Saturday, May 27, 2023

​115 Filmmakers That You Won’t Believe Wrote Novels

For years I struggled to find a list somewhere of novels written by filmmakers. Not non-fiction books that are written by filmmakers, and not novelists who happen to have written a screenplay or two, but a list entirely composed of people who are first and foremost known as screenwriters and directors, but who it turns out to have cranked out a novel or two. Surely, someone who is a gifted storyteller could also convey compelling narratives on the page. As it turns out, there are hundreds who have done this. As we enter summer, begin our Patreon podcast episodes for “Next Best Adaptation” (First up is “Boy Erased”) and you start craving some beach reading, why not pick a name or two off of this list?

For the purposes of this list, I am leaving off people who are known primarily as novelists. As such, screenwriters/directors who are known more for their literature than for their screen efforts will not make this list, although Nick Hornby (“About a Boy,” “Brooklyn,” “An Education” & “Wild”), Luke Davies (“Lion,” “Candy” & “Life“), Clive Barker (“Hellraiser”), Graham Moore (“The Imitation Game”), and Anthony McCarten (“Darkest Hour” & “The Theory Of Everything”) warrant shoutouts as they’re almost equally well known as screenwriters as novelists.

Additionally, screenwriters/directors who wrote graphic novels will not make the list (There are dozens—James Wan, Daren Aronofsky, Eric Heisserer, Joss Whedon, just to name a few). Actors who have not heavily written or directed films will not make the list (So no Gene Hackman, John Travolta, and Britney Spears – yes all three of those people wrote novels). And finally, screenwriters/directors who wrote non-fiction books will not make the list. We’re focusing exclusively on writers who produced fiction novels. (Although I do want to give a shoutout to Paul Verhoeven for having written a non-fiction book about the hunt for historical Jesus because that was…unexpected, to say the least.)

​John Boorman

John Boorman

Notable Films/TV: Deliverance (Director), Hope and Glory (Writer/Director), Excalibur (Writer/Director), Point Blank (Director)
Novels: Crime of Passion

British director, John Boorman stands with an impressive five Oscar nominations to his name. His work in “Deliverance” remains an indelible part of pop culture history. Three generations of people will cringe if you ever say “I’m gonna make you squeal like a pig,” and you can’t get into a single white water rafting store without at least one t-shirt proudly bearing the phrase “paddle faster…I hear banjo music.” Hell, as Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” illustrated, if you really want to insult someone as a backwoods redneck, call them ‘Deliverance.’ His work on “Hope and Glory” again earned him much deserved Oscar attention, creating one of the all-time great portraits of England during WWII. 

His debut novel, “Crime of Passion” crept to bookshelves in 2016 with little fanfare and mixed reviews. The novel follows a group of filmmakers who see themselves spiraling into creative oblivion after their latest film is panned at Cannes (Boorman himself makes a cameo as a member of the Cannes jury). 

​Michael Cimino

Michael Cimino

Notable Films/TV: The Deer Hunter (Writer/Director), Heaven’s Gate (Writer/Director), Magnum Force (Writer), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (Writer/Director)
Novels: Big Jane

The late Michael Cimino erupted onto the filmmaking scene in the 1970s, first writing some of the better Clint Eastwood films of the period, before establishing himself as one of the great auteurs of the era with this Oscar-winning Vietnam epic, “The Deer Hunter.” Then he almost singlehandedly bankrupted a studio with his disastrous follow-up, “Heaven’s Gate,” bringing an era of unbridled creativity to an end.

He became a recluse afterward, largely avoiding interviews or even photographs, until he resurfaced with his 2001 debut novel, “Big Jane.” The novel, set in the 50s, and taking place in both Hollywood and Korea, failed to make much of a splash in the US, but was a hit in France, with Cimino ultimately receiving the Prix Littéraire Deauville 2001 (An award that had previously been awarded to literary greats such as Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal.) 

