You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Britt-Gibson: Tough guys inspire hard-edged screenplays

10 Screenwriters to Watch 2011: Justin Britt-Gibson

Justin Britt-Gibson is obsessed with tough guys, the cynical, obsessive, hard-living, hair-trigger types found in the fiction of the Donald Westlake and Mickey Spillane and movies like 1971’s “The French Connection” and 1967’s “Point Blank,” starring Lee Marvin.

“I live and breathe in that world,” Britt-Gibson says. “That’s what gets me up in the morning, punching the keys.”

The scribe put himself on the Hollywood map — and the 2007 Black List — with “Grown Man Business,” which a takes ’70s-style revenge film storyline and sets it against a gritty urban backdrop similar to “Boyz in the Hood” and “Juice,” two favorites from his youth.

“My father’s still around, we have a relationship, but my parents divorced when I was 4,” Britt-Gibson says. “I thought, what would happen if my biological father found out I was killed when I was 18 years old? I decided to do my take on the guy avenging the death of the son he never knew.”

Britt-Gibson grew up far from the ‘hood in Silver Springs, Md., with his mother, Donna Britt, a onetime USA Today film critic and Washington Post columnist currently writing a memoir for Little, Brown and Co.; stepfather Kevin Merida, national editor at the Post; and two brothers.

A film major at Temple U., he came to L.A. in 2002 for a summer internship at Tom Hanks’ Playtone Prods., where he pored over scripts, studying their structure. Returning after graduation, he worked as a freelance journalist, P.A.’d on the short-lived series “Listen Up,” and wrote several scenes for the third season of HBO’s “Deadwood” as part of a writers program held by series creator David Milch.

In the years since, Gibson-Britt, who’s signed with Gersh, has scripted the “Lethal Weapon”-esque “Streets on Fire,” in development at Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst Films, and “7th Son,” a graphic novel adaptation for Warner Bros. He also has a blind deal with Fox 21, and he’s doing a rewrite for Paramount on “Code Name Sasha.” But what he’d like more than anything is to see “Grown Man Business” finally make it to the bigscreen.

“To this day, it’s my baby,” he says.

Josh Appelbaum & Andrew Nemec | Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot | Justin Britt-Gibson | Neil Cross | Andrew Haigh | Kurt Johnstad | Lauryn Kahn | Paula Pell | Jon Spaihts | Brian Yorkey

More Scene

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger Makes First Post-Surgery Appearance at Rolling Stones Ballet Premiere

    Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content