×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Connolly: College partnership leads to ‘Guaranteed’ success

10 Screenwriters to Watch 2012: Derek Connolly

Success wasn’t guaranteed for Derek Connolly until he wrote “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a $750,000 sci-fi movie that won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance before it rode a wave of good reviews (94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) to a healthy $4 million gross in the U.S.

While Connolly, 36, has spent the past eight or nine years in Los Angeles, he met “Safety Not Guaranteed” director Colin Trevorrow back at NYU, where they took classes in film production and comedy writing together before interning at “Saturday Night Live.”

Connolly describes his relationship with Trevorrow as “a special partnership. You hear about writing partners in college and you think, ‘I’d never want to work with anybody.’ We got together by accident and I see how it can benefit you. I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t started that partnership with him.”

After Sundance, Connolly moved up to Emeryville to work at Pixar, where he’s writing an untitled project for Teddy Newton (“Day and Night”). “It’s totally different, the way they do things up here. You’re here everyday. You don’t go away for three months and come up with a script. You’re involved with a director and it’s very collaborative.”

The Pixar gang also told him “not to dumb it down or treat animation like it’s for kids. ”

Connolly, who has sold original projects to Parkes/MacDonald and Temple Hill, has two projects in development at Disney — “Hank” and a remake of “Flight of the Navigator.”

Scribe’s dream job would be adapting the “Wheel of Time” series of fantasy novels owned by Universal, though he was flattered to read his name among all the scribes being considered (by fanboys) for the coveted job of writing “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

Reps: Verve Talent & Literary Agency, 3Arts Entertainment and attorney Lev Ginsburg.

Return to 10 Screenwriters to Watch 2012

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

  • Maelle Arnaud

    Lumière Chief Programmer Maelle Arnaud: 'Film History Doesn't Have Parity'

    LYON, France   — As the Lumière Institute’s head programmer since 2001, Maelle Arnaud helped launched the Lumière Festival in 2009 and has watched it grow in international esteem over the decade that followed. This year, the festival ran 190 films across 424 screenings in theaters all over town. The festival will come to a [...]

  • Girl with Green Eyes

    Talking Pictures TV: Bringing the Past Back to Life in the U.K.

    LYON, France – Since its launch in 2015, Talking Pictures TV has become the fastest-growing independent channel in the U.K. with a growing library of British film and TV titles that span five decades, according to founder Noel Cronin. Noel Cronin attended the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, where he [...]

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content