2011’s Hit-Makers: A Look Back At The Hit List Alums (2016)



We’re thrilled to announce that in early December, we will be releasing the 2016 Hit List, comprised of top spec scripts of the year, as voted on by industry professionals. In anticipation of that release, we’re taking a look back at some of the writers who have landed on the Hit Lists of years past to see where they’ve been, and where they are today.

Yesterday, we took a look back at the 2010 Hit List, which included more than a few names you might recognize, including Damien Chazelle and Diablo Cody. Today, we proudly present the latest updates from some of the writers who made the 2011 Hit List. And don’t forget to check back soon for the release of the 2016 Hit List!


Last year, the Hit List script SELF/LESS by Alex Pastor and David Pastor hit the big screen starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley. In the years between the script going out and the film, the pair wrote Out Of The Dark for Julia Stiles for Apaches Entertainment. They also made Incorporated for CBS starring Julia Ormand and Georgina Haig and have set up How It Was When The Past Went Away at Focus Features with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey producing. They are also directing Strange But True starring Imogen Poots, Bill Paxton, and Melissa Leo.

Aron Eli Coleite may have penned the feature script THE END, but perhaps he’s best known for his work on television. He was a co-executive producer and writer on Heroes and The River as well as a consulting producer on The Hostages and wrote the TV pilot Home for TNT and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions. More recently he has ventured back into features writing a previous draft on the Unt. Twilight Zone Film at Warner Bros. and Appian Way and adapting Amulet for Fox. He’s still keeping his television roots, however, as a co-executive producer on the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery for CBS.

After writing A MANY SPLINTERED THING, Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair worked on two projects with Captain America himself Chris Evans: Playing It Cool and Evans’ directorial debut Before We Go. They are currently working on an adaptation of A Boy Named Shel based on the book by Lisa Rogak about the life of Shel Silverstein. Their project The Girl Who Conned The Ivy League is set up at McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision with Amanda Seyfried attached, and they recently completed a draft for a Bradley Cooper vehicle at Warner Bros.

Chris SparlingGetty Images

Chris Sparling landed on the list with his script INCIDENT ON 459, just a year after his breakout script Buried hit theaters starring Ryan Reynolds. He then wrote the Alice Eve-led ATM; Lionsgate’s Down a Dark Hall, currently in production; and Warner Bros.’ Blood on Snow, currently in development with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star. His spec The Sea of Trees, directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Matthew McConaughey, premiered this year. He’s currently adapting the Stephen King short story Ayana into a TV movie and he just directed and wrote the Netflix movie Mercy, which recently wrapped.

The dark-action genre has found a new scribe to lead them with Cory Goodman. He made The Hit List with ANNABELLE, currently in development at Aperture, and has since gone on to write last year’s The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie, which grossed over $145 million worldwide. He recently signed on to write the fifth installment of Underworld for Lakeshore Entertainment with Kate Beckinsale set to return in the starring role and Anna Foerster attached to direct. He’s also penning the Robin Hood update Hood for Columbia. His pitch Blackpine is set up at Stranger Weather Films.

David Dobkin is very well known for directing studio comedies such as Wedding CrashersMr. Woodcock, and The Change-Up. After writing his Hit List script ARTHUR AND LANCELOT, which sold to Warner Bros. for a reported $2 million, Dobkin produced and wrote the story for Jack The Giant Slayer and is an executive producer on AMC’s Into The Badlands and Netflix’s upcoming Green Eggs and Ham seriesWhile his spec is currently in development, he’s executive producing another Arthurian legend film at Warner Bros., Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, story by Dobkin.

David Twohy’s work was prolific even prior to making the list with THE LEONARDO JOB, penning films like The Fugitive and Waterworld. Since then, he wrote and directed Riddick starring Vin Diesel and set up a sequel to The Italian Job at Paramount pictures. He is also set to write and direct Furia, as well as Cry Havoc, which is set up with Touchstone and Disney.

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Graham Moore won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for THE IMITATION GAME but the script first appeared on The Hit List back in 2011. Prior to this, Moore was a staff writer on the ABC Family series 10 Things I Hate About You. He’s currently penning the adaptation of The Last Days of Night, with fellow Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne attached to star.

Jason Dean Hall proved himself a master of action after his script VALET arrived on The Hit List in 2011. Since then he penned the Oscar-nominated American Sniper, which was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred Bradley Cooper. He also wrote Paranoia which starred Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth. He worked on a previous draft of a sci-fi spin on a legendary hero in Robin Hood 2058 for Atlas Entertainment; and he’s currently writing a film on the life of Rasputin for Appian Way, based on his pitch, and Blacklight for Fox. His film Thank You for Your Service, which he wrote and directed, recently wrapped starring Miles Teller.

