As we approach the release of the 2014 Young & Hungry List, we would like to take a brief moment for reflection. In 2011, we began to realize that, while many of Hollywood’s year-end lists were accurately recognizing the most note-worthy projects of the year, nobody was giving the writers the validation they deserved. While other publications seemed fixated on awarding recognition to long-established creatives and industry All-Stars, we found ourselves most excited by the freshest voices in Hollywood, the emerging talent eager to make an impression with not just a single note-worthy project, but an impressive body of work. The Young & Hungry list was born out of this excitement, and since its conception, we’ve endeavored to maintain our tradition of honoring these most driven artists, and showcasing the breadth of work that defines them as young professionals.
Now, four years down the road, we are thrilled to have the chance to look back upon our previous honorees, to appreciate how far they’ve come since, and where they’re going next. Here are 10 honorees from the list’s founding year who’ve taken their careers to the next level.
Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari landed on the list with Die in a Gunfight, then sold the spec to The Mark Gordon Company. From there, they landed one lucrative gig after another, writing the McG-directed Magic Castle for Fox, dystopian adventure Legend for CBS Films, and the feature reboot of the 90s classic fantasy sitcom, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In July, they became a part of the multi-billion dollar Marvel Empire, when they signed on to write the latest draft of Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily.
Brad Ingelsby sold his script Run All Night to Warner Bros. soon after making the list, and was subsequently tapped by Screen Gems to pen the remake of the high-octane (and frankly bad-ass) Indonesian martial arts thriller The Raid (rebranded in the States as The Raid: Redemption). And that’s not the only remake he’s attached to: he’s writing the Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson-produced update of Point Blank.
Chris Sparling and his claustrophobic thriller Buried swept the festival circuit and took top honors from the National Board of Review, and shortly thereafter he began landing gigs like his life depended on it. Now writing the Marti Noxon-produced Rabies, Lionsgate’s Down a Dark Hall, and Warner Bros.’ Blood on Snow, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, it seems his hot streak may never end. He also sold his spec Sea of Trees, which now has Gus Van Sant attached to direct and Matthew McConaughey starring.
Cory Goodman sold his spec Lore to Warner Bros., and it now has an impressive array of producers attached, and Dwayne Johnson in the starring role. His biggest score yet came earlier this Fall, when he was brought on to pen the “Underworld” franchise reboot.
Eric Heisserer made the list after he was entrusted with two major horror franchises in 2011, penning both the latest Final Destination as well as the remake of John Carpenter’s iconic creature feature The Thing. After making his directorial debut with the Peter Safran-produced Hours, starring the late Paul Walker, Heisserer sold his extra-terrestrial drama Story of Your Life to 21 Laps and FilmNation. He was brought on to pen Universal’s Bird Box early last year, and sold his latest spec Understand to 21 Laps in June.
Evan Daugherty made the list with his spec Shrapnel. A couple of months later, he was recruited to write the big screen adaptation of the YA novel Divergent, which opened earlier this year and grossed nearly three hundred million. And that’s chump change compared to the earnings of his other major release Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Next, he’ll dive into the latest G.I. Joe installment.
JD Payne and Patrick McKay didn’t wait long to break out. Around the time they were recognized by the list in 2011, they were hired by Paramount and 21 Laps to write the big screen adaptation of The Deadliest Warrior, inspired by Spike’s unscripted series of the same name. Later that year, they were tapped to write Bad Robot’s adaptation of the graphic novel Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel.
Max Landis has been a busy boy since he made the list with his soon-to-be-classic superhero tale Chronicle. He’s been attached to a slew of projects including Ron Howard-directed Amnesty, Columbia and Mosaic-produced Houdini, and Mr. Right, starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. He also sold another spec, Me Him Her, to Big Beach Films.
Oren Uziel sold his spec The Kitchen Sink to Sony the year he made the list, and the project has since attracted an impressive array of talent, including Joan Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, Denis Leary, and Patton Oswalt. Uziel was part of the team that penned 22 Jump Street, and he’ll next turn his attention to two more beloved franchises, as he puts the finishing touches on Mortal Kombat and continues the epic sci-fi adventure series with Men in Black 4.
T.S. Nowlin sold his second spec Wild Guns just prior to making the list. Hewould next sell his pitch for Agent 13 to Universal, and would then be counted among the writers on the recently released The Maze Runner. He’ll be writing the sequel, as well, so keep an eye out for The Scorch Trials next year. In the interim, he’s making revisions on the highly-anticipated The Fantastic Four reboot.
Check back over the next couple of days as we continue to recount the successes of previous honorees. And be sure to keep an eye out Thursday for this year’s Young & Hungry List, showcasing those writers who are soon to have success stories of their own.
Curious about the 2012 recap? Check the links below to read up on some of the highlights from previous years…
YOUNG & HUNGRY NO MORE – A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE 2011 YOUNG & HUNGRY ALUMS
YOUNG & HUNGRY NO MORE – A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE 2012 YOUNG & HUNGRY ALUMS
YOUNG & HUNGRY NO MORE – A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE 2013 YOUNG & HUNGRY ALUMS
IF YOU’D LIKE TO REVISIT THE LISTS THEMSELVES, CLICK ON ANY OF THE BOXES BELOW