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 wrapping up his senior year at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Beacham wrote a script titled “Killing on Carnival Row.” Looking for some feedback, he sent it to a recent graduate who had landed an intern position at a production company. And then he waited.
“One day he called me in sort of a hushed tone and said, ‘You’re going to be getting some phone calls soon … but I can’t really say much about it.’?”
Those phone calls were from agents, managers and producers. With diploma in hand and opportunity calling, Beacham packed up and headed west. Now, just five years later, he’s one of the most sought-after writing talents for studio tentpole films.
His philosophy for screenwriting is simple: “It seems so cliched and obvious, but write the movie you want to see in the theater.”
In 2006, Warner Bros. tapped Beacham to pen the remake of “Clash of the Titans,” and when the film’s worldwide gross closed in on the $500 million mark, the windows of opportunity began to open.
In addition to coming onboard director Joseph Kosinki’s “The Black Hole,” Beacham also collaborated with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot shingle on a project that is still under wraps. Ridley Scott’s RSA slated him to pen the “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” remake, and he sold an original treatment-screenplay to Legendary Pictures for sci-fi “Pacific Rim.”
When talking about “Pacific Rim,” Beacham’s philosophy becomes apparent: “It’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been for any movie, including the ones I’ve written and the ones I haven’t written. I’m totally psyched to be sitting in a movie theater and see it up on a screen.”
Provenance: Cleveland, Tenn.
Inspired by: “When I saw ‘Jurassic Park’ as a kid, that was the first time I thought about making movies for a living. … Before then, I actually wanted to be a paleontologist …but after I saw that movie I (realized) that I didn’t want to work with bones for the rest of my life. I wanted to bring things to life.”
Reps: Cliff Roberts (WME); Bard Dorros (Anonymous Content); lawyer: Adam Kaller (Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman)