You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jason Dean Hall

10 Screenwriters to Watch

What Hall loves about writing that wasn’t happening so much when he was a struggling actor is the ability to work his brain. “I always had the problem of being too thoughtful,” Hall says. “It was always, ‘Turn off your head.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to.’ I like the thoughts that are streaming through there.”

After guest stints on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and various bad-guy roles on “all the crimeshows,” Hall — who studied business, English and cinema at USC — tried his hand at screenwriting so the parts for himself would improve. He sold his first script, then his second. But deals ensuring he play the lead were souring his momentum as a writer. He then signed with CAA two years ago and quit fighting the proverbial “What if (name actor) wants to play this part?” issue.

“I finally decided to ride the horse in the direction it was going, and things got a lot easier. When you find the thing you’re supposed to be doing, the universe opens up to you.”

Hall’s breakthrough was his script for “Rodney on the Roq,” what he calls a “challenging” biopic of legendarily eccentric L.A. deejay Rodney Bingenheimer’s bizarre life. Producer Andrew Lazar commissioned it at his Warner-based Mad Chance shingle, with Jonas Akerlund attached to direct.

“What Jason did was create an emotional reality from the inside out, an internal portrayal of Rodney through magical realism,” says Lazar, who first saw Hall’s talent in early spec scripts “Easy” and “.08.” “It’s ‘Forrest Gump’ in the world of rock-and-roll. It’s very special, and Jason has a unique voice.”

Now Hall’s plate is overflowing, and the helpings are diverse. For Lazar and DreamWorks, he’s written a global-warming-themed superhero movie, “Burns,” about a firefighter, and won fans at HBO for a pilot called “Addicks,” about two guys who run a rehab scam. He’s now pitching top actresses on a real-life legal/political drama about a female lawyer and a Burmese freedom fighter who sue a gas company for human rights violations.

The ultimate goal, says Hall, is to engage what interests him and avoid being pigeonholed. “I don’t want to be the guy who writes the same movie over and over again. If I’m not challenged, I’m not inspired.”

Vital Stats
Age: 32
Provenance: Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
Inspired by: Hal Ashby films, “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Godfather,” Michael Mann films, novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay”
Reps: Agency: CAA; manager: Darren Friedman at Management 360; attorney: Karl Austen at Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum & Morris

See all 10 Screenwriters to Watch

More Film

  • Bob Berney

    Bob Berney to Leave Amazon Studios' Head of Marketing and Distribution Position

    Bob Berney, Amazon Studios’ head of marketing and distribution, is stepping down, Variety has confirmed. Berney was hired by Amazon in 2015 and recently reached the end of his four-year contract. His last day will be Friday. During his time at amazon, the film veteran oversaw a number of successful films including “Manchester by the [...]

  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE, 24:

    LGBTQ Stars Honored at Variety’s Power of Pride Celebration

    New York City felt the full power of pride on Monday, as Variety celebrated its inaugural issue devoted to the annual recognition of LGBTQ people worldwide. At an intimate gathering at lower east side Manhattan hotel The Orchid, rooftop bar Mr. Purple hosted Variety’s cover stars and luminaries for cocktails and the unveiling of the [...]

  • Joel Silver Exits Silver Pictures

    Joel Silver Exits Silver Pictures

    Top Hollywood producer Joel Silver has exited his production company Silver Pictures, Variety has confirmed. “Joel Silver recently indicated that he intends to leave Silver Pictures and go out on his own,” Hal Sadoff, a former ICM Partners agent who joined Silver Pictures several years ago as CEO, said in a statement. “We are working [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Ewen Bremner as Alan McGee in

    Danny Boyle-Produced ‘Creation Stories’ Adds Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff

    Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff and a host of other new names have signed on for “Creation Stories,” the film being exec-produced by Danny Boyle about Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee. The producers also unveiled the first shots of Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting”) as the music mogul. Production is underway on the Irvine Welsh-penned project, with “Lock, [...]

  • 'Annabelle Comes Home' Review: This Grab

    Film Review: 'Annabelle Comes Home'

    In a country that should probably think about renaming itself the American Entertainment State, fan culture now produces an obsessive level of pop scholasticism, one that can parse the rules and details of movies and TV shows as if they were fine points of law. In a review of a horror movie, I once called [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content