Last year saw the premiere of MAGGIE starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin, but the film’s script by John Scott 3 was first featured on The Hit List. Scott 3 has since started working on The Caves of Steel at Fox with Simon Kinberg producing and he’s writing and directing Parable Xfor Fubar Films FL.

Lauryn Kahn made her way through the industry initially as Adam McKay’s assistant while spending her free time writing her spec HE’S F*CKIN’ PERFECT. The feature script made the list and since then Kahn has made several shorts including the Frenemies trio. She has two more feature comedies being produced by McKay and Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez, I’m In Love With The DJ and The Social Life. The Social Life is set up at Universal with Rebel Wilson and Jake Johnson where she’s also set up her action-comedy Most Wanted with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy have seen their Dracula-thriller HARKER set up at Warner Bros., while they’ve also been busy at work running the Netflix series Hemlock Grove. They currently are at work adapting The Island Of Doctor Moreau, also for Warner Bros. and their pilot The Son is set up at AMC.

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Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass landed on the list with PITCHFORK and have since made names for themselves both in front of the camera as well as behind the camera, writing and producing several smaller indie projects, such as the critically acclaimed Tangerine, Skeleton Twins, and The One I Love (which Mark also co-starred in). Most recently, their film Blue Jay, which they co-wrote, was released, co-starring Mark and Sarah Paulson. Coming up they have Table 19 (story by) and their HBO series Room 104.

Writing duo Matthew Duffer and Ross Duffer won raves for their script HIDDEN. It was subsequently produced by Warner Bros. and Roy Lee’s Primal Pictures and stars Alexander Skarsgard. Since then they created the hit series Stranger Things for Netflix, which is currently casting its second season, set to premiere next year.

After putting a new spin on Pinocchio with THE THREE MISFORTUNES OF GEPETTO, scribe Mike Vukadinovich set up the project at 20th Century Fox and 21 Laps. He recently wrote a previous draft of the remake of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for Disney and ironically is also working on a draft of The Wind and the Willows with Rickey Gervais attached for RG Entertainment. He’s also writing The Nutcracker for Reel FX and Pete and Goat with Amanda Seyfried set to star. He’s appeared multiple times on The Hit List, most recently in 2014 with Secret Ingredients of Rocket Cola.

Natalie Krinsky established her strength in female characters after penning MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS, now set up at Inferno Entertainment. She subsequently joined the writing staff of Gossip Girl and Red Band Society and then sold The Knot to 20th Century Fox. She’s currently rewriting Repeat After Me for Universal, producing Ashley’s War at Fox 2000, and was recently announced to be adapting Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun at Warner Bros.

After writing BLACKOUT, Peter Craig took over juggernaut young adult series The Hunger Games when he adapted the last novel into The Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2 and after that wrote the Mel Gibson-led Blood Father. Next up, he’s taking over another highly anticipated sequel Bad Boys 3 for Sony, as well as the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop for Fox and 3 Arts.  He has several other big projects on his docket, including The Odyssey at Lionsgate starring Hugh Jackman and It’s What I Do at Warner Bros. set to star Jennifer Lawrence.

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FROM MIA WITH LOVE was highlighted on the 2011 Hit List with four screenwriters. The foursome included Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, Kevin Chesley, and Bryan Shukoff. Since 2011, Grahame-Smith was hired to pen The Lego Batman Movie for Warner Bros. He’s also producing Five Nights at Freddy’s and Looney Tunes with Katzenberg. The latter pair wrote an earlier draft of The Lego Ninjago Movie. From Mia With Love is currently in development at Fox.

T.S. Nowlin’s WILD GUNS script was just the beginning for the writer who went on to pen the first two scripts in the Mazerunner franchise and is currently working on the third installment, Mazerunner: The Death Cure. Next up is Agent 13 for Denver and Delilah productions and the sci-fi flick Our Name Is Adam for Paramount starring Tom Cruise. Wild Guns is also in development with Warner Bros., while his sci-fi adaptation of Ruin is in the works at Fox. He’s also working on the current draft of the highly anticipated sequel Pacific Rim: Maelstrom.

These are just a few of the remarkable success stories from the 2011 Hit List writers. Tomorrow we’ll be catching up with more of the writers from the 2012 Hit List, in anticipation of the reveal of the 2016 Hit List in December!

Missed the previous recaps? Check the links below to read up on some of the highlights from previous years!