​Ethan Coen

Ethan Coen

Notable Films/TV: No Country for Old Men (Writer/Director), Fargo (Writer/Director), O Brother, Where Art Thou (Writer/Director), True Grit (Writer/Director)
Novels: Gates of Eden: Stories (also published book of poems)

If you’re reading this article, then I’ll presume I don’t really need to tell you much about Ethan Coen…he’s half of The Coen Brothers, two of the greatest filmmakers of our time. As literary as any Coen Brother film is, full of crackling dialogue, it is unsurprising that at least one of the brothers would turn his pen to prose. Although Coen’s “Gates of Eden” is not a novel, per say, but rather a collection of short stories, it is nonetheless a 300-page work of fiction. Most of the short stories focusing on classically Coen-esque setups: Midwestern crime with a splash of absurdist comedy. The writer/director has also written collections of poems. 

​Chris Columbus

Chris Columbus

Notable Films/TV: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Director), Home Alone (Director), Gremlins (Writer), Mrs. Doubtfire (Director)
Novels: House of Secrets, House of Secrets: Battle of the Beast (with Ned Vizzini)

Chris Columbus will eternally stand as one of the great children’s movie filmmakers. “Home Alone” and his two installments in the “Harry Potter” franchise are two of the highest grossing films of all time adjusted for inflation, and his Spielberg collaborations in the 1980s (“Young Sherlock Holmes” and “Gremlins”) are era classics. His two novels to date were appropriately also YA fantasy novels, co-written by the late Ned Vizzini (“It’s Kind of a Funny Story”) and that JK Rowling described as “a breakneck, jam-packed roller coaster of an adventure.”

​Frank Darabont

Frank Darabont

Notable Films/TV: The Shawshank Redemption (Writer/Director), The Green Mile (Writer/Director), The Walking Dead (Creator/Writer), The Mist (Writer/Director)
Novels: Wapulski’s Typewriter 

“The Shawshank Redemption” still stands as the highest rated film in IMDB history, while the writer/director’s other two Steven King adaptations are considered among the best based on King’s work. Darabont’s influence on the first season of “The Walking Dead” is apparent, as the show visibly declined in quality following his departure. 

Darabont continues his visible love of the horror genre with his debut novel, Wapulski’s typewriter, a horror novella that centers around a demon-possessed typewriter. 

​James Gunn

James Gunn

Notable Films/TV: Guardians of the Galaxy (Writer/Director), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Writer/Director), (Slither (Writer/Director), Dawn of the Dead (Writer)
Novels: The Toy Collector

Although James Gunn is best known for his “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, along with his gross-out horror work, the writer has some surprising credits to his name. First and foremost, he worked on the live action “Scooby Doo” films. But even more surprisingly, he wrote a novel back in the 90s. The novel, which focuses on a grown man struggling with a self-destructive relationship with toys and memorabilia features plenty of the writer/director’s signature bizarre humor but is noticeably darker than his onscreen work. 

​Eric Idle ​

Eric Idle

Notable Films/TV: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Writer), Life of Brian (Writer), The Meaning of Life (Writer), Monty Python’s Flying Circus (Writer)
Novels: The Road to Mars

As one of the founders of Monty Python, Idle stands as one of the great comedians of all time. Unsurprisingly, since his films are undoubtedly writing showcases, Idle had at least one comedy novel in him. The writer/actor’s sci-fi novel pulls from Idle’s real-life experiences in the world of comedy, focusing on two struggling comedians who travel throughout the galaxy in search of a standup gig. 

​Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan

Notable Films/TV: On the Waterfront (Director), A Streetcar Named Desire (Director), East of Eden (Director), Gentleman’s Agreement (Director)
Novels: America’s America, The Arrangement, The Anatolian, Beyond the Aegean, Acts of Love, The Understudy

Often described as one of the greatest directors of all-time, Kazan’s films always stood as politically charged and, as an immigrant himself, often focused on the struggle of immigration to America. His six novels did the same. 

