10 Screenwriters to Watch

10 SCREENWRITERS TO WATCH
Travis Beacham | Sheila Callaghan | Adam Cozad | Michael Diliberti | Tim Dowling | Lena Dunham | Seth Grahame-Smith | Simons & Schoolcraft | Mike Jones | Jones & McCormack

While some writers prefer to work alone, Michael Diliberti appreciates a more collaborative approach. In addition to writing with longtime friend Matt Sullivan, Diliberti enjoys getting feedback from a wide cast of trusted sources.

“I pass pages to my agents, manager and other people I’m working with because I want to know what people are and aren’t reacting to during the process,” he says.

It’s a practice that has worked well so far.

After attending college in Baltimore, he kept busy with industry jobs — first in Gotham as an intern for producer Scott Rudin, then as an assistant-turned-exec for John Lesher during his Paramount Vantage days.

During that time, Diliberti co-wrote action-comedy spec “30 Minutes or Less” with Sullivan before either of them had agents, and they modeled one of the script’s leads after comedian Danny McBride. After being picked up by Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld’s Red Hour Prods., not only did the film land McBride in the very role that was created for him, but they also got Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”) on board to direct.

McBride is also slated to appear in another Diliberti-Sullivan project titled “L.A.P.I.” which will be helmed by Jody Hill, director of “Eastbound & Down.”

In addition to a pair of projects for Warner Bros. (a comedy titled “Comic Con” and a remake of “Brewster’s Millions”), Diliberti is also making his way to television.

“I’m writing a pilot for FX called ‘Night Shift’ that Reveille and (Jack Black’s shingle) Electric Dynamite are producing.” He joked, “It’s basically like ‘Taxi’ on acid.”

VITAL STATS:
Age: 28
Provenance: Brooklyn, NY
Inspired by: “I’m obsessed with Shane Black movies. He’s my favorite writer in the world. I even named my dog Shane. I love how aggressive and just plain cool his scripts are.”
Reps:Simon Faber, Philip Raskind, Zach Druker (WME); manager: Brian Levy (New School Media); lawyer: David Krintzman (Morris, Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman, Rubenstein & Kohner)

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