We’re thrilled to announce that on Wednesday, November 1st we will be releasing the 2017 Young & Hungry List, comprised of the 100 best up-and-coming writers in the business, as voted on by industry professionals.
In celebration, we’re taking a look back at the writers who made past Young & Hungry Lists — where they were and where they are today. Their achievements are testaments to the hard work and dedication with which these ambitious talents continue to push themselves towards success.
Today, we proudly present the latest updates from some of the writers who made the Young & Hungry List from 2011 to 2016. And don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for the release of the 2017 Young & Hungry List!
HERE ARE A FEW STAND-OUT HONOREES FROM PAST YOUNG & HUNGRY LISTS
Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari
Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari landed on the list in 2012 and subsequently sold their hot spec Die in a Gunfight 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. They then became a part of the multi-billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe when they signed on to write a draft of Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily, and its upcoming sequel, Ant-Man and The Wasp.
Anthony Jaswinski broke through in 2015 when his script In the Deep took the town by storm, landing Jaswinski on the Young & Hungry List, along with his other specs Interstate and May You Live in Interesting Times. His spec In the Deep was retitled The Shallows and hit theaters starring Black Lively. His script Mary is currently wrapping production starring Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer. His action thriller Highway One is set up with Di Novi Pictures and Amblin Partners.
Brian Duffield has seen a flurry of success since making the 2011 Young & Hungry List. Recently, he worked on the screenplay for Insurgent, the massively successful sequel to the international phenomenon Divergent. His gritty Western Jane Got a Gun was produced by 1821 Pictures, with Natalie Portman in the starring role. His script The Babysitter from director McG was recently released, while Duffield himself will be directing his script Vivien Hasn’t Been Herself Lately. Duffield sold his thriller Underwater to Peter Chernin and 20th Century Fox and Shawn Levy is currently in development with Duffield’s spec Monster Problems.
Game of Thrones script and co-producer Bryan Cogman has stuck in the fantasy genre since being featured on the Young & Hungry List in 2014, as he wrote a feature adaptation of Magic: The Gather which is currently in development at Fox. He was also announced as the writer for the live-action Sword and the Stone feature and is adapting The False Prince for Paramount.
Cat Vasko hit the Young & Hungry List with four scripts, including Situation Comedy, Queen of the Air, The Spy Who Loved, and Life After Life. The Spy Who Loved, adapted from Clare Mulley’s book, is in development with Bluegrass Films and Queen of the Air, adapted from Dean N. Jenson’s book, is in development with Mad Chance Productions and set up at Warner Bros. Her high-concept original spec, Situation Comedy, is in development with producer Jason Reitman. Most recently she signed on to pen the adaptation of Lumberjanes, based on the comic book by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Noelle Stevenson, and the thriller Fierce Kingdom for Warner Bros. Pictures.
Chris Bremner snagged a spot on last year’s list with his two specs, Blackfriars and Sick Day, with the latter attaching Johnny Knoxville to star. Bremner has recently made headlines with his period thriller pitch The Shadows being picked up by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Pearl Street Films. He also has another spec, King of LA, which was featured on the 2016 Black List and is now set up at Scott Free.
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. He then wrote the Marti Noxon-produced Rabies, Lionsgate’s Down a Dark Hall, and Warner Bros.’ Blood on Snow, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. His spec Sea of Trees, directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Matthew McConaughey, premiered this year. Sparling wrote and directed Mercy and is currently working on scripts for the adaptation of Land of the Living and Intrusion for Good Universe.
Erica Oyama, along with her husband, Ken Marino, were recruited to write Fox 2000’s adaptation of the adult-oriented nursery rhyme Go the F*ck to Sleep, along with 20th Century Fox’s sports comedy Return of the Jocks. They also recently sold their road trip comedy pitch Me Time to Universal, but it doesn’t stop there — Oyama is also writing Schooled for Amy Poehler’s Paperkite Productions and is in production on Dog Days for LD Entertainment with Nina Dobrev starring. Oyama was a writer on Children’s Hospital and The Eric Andre Show, as well as writing and executive producing the Yahoo series Burning Love, which is now on E! Networks. She also previously worked on White Girl Problems for Lionsgate.
You’ve likely heard Eric Heisserer’s name a lot since landing on the Young & Hungry List in 2011. He netted his spot after penning an installment of the Final Destination franchise and the prequel to John Carpenter’s iconic creature feature The Thing. He was then brought on to pen Universal’s Bird Box and sold his next spec Understand to 21 Laps. He is best known though, for nabbing an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay for his adaptation of Ted Chaing’s Story of Your Life which became the feature Arrival starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. His next project, Extinction, was featured on the 2013 Black List and just wrapped production. It stars Michael Pena, Lizzy Caplan, and Mike Colter.