​Ernest Lehman

Ernest Lehman

Notable Films/TV: West Side Story (Writer), The Sound of Music (Writer), North by Northwest (Writer), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe (Writer)
Novels: The French Atlantic Affair, The Sweet Smell of Success and Other Stories

The six-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter stands as one of the most successful in Hollywood history. He was astonishingly versatile, adding an iconic contribution to the musical, thriller, and general drama genres. His novel, leans more in the vain of his thrillers like “North by Northwest,” focusing on a high-seas highjacking, while his collection of short stories paints a steamy picture of show business, no doubt influenced by Lehman’s own experiences in the industry. 

​Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson

Notable Films/TV: Rain Man (Director), Good Morning Vietnam (Director), Wag the Dog (Director), Avalon (Writer/Director)
Novels: Sixty Six

The Academy Award-winning director may not be as relevant in the 21st century as he once was (Although he has carved out a good career for himself in television), but that in no way taints his cinematic legacy, having helmed some of the buzziest films of the 80s and 90s. His debut novel is a coming of age story focusing on a group of high school students in Baltimore during the tumultuous cultural changes of the 60s. 

​William Monahan

William Monahan

Notable Films/TV: The Departed (Writer), Edge of Darkness (Writer), Kingdom of Heaven (Writer), London Boulevard (Writer/Director)
Novels: Light House

Monahan may have only written one truly great screenplay (“The Departed”), but that Oscar-winning screenplay is strong enough to catch my attention whenever his name is mentioned. Unsurprisingly, Monahan’s novel is centered around the aftermath of a drug deal. More surprisingly, given the bloody and heavy nature of his films, is that the novel is also an absurdist satire. 

​Alan Parker

Alan Parker

Notable Films/TV: Midnight Express (Director), Mississippi Burning (Director), Evita (Writer/Director), The Commitments (Director)
Novels: The Sucker’s Kiss

Like others on this list, Parker may not be as relevant as he once was, but his cinematic contributions in the 70s and 80s earned him more than one Best Director Oscar nomination. The director’s debut novel follows in the footsteps of his debut film, “Bugsy Malone,” focusing on a gang of childhood thieves during the great depression. 

​Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone

Notable Films/TV: JFK (Writer/Director), Platoon (Writer/Director), Wall Street (Writer/Director), Born on the Fourth of July (Writer/Director)
Novels: A Child’s Night Dream

Oliver Stone’s greatest films focus on Vietnam in one fashion or another. So it is unsurprising that his lone novel would also center on the Vietnam War. Featuring a fictional ‘Oliver Stone,’ the novel, one of Stone’s earliest works, is a psychedelic trip through Vietnam.

​Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant

Notable Films/TV: Good Will Hunting (Director), Milk (Director), My Own Private Idaho (Writer/Director), Drug Store Cowboy (Writer/Director)
Novels: Pink

Released just a year after “Good Will Hunting,” Van Sant’s lone novel is a quirky, distinctly 90s, absurdist piece of literature focusing on small town struggling filmmakers. 

​Orson Welles

Orson Welles

Notable Films/TV: Citizen Kane (Writer/Director), Touch of Evil (Writer/Director), The Lady from Shanghai (Writer/Director), The Magnificent Ambersons (Writer/Director)
Novels: Mr. Arkadin: Aka Confidential Report: The Secret Sordid Life of an International Tycoon

Creator of what many consider the greatest film of all time, and a renowned member of the theater community, it is not shocking that Welles wrote at least one novel. His ‘novel’  (A comedic pulp-noir) however, in keeping with Welles’ desire for weirdness is “most likely an English translation of a screenplay novelization written in French that was based on a radio play about a character Welles played in “The Third Man.” (Pop Matters) 

Trust me…the list doesn’t end here. I just don’t have it in me to write 115 descriptions. Some of the names will shock, and some of the authors prove themselves more adept novelists than filmmakers (The writer of Uwe Boll’s “Alone In The Dark” is on here with a sci-fi novel that was considered one of the ‘Best Books of 2017.’)

