On Monday, October 3, we will be releasing the 2016 Young & Hungry List, comprised of the 100 best up-and-coming writers in the business, as voted on by industry professionals. In anticipation of this year’s list, we’ll be highlighting Young & Hungry success stories from past years. Seeing how far these writers have come and grown in a short amount of time is inspiring and exciting.
Yesterday, we revisited some of the amazing writers we’ve had the privilege of following since they made the 2011 Young & Hungry List. Today, we present the latest updates from some of the writers who made the 2012 Young & Hungry List. And don’t forget to check back on Monday for the release of the 2016 Young & Hungry List!
HERE ARE A FEW STAND-OUT HONOREES FROM THE 2012 YOUNG & HUNGRY LIST
20th Century Fox
Carter Blanchard made the list when his spec Glimmer caught the eye of the industry, and the script would go on to sell to Dreamworks shortly thereafter. The project is currently in development at Madhouse Entertainment. Blanchard was brought on to write Fox’s Kindergarten Heroes, based on Mark Millar’s comic, and then recruited to rewrite Independence Day: Resurgence for Roland Emmerich, which premiered this summer. Currently, Blanchard was brought on to write the adaptation of the Steelheart sci-fi triology for 21 Laps and has a pitch in development at DreamWorks for a ghost story project.
Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt made the list in a big way following the sale of their spec Olympus Has Fallen. The action thriller was produced by Nu Image / Millenium, with Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart starring. From there, the duo went on to pen the third installment of The Expendables series, which gave them the opportunity to write for just about every major action star of the last 30 years. Following the smash success of Olympus, the team was commissioned to pen London Has Fallen, solidifying their status as two of the industry’s most sought-after screenwriters. The sequel arrived earlier this summer. Now, the pair is working on The Drowning, an adaptation of an iOS video game, and Shield of Straw, a remake of a 2013 Japanese film.
Daniel Kunka has achieved impressive credits since he was listed, having sold his spec The Bermuda Triangle to Atlas and Warner Bros. in 2013. Following that, his red-hot spec Yellowstone Falls was swept up by Misher Films and QED for a hefty sum following an intense bidding war. Currently Fast and Furious producer Neal H. Moritz is attached to produce Kunka’s script Agent Ox. He is also writing the adaptation of Warner Bros.’s take on Space Invaders, based on the original video game.
Jeremy Slater made the list after he was hired to rewrite the found footage horror The Lazarus Effect (previously known as Reawakening) for Lionsgate and Mosaic. He also sold his spec Tape 4 in 2012, and after a temporary stint on the writing team of the Fantastic Four reboot, he was brought on to write the big screen adaptation of Bill Willingham’s graphic novel series Fables. Most recently, he was brought on to pen the script for the manga series adaptation Death Note and created the upcoming Fox series The Exorcist, based on the original 1973 film, which has been ordered to series and will premiere on September 23.
Jonathan Stokes set up his specs Blood Mountain with Derby Street Films and El Gringo with After Dark Films shortly after landing on the list. With Benedict Cumberbatch set to star in Blood Mountain, he then landed the coveted writing assignment of adapting Harlan Coben’s novel Six Years for Paramount and the Mark Gordon Company. Last year, the rights to his forthcoming book series The Thrifty Time Traveler’s Guide were picked up by Beau Flynn after a fierce bidding war and he will be adapting the book to the screen. He is also penning the scripts for Warner Bros.’s Murders and Acquisitions and 20th Century Fox’s David, based on the story of David and Goliath, with Ridley Scott producing.
After making the Young & Hungry List, Josh Campbell and Matt Steucken sold their red-hot spec The Cellar to Bad Robot and Paramount, who attached Dan Trachtenberg to the director’s chair and cast John Gallagher Jr, John Goodman, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Right before it was released earlier this year, it was revealed to actually be called 10 Cloverfield Lane and a spiritual successor to the original Cloverfield. Their action comedy Hostile Engagement flooded the market soon after they made the list, and ultimately sold to The Solution Entertainment Group. In 2014, they hopped on the sequel to 2010’s Snabba Cash, directed by Daniel Espinosa.
Matt and Ross Duffer busted onto the scene with their spec Hidden, which was set up at Warner Bros. and Vertigo with the writing-duo also taking on directing duties. It was released last fall. The brothers then landed the assignment of writing the sequel to 2012’s supernatural horror The Possession, shortly before selling their sci-fi throwback series Stranger Things to Netflix, which became nothing short of a sensation this summer. The brothers are now working on the second season, set to premiere sometime next year.
Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia were immediately recruited to adapt the Zorro reboot following their spot on the list. Since then, the team was tapped by New Line to adapt Y: The Last Man, based on Pia Guerra and Brian K. Vaughan’s hugely popular comic book. Now seasoned vets in the realm of adaptation, they’ve turned their attention to video game properties, as they were recently brought on to adapt Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series. The duo are currently writing for and co-executive producing the hit CBS series Limitless.
Michael Starrbury kicked off his spot on the list by diving right into the star-studded The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, which was released in 2013. Since being featured on the Young & Hungry List, he landed on New Line and the Mark Gordon Company’s The Great Unknown, and is also penning the script to ARES, pitched as Indiana Jones meets Men in Black, for Gordon, as well as the current draft of Ed Terrestrial for Disney.
Zak Olkewicz quickly found success after making the Young & Hungry List, selling his first spec just one month later. His follow up, Ink and Bone, was picked up by Dimension and is being directed by fellow Young & Hungry alum Evan Daugherty. Zak hit the market with the pitch Elimination in 2013, which sold to 21 Laps and Fox Searchlight later that year. He then started 2015 with a bang, signing on to adapt James Wan’s graphic novel Malignant Man for Fox. Just this year, he co-produced the hit horror film Lights Out, also with James Wan.
These are just a few of the remarkable success stories from the 2012 Young & Hungry List writers. We’re consistently amazed by the stunning showcase of talent that makes up our list year after year. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the 2013 Young & Hungry List writers — where they’ve been and where they are now. And be sure to check back Monday for the reveal of the 2016 Young & Hungry List!
Missed the 2011 recap? Check the link below to read up on some of the highlights from previous years!