Gary Spinelli, who made the list with Last Dying Breath, has gone on to work with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He wrote the recently released American Made starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, and executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Next up, his script Chaos Walking will be seen starring Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, and hails from Lionsgate, Quadrant Pictures, and Allison Shearmur Productions.
Jac Shaeffer stormed onto the Young & Hungry List in 2014 with her comedies The Shower, Soul Mates and TiMER. TiMER is available for viewing on Netflix and The Shower was picked up by Andrew Lauren Productions, with Anne Hathaway set as both producer and star. She is also writing Soulmates for Disney and the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake, Nasty Women, starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway.
J.C. Chandor made it onto the list in 2011 when his script Margin Call became one of the most talked about in Hollywood. Margin Call became an Oscar-nominated film starring Kevin Spacey and Penn Badgley. He has since made All is Lost, A Most Violent Year, and worked on the script for Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon. His project The Brits are Coming wrapped production and The Liar’s Ball, based on the book by Vicky Ward, is set up at A24.
Jeremy Slater made the list in 2012 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. More recently, he was brought on to pen the script for the manga series adaptation Death Notefor Netflix and created the Fox series The Exorcist, based on the original 1973 film.
Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken
After making the Young & Hungry List in 2012, Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken 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 and have since added the projects Desert Eagle at Universal, Horizon Line at SF Studios, and the remake of The Killer at IM Global.
Kristina Lauren Anderson
Kristina Lauren Anderson made the list with her incredible period biopic Catherine the Great and Invisibility. The former is in development with Gil Netter, with Barbara Streisand attached to direct and Keira Knightley to star, and the latter is at Warner Bros. Anderson was also hired to write The Black Count, the latest project from Beast of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga, being produced by Michael De Luca. As if all that’s not enough, she’s also writing The Briefcase for Paramount and Life and Death in Eden at StudioCanal.
Marja Lewis Ryan
Marja Lewis Ryan landed on the 2015 Young & Hungry List with her scripts One in the Chamber and Screwed the Four-Faced Liar. This year, Ryan has landed several high-profile jobs, including being hired to write the Splash remake for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer which will star Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell. She has also been tapped to adapt Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Ryan also directed 6 Ballons for Netflix, a spec she wrote, with Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco starring.
Matt & Ross Duffer
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 summer sensation. The brothers are now awaiting their second season premiere.
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 the Ron Howard-directed Amnesty, Columbia and Mosaic-produced Houdini, and Mr. Right, starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. He wrote, directed and produced Me Him Her with Big Beach Films. Landis scored a massive payday from Netflix for his script Bright, which was packaged with Will Smith starring and David Ayer directing, and will hit the streaming site this year. He is currently in the works on a remake of An American Werewolf in London (the original was written and directed by his father John Landis), an untitled feature centering on the Looney Tunes character Pepe Le Pew for Warner Bros., and Deeper starring Bradley Cooper and Gal Gadot.
Michael Starrbury kicked off his spot on the list in 2012 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.
Mike Vukadinovich landed on the Young & Hungry list with some big name projects, including Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which is now in development at Disney, The Three Misfortunes of Gepetto at Fox, and The Secret Ingredients of Rocket Cola, in the works with Escape Artists and Todd Black. Vukadinovich has also been brought on to write the feature film Exchange Student, with Matthew McCounaughey producing, and Pete and Goat, starring Amanda Seyfried. Most recently, he was tapped to write the highly anticipated sequel to Beetlejuice, with star Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton in talks to return.
Noah Oppenheim made the 2016 Young & Hungry List for his work on The Maze Runner, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, and the Highlander remake. The last of that trio is in the works at Summit Entertainment. Oppenheim is also adapting 1984 for Imagine and the War Games remake for MGM. He is probably best known though, for writing Jackie, which landed star Natalie Portman both Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Actress.
Olivia Milch was tapped by Fox to pen the Ellen Page-starring Queen and Country, produced by Chernin. She was previously set up to adapt Little Women for Sony and signed on to write the all-female Ocean’s Eleven installment, Ocean’s 8, with an all-star cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna. Milch most recently directed her 2013 comedy spec Dude starring Lucy Hale and Alexandra Shipp.
T.S. Nowlin sold his second spec Wild Guns just prior to making the list in 2011. He would next sell his pitch for Agent 13 to Universal, and would then be counted among the writers on The Maze Runner. His great work on the first adaptation won him the job to adapt its sequels The Scorch Trials (which premiered last year) and The Death Cure. Nowlin worked on Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim: Uprising.
Zak Olkewicz quickly found success after making the 2012 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. He also co-produced the hit horror film Lights Out, also with James Wan.