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JJ Abrams
Notable Films/TV: Lost (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Star Trek (2009) (Director), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Writer/Director)
Novels: Ship of Theseus (with Doug Dorst)

Guillermo Arriaga
Notable Films/TV: Amores Perros (Writer), 21 Grams (Writer), Babel (Writer), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Writer)
Novels: The Guillotine Squad, The Night Buffalo, A Sweet Scent of Death

John August
Notable Films/TV: Big Fish (Writer), Charlies Angels (1 & 2) (Writer), Corpse Bride (Writer), Titan AE (Writer)
Novels: Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire

Ray Austin
Notable Films/TV: Magnum PI (Director), The Avengers (TV Show) (Director), Zorro (TV) (Producer/Director), House of the Living Dead (Director) 
Novels: Find Me A Spy, Catch Me A Traitor, Your Turn to Die, The Eagle Heist, Dead Again

Ronald Bass
Notable Films/TV: Rain Man (Writer), My Best Friend’s Wedding (Writer), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (writer), Sleeping with the Enemy (Writer)
Novels: Let Me Wake (with Adrienne Stoltz)

Neal Baer
Notable Films/TV: ER (Executive Producer/Writer), Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (Executive Producer/Writer), Under the Dome (Executive Producer/Writer), China Beach (Writer)
Novels: Kill Switch

David Benioff
Notable Films/TV: Game of Thrones (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), The Kite Runner (Writer), Brothers (Writer), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Writer)
Novels: 25th Hour, City of Thieves

Jessica Bendinger 
Notable Films/TV: Bring it On (Writer), Stick It (Writer/Director), The Truth About Charlie (Writer), First Daughter (Writer)
Novels: The Seven Rays

Ingmar Bergman
Notable Films/TV: Persona (Writer/Director), The Seventh Seal (Writer/Director, Fanny and Alexander (Writer/Director), Cries and Whispers (Writer/Director)
Novels: The Best Intentions, Sunday’s Children, Private Confessions

Mike Binder
Notable Films/TV: Reign Over Me (Writer/Director), The Upside of Anger (Writer/Director), Man About Town (Writer/Director), Indian Summer (Writer/Director)
Novels: Keep Calm

Leslie Bohem
Notable Films/TV: Dante’s Peak (Writer), Daylight (Writer), The Alamo (2004) (Writer), Taken (2002) (Executive Producer/Creator, writer)
Novels: Flight 505: A Novella

Henry Bromell
Notable Films/TV: Homeland (Executive Producer/Writer), Falling Water (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Homicide: Life on the Street (Executive Producer/Writer), Brotherhood (Writer)
Novels: The Slightest Distance, I Know Your Heart, Marco Polo: Stories, Follower, Little America 

Albert Brooks
Notable Films/TV: Saturday Night Live (Writer), Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (Writer/Director), Modern Romance (Writer/Director), Lost in America (Writer/Director)
Novels: 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America

C. Robert Cargill
Notable Films/TV: Doctor Strange (Writer), Sinister (Writer), Sinister 2 (Writer)
Novels: Dreams and Shadows, Queen of Dark Things, Sea of Rust

Paddy Chayefsky 
Notable Films/TV: Network (Writer), Marty (Writer), The Hospital (Writer), The Americanization of Emily (Writer)
Novels: Altered States

Steven Chbosky
Notable Films/TV: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Writer/Director), Wonder (Writer/Director), Beauty and the Beast (2016) (Writer), Rent (Writer)
Novels: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Pieces: A Collection of New Voices

Peter Craig
Notable Films/TV: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 & 2 (Writer), The Town (Writer), Blood Father (Writer), 12 Strong (Writer)
Novels: Blood Father, Hot Plastic, The Martini Shot, Twenty Wags of the Tail

Wes Craven
Notable Films/TV: A Nightmare on Elm Street (Writer/Director), Scream (Director), The Hills Have Eyes (Writer/Director), The Last House on the Left (Writer/Director)
Novels: Fountain Society

David Cronenberg
Notable Films/TV:The Fly (Writer/Director), A History of Violence (Director), Eastern Promises (Director), Scanners (Writer/Director)
Novels: Consumed

