt Damon is eying. From the comedy world, Lauryn Kahn and Kate Angelo both sold hot comedy specs: Fox bought the former's "He's Fucking Perfect," and are trying to get Zooey Deschanel to star, while the latter has "Sex Tape," which reteams "Bad Teacher" director and star Jake Kasdan and Jason Segel. "Parks and Recreation" scene-stealer Ben Schwartz (Jean-Ralphio!) isn't just an increasingly in-demand actor, he's also a screenwriter, who penned the Black-Listed "El Fuego Caliente," a telenovela-themed remake of "Soapdish," and also has "Would You Rather" set up with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard

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


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