VARIETY’S 10 SCREENWRITERS TO WATCH NOTABLE CREDITS:

JACKIE

Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Stars: Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard
Released December 2, 2016
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Storyline: JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

HIDDEN FIGURES

Director: Theodore Melfi (Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch, Class 2012)
Writers: Allison Schroeder (screenplay), Theodore Melfi (screenplay)
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Released January 6, 2017
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Storyline: As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

LION

Director: Garth Davis
Writers: Saroo Brierley (novel), Larry Buttrose (novel), Luke Davies (screenplay)
Stars: Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel
Released November 25, 2016
Distributed by Weinstein Company

Storyline: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE

Director: Claude Barras
Writers: Gilles Paris (novel), Céline Sciamma (screenplay)
Stars: Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud,
Released October 16, 2016
Distributed by Gkids

Storyline: Courgette is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy. Although his unique story is surprisingly universal. After his mother’s sudden death, Courgette is befriended by a police officer Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this strange, at times, hostile environment. Yet with Raymond’s help and his new-found friends, Courgette eventually learns to trust, finds true love and at last a new family of his own.

MOANA

Directors: Ron Clements, Don Hall
Writers: Jared Bush (screenplay), Ron Clements (story by), John Musker (story by), Chris Williams (story by), Don Hall (story by), Pamela Ribon (story by), Aaron Kandell (story by &), Jordan Kandell (story by)
Stars: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House
Released November 23, 2016
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Storyline: The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology.

OCEAN’S EIGHT

Director: Gary Ross
Writers: Olivia Milch, Gary Ross
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon
Released June 8, 2018
Distributed by Warner Bros

Storyline: Ocean’s Eight is an upcoming American comedy heist film that is a female spin-off and continuation of the original trilogy.

CATHERINE THE GREAT

Director: Barbra Streisand
Writer: Kristina Lauren Anderson
Star: Keira Knightley
Released TBC
Distributed by TBC

Storyline: Sophia Augusta’s marriage to Peter III, the Emperor of Russia, is anything but the fairy-tale life that she had been promised. In a historical tale of political intrigue, sex and murder, she takes control of her life, her marriage, and her kingdom, becoming one of Russia’s most celebrated and beloved monarchs.

YOU BEFORE ME

Director: Thea Sharrock
Writers: Jojo Moyes (screenplay and novel)
Stars: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer
Released June 3, 2016
Distributed by New Line Cinema

Storyline: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of color. And neither of them knows they’re going to change each other for all time.

SULLY

Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Todd Komarnicki (screenplay), Chesley Sullenberger (based on the book “Highest Duty” by) (as Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Released September 9, 2016
Distributed by Warner Bros Pictures

Storyline: On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed “Sully” & is portrayed by Tom Hanks glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

DESIERTO

Director: Jonás Cuarón
Writers: Jonás Cuarón, Mateo Garcia
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo
Released October 14, 2016
Distributed by STX Entertainment

Storyline: What begins as a hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed men and women through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border. In the harsh, unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they continuously discover there’s nowhere to hide from the unrelenting, merciless killer.

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