Julie Dash
Notable Films/TV: Daughters of the Dust (Writer/Director), The Rosa Parks Story (Director), Love Song (Director), Queen Sugar (Director)
Novels: Daughters of the Dust

Guillermo Del Toro
Notable Films/TV:Pan’s Labyrinth (Writer/Director), The Shape of Water (Writer/Director), Hellboy (Writer/Director), Pacific Rim (Writer/Director)
Novels: The Strain Trilogy (with Chuck Hogan), Trollhunters (with Daniel Kraus)

James DeMonaco
Notable Films/TV:The Purge (Writer/Director), The Purge: Anarchy (Writer/Director), The Purge: Election Year (Writer/Director), The Negotiator (Writer)
Novels: Feral (with BK Evanson)

Patrick Sheane Duncan
Notable Films/TV: Courage Under Fire (Writer), Mr. Holland’s Opus (Writer), Nick of Time (writer), Vietnam War Story (Writer)
Novels: Dracula vs Hitler, A Private War, Courage Under Fire

Norah Ephron
Notable Films/TV: When Harry Met Sally (Writer), Julie and Julia (Writer/Director), Sleepless in Seattle (Writer/Director), You’ve Got Mail (Writer/Director)
Novels: Heartburn

David Mickey Evans
Notable Films/TV:The Sandlot (Writer/Director), Radio Flyer (Writer/Director), Ed (Writer), Beethoven’s 3rd (Writer)
Novels: The King of Pacoima 

Hampton Fancher
Notable Films/TV: Blade Runner (Writer), Blade Runner 2049 (Writer), The Minus Man (Writer/Director), The Mighty Quinn (Writer)
Novels: The Shape of the Final Dog and Other Stories

Peter Farrelly
Notable Films/TV:There’s Something About Mary (Writer/Director), Dumb and Dumber (Writer/Director), Me, Myself, and Irene (Writer/Director), Kingpin (Director)
Novels: The Comedy Writer, Outside Providence

Julian Fellowes
Notable Films/TV: Downton Abbey (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Gosford Park (Writer), The Young Victoria (Writer), The Tourist (Writer)
Novels: Snobs, Belgravia, Past Imperfect

James Franco
Notable Films/TV: The Disaster Artist (Director), As I Lay Dying (Writer/Director), Child of God (Writer/Director), The Sound and the Fury (Director)
Novels: Palo Alto, Actors Anonymous

Scott Frank
Notable Films/TV: Get Shorty (Writer), Logan (Writer), Minority Report (Writer), A Walk Among the Tombstones (Writer/Director)
Novels: Shaker

Alex Garland
Notable Films/TV: 28 Days Later (Writer), Ex Machina (Writer/Director), Annihilation (Writer/Director), Never Let Me Go (Writer)
Novels: The Beach, The Coma, The Tesseract

Mick Garris
Notable Films/TV: Hocus Pocus (Writer), The Stand (Director), The Fly II (Writer), Masters of Horror (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: Development Hell, Snow Shadows, Salome

Mark Gatiss
Notable Films/TV: Sherlock (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Doctor Who (Writer), The League of Gentlemen (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Queers (2017) (Writer, Producer)
Novels: Black Butterfly, The Devil in Amber, The Vesuvius Club

Matt Goldman
Notable Films/TV: Seinfeld (Writer), Wizards of Waverly Place (Executive Producer, Writer), Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Writer), Ellen (Co-Executive Producer, Writer)
Novels: Gone to Dust

William Goldman
Notable Films/TV: All the President’s Men (Writer), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Writer), Marathon Man (Writer), The Princess Bride (Writer)
Novels: (THERE ARE A BUNCH)

Dan Gordon
Notable Films/TV: Wyatt Earp (Writer), The Hurricane (Writer), Murder in the First (Writer), Passenger 57 (Writer)
Novels: Day of the Dead: Gaza, Day of the Dead: America

Howard Gordon
Notable Films/TV: Homeland (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), 24 (Executive Producer/Writer), The X-Files (Executive Producer, Writer), The Inside (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: Hard Target, Gideon’s War, The Chamber

