Although I’m not personally a fan of these type of lists — seriously, how does one determine who is on / not on the list — the fact they shine a spotlight on particular screenwriters is, I think, a net plus for screenwriting in general. The latest entry comes from The Playlist (Indiewire). The thirteen writers on their 2013 list:
Morgan Davis Foehl
The feature does a nice job providing an extensive overview of each writer. Obviously I can’t quote them all, but here is one as an example:
If screenwriting is a wildly male-dominated field, genre screenwriting is doubly so, but Lisa Joy is one of a number of writers who look to be causing a minor revolution in the next few years. Joy (or, to give her full name, Lisa Joy Nolan: she’s married to “The Dark Knight,” “Person Of Interest” and “Interstellar” writer Jonathan Nolan) started out in the corporate world (she worked for Universal Studios for a while), before returning to law school. Having written poetry for years, she took up screenwriting in what little spare time she had, and just as she started work with the firm that funded her tuition, a “Veronica Mars” spec she’d penned saw her offered a job on the writing staff of Bryan Fuller‘s cult show “Pushing Daisies.” Though she had several years of what she describes as “indentured servitude” at her employers, she followed her dreams, having to pay back her tuition in one chunk almost immediately, but was soon at work on ‘Daisies,’ racking up four credits before the show was cancelled in 2009. Joy didn’t skip a beat, moving over to spy favorite “Burn Notice,” eventually becoming a co-producer on the show’s fifth season. Joy left after that, having co-written a pilot with Fuller (who soon went on to run the exceptional “Hannibal“) called “Mind Fields,” about reclusive, romantic scientists, and also developed a show at Fox called “Headache,” based on her own graphic novel, published the previous year, about a young girl who turns out to be the embodiment of the goddess Athena in the present day. Neither project moved forward, but another TV show did: Joy and husband Nolan co-wrote the upcoming HBO series remake of “Westworld” for J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot with a stellar cast including Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Miranda Otto rounded up for the pilot. After that project sold, Joy became pregnant with her first child, but used the time to pen spec script “Reminiscence,” a sci-fi noir about a man who runs a service allowing them to relive their memory. It’s a terrific read, and became an immediate hot property when it went out to executives: it placed tenth on last year’s Black List, and became one of the biggest spec sales of the year when Legendary Pictures picked it up for a whopping $1.75 million. There’s been no news on the project since, but Joy’s going to be busy regardless: she’s writing the female-centric “Spider-Man” spin-off for Sony, which is targeting a 2017 release, and will be showrunning and executive producing “Westworld” if it moves forward.
You can learn a good deal about these writers from the article. Plus it notes many other writers in a More Screenwriters To Watch section.
For the rest of The Playlist list, go here.
As it turns out, I have interviewed several of the writers featured in the article. Links to those interviews below:
And for further reference, here are Variety’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch” lists from 2008-2013: