Adam Cozad: Give Jack Ryan a reboot

10 Screenwriters to Watch

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

Imagine your favorite literary character gets (re)made into a movie, and you get to help make it. Yeah, like that would happen. Except for Adam Cozad, it kind of did. The writer’s spec script “Moscow” (original title: “Dubai”) is being touted as the re-boot of the Jack Ryan franchise for Paramount and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

“I grew up adoring all of those Tom Clancy books,” says Cozad. “I’ve always kind of geeked out on that character (Ryan) … I was really trying to write it as a geopolitical thriller (with the same) tone as a Tom Clancy thriller.”

Popular on Variety

Screenwriting wasn’t a natural choice for Cozad, who says “in college, all my worst grades were in English,” and a screenwriting class “wasn’t love at first sight.” But when his “bad-ass sister” returned from Mexico, where she had worked with an NGO as a human shield “with a fascinating yarn about the Zapatista rebellion and government reprisals against indigenous villages” Cozad felt “it was an interesting story with an important social message, so I began working on my first script.”

That script didn’t work out, and Cozad attributes “writing for years without any success” as a benefit to his career. “Toiling in obscurity keeps you humble,” he says.

Cozad, who just finished political thriller “The Grey Man” for New Regency, says he isn’t a one-genre guy. “I’ve also got ideas for everything from a 16th century war epic, to a comedy, to a very twisted version of a romantic drama.” Also on his plate? A “labor intensive, but gratifying” graphic novel called “Dark Side.”

Age: 34
Provenance: Chico, CA
Inspired by: Robert Capa, Larry McMurtry, Steven Spielberg — “Saving Private Ryan,” Egon Schiele, “Every Which Way But Loose,” Tom Clancy, Gillo Pontecorvo — “Battle of Algiers,” Frank Darabont — “Shawshank Redemption,” Jim Henson — everything.
Reps: Jeremy Bell at the Gotham Group; Aaron Hart, Doug MacLaren at ICM; Jeff Frankel at McKuin Frankel Whitehead

More Film

  • Halelluja

    Berlin Fest Screens Rare Prints of King Vidor Classics in Retrospective Sidebar

    American director-producer-screenwriter King Vidor (1894-1982), whose long and notable career parallels the history of Hollywood filmmaking, is the subject of a 35-film retrospective at the Berlinale, curated by Rainer Rother, artistic director of the Deutsche Kinematek and head of the Retrospective program. The films, chosen from five decades, will be screened in the best extant [...]

  • Beasts Clawing at Straws Review

    'Beasts Clawing at Straws': Film Review

    Cheap gangsters, duplicitous dragon ladies, a mute tattooed assassin, get-rich-quick schlubs looking to score and a comical detective: “Beasts Clawing at Straws” could just as well be called “Beasts Toying with Clichés” if it weren’t such an amusing, echt Korean romp. Debuting director Kim Yong-hoon acknowledges a certain “Fargo” influence, but there’s also a hint [...]

  • Dev Patel Toronto International Film Festival

    Film News Roundup: Dev Patel to Star in 'Flash Crash' Financial Thriller

    In today’s film news roundup, Dev Patel will portray a market whiz in a “Flash Crash” movie, the late Marty Sklar is honored at UCLA, “The Conversation” is getting a re-release and Ellen Page’s documentary gets a trailer. PROJECT LAUNCH Dev Patel will star in the adaptation of “Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global [...]

  • Police guard the scenery in front

    Mass Shooting in Germany Raises Security Concerns for Berlin Film Festival

    A mass shooting in the West German city of Hanau has raised security concerns for the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off on Thursday. Local media reports late Wednesday indicate that several people are dead following a shooting. Eight people are believed to have been killed while five others are injured. An unknown assailant is [...]

  • Foto: ©2019 TOM TRAMBOWProjekt: „Lassie Come

    Global Screen Sells 'Lassie Come Home' to More Than 44 Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Munich-based world sales company Global Screen has pre-sold the new adaptation of Eric Knight novel’s “Lassie Come Home,” whose canine character was first brought to the big screen more than 75 years ago, to more than 44 countries. Territories include Italy (Lucky Red), France (Mediawan Rights), Scandinavia (Angel Scandinavia), Israel (Film House), CIS (Volga Film), [...]

  • Paramount Players

    Paramount Players Loses Executives Matt Dines, Ali Bell

    Paramount Players has lost two of its executives, with Matt Dines and Ali Bell leaving their posts as executive vice presidents of development and production. A spokesman for Paramount told Variety that there are no plans to shutter the three-year-old division in the wake of the departures. Wyck Godfrey, Paramount’s motion pictures group president, remains [...]

  • Anya Taylor Joy Emma Premiere

    Anya Taylor-Joy on Playing Jane Austen's Clever, Callous Protagonist in 'Emma'

    It was an evening of elegance at the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features’ “Emma” on Tuesday night. The red carpet was lined with pastel floral arrangements at the DGA Theater, priming visitors to be transported to the ornate pageantry of Georgian-era England, as depicted in this new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale. Anya [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content