David S. Goyer
Notable Films/TV: Batman Begins (Writer), Blade (Writer), Man of Steel (Writer), Da Vinci’s Demons (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director)
Novels: Heaven’s Shadow series (co-written with Michael Cassutt)

Marc Guggenheim
Notable Films/TV: Arrow (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Legends of Tomorrow (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Green Lantern (Writer), Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Writer)
Novels: Overwatch

Barbara Hall
Notable Films/TV: Madam Secretary (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Judging Amy (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Joan of Arcadia (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Homeland (Writer)
Novels: A Summons to New Orleans, Better Place, Close to Home, The House Across the Cove, Dixie Storms

Derek Haas
Notable Films/TV: 3:10 to Yuma (Writer), Wanted (Writer), Chicago PD (Exec Producer/Creator, Writer), Chicago Med (Exec Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: The Assassin Trilogy, The Way I Die, A Different Lie

Tom Hanks
Notable Films/TV: Larry Crowne (Writer/Director), That Thing You Do (Writer/Director), Band of Brothers (Executive Producer, Writer, Director), From Earth to the Moon (Executive Producer, Writer, Director)
Novels: Uncommon Type: Some Stories

Ethan Hawke
Notable Films/TV: Before Sunset (Writer), Before Midnight (Writer), Blaze (Writer/Director), The Hottest State (Writer/Director)
Novels: The Hottest State, Ash Wednesday, Indeh: A Novel of the Apache Wars

Noah Hawley
Notable Films/TV:Fargo (show) (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Legion (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Bones (Writer), Lies & Alibies (Writer)
Novels: Before the Fall, A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Other People’s Weddings, The Punch, The Good Father

Terry Hayes
Notable Films/TV: The Road Warrior (Writer), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (Writer), From Hell (Writer), Vertical Limit (Writer)
Novels: I Am Pilgrim

Justin Haythe 
Notable Films/TV: Revolutionary Road (Writer), A Cure for Wellness (Writer), Red Sparrow (Writer), The Lone Ranger (Writer)
Novels: The Honeymoon

Peter Hedges
Notable Films/TV: About a Boy (Writer), Pieces of April (Writer/Director), Dan in Real Life (Writer/Director), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Writer)
Novels: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, An Ocean in Iowa, The Heights

Mike Hodges 
Notable Films/TV: Get Carter (Writer/Director), Black Rainbow (Writer/Director), Flash Gordon (Director), Croupier (Director)
Novels: Watching the Wheels Come Off

Tobe Hooper
Notable Films/TV: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Writer/Director), Poltergeist (Director), Lifeforce (Director), Invaders from Mars (Director)
Novels: Midnight Movie (with Alan Goldsher)

Garth Jennings
Notable Films/TV: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Director), Sing (Writer/Director), Son of Rambow (Writer/Director)
Novels: The Deadly 7: Who Needs Friends When You’ve Got Monsters?

Kenneth Johnson
Notable Films/TV: The Bionic Women (Producer, Writer, Director), V (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), The Incredible Hulk (TV show)(Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Alien Nation (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director)
Novels: Man of Legends

Ruth Jones
Notable Films/TV: Gavin & Stacey (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Stella (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Us & Them (Executive Producer, Writer), The Chase (Writer)
Novel: Never Greener

Neil Jordan
Notable Films/TV: The Crying Game (Writer/Director), Interview with a Vampire (Director), The Borgias (Executive Producer, Writer, Director), The End of the Affair (Writer/Director)
Novels: Night in Tunisia, The Past, Dream of a Beast, Sunrise with a Sea Monster, Shade, Mistaken, The Drowned Detective, Carnivalesque

Miranda July
Notable Films/TV: Me, You, and Everyone We Know (Writer/Director), The Future (Writer/Director)
Novels: No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories, The First Bad Man

Joe Keenan
Notable Films/TV: Frasier (Executive Producer, Writer), Desperate Housewives (Executive Producer, Writer), Out of Practice (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), The Odd Couple (Creator, Writer)
Novels: Blue Heaven, Putting on the Ritz, My Lucky Star

Steven Knight
Notable Films/TV: Eastern Promises (Writer), Locke (Writer/Director), Peaky Blinders (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Dirty Pretty Things (Writer)
Novels: The Last Words of Will Wolfkin

Harmony Korine
Notable Films/TV:Spring Breakers (Writer/Director), Kids (Writer), Mister Lonely (Writer/Director), Ken Park (Writer)
Novels: A Crack Up at the Race Riots

Tim Kring
Notable Films/TV: Heroes (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Crossing Jordan (Exec Producer/Creator, Writer), Chicago Hope (Writer), Touch (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: Shift

David Levien
Notable Films/TV: Billions (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Rounders (Writer), Knockaround Guys (Writer/Director), Oceans Thirteen (Writer)
Novels: City of the Sun, Where the Dead Lay, Thirteen Million Dollar Pop, Signature Kill, Wormwood, Swagbelly, The Contract

Lawrence H. Levy
Notable Films/TV: Seinfeld (Writer), Roseanne (Writer), The Love Boat (Writer), Ben 10 (Writer)
Novels: Brooklyn on Fire, Second Street Station, Last Stop in Brooklyn

George Lucas
Notable Films/TV: Star Wars: Episode IV (Writer/Director), American Graffiti (Writer/Director), Raiders of the Lost Ark (Writer), Star Wars: Episode I (Writer/Director)
Novels: Shadow Moon, Shadow Dawn, Shadow Star (with Chris Claremont)

David Mamet
Notable Films/TV: Glengarry Glen Ross (Writer), Wag the Dog (Writer), The Untouchables (Writer), House of Games (Writer/Director)  
Novels: Chicago, The Old Religion, The Village, Wilson

Steve Martin
Notable Films/TV: The Jerk (Writer), Three Amigos (Writer), Shopgirl (Writer), Roxanne (Writer) 
Novels: An Object of Beauty, The Pleasure of my Company, Shopgirl

Elan Mastai
Notable Films/TV: The F Word (Writer), The Samaritan (Writer), Alone in the Dark (Writer), MVP: Most Vertical Primate (Writer)
Novels: All Our Wrongs Today

George Mastras
Notable Films/TV: Breaking Bad (Co-Executive Producer, Writer, Director), The Dresden Files (Writer), Vinyl (Executive Producer, Writer), The Evidence (Writer) 
Novels: Fideli’s Way

Rebecca Miller
Notable Films/TV: The Ballad of Jack and Rose (Writer/Director), Maggie’s Plan (Writer/Director), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (Writer/Director), Personal Velocity (Writer/Director)
Novels: Jacob’s Folly, Personal Velocity, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

BJ Novak
Notable Films/TV: The Office (Executive Producer, Writer, Director), The Mindy Project (Writer/Director), Raising Dad (Writer)
Novels: One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

Sean Penn
Notable Films/TV: Into the Wild (Writer/Director), The Gunman (Writer), The Pledge (Director), The Crossing Guard (Writer/Director)
Novels: Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff

Clyde Phillips
Notable Films/TV: Dexter (Executive Producer/Writer), Suddenly Susan (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Nurse Jackie (Executive Producer, Writer), Feed the Beast (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: Blindsided, Fall From Grace, Unthinkable, Sacrifice

Nic Pizzolatto
Notable Films/TV: True Detective (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), The Magnificent Seven (2016) (Writer), The Killing (Writer), Galveston (Writer)
Novels: Galveston, Between Here and the Yellow Sea

Daniel Pyne
Notable Films/TV: The Manchurian Candidate (2004) (Writer), Where’s Marlowe (Writer/Director), Fracture (Writer), Bosch (Executive Producer, Writer)
Novels: Fifty Mice, Catalina Eddie, A Hole in the Ground Owned by a Liar, Twenty Nine Palms

Rhett Reese
Notable Films/TV: Deadpool (Writer), Zombieland (Writer), Life (2017) (Writer), GI Joe: Retaliation (Writer)
Novels: Anxiety

Doug Richardson
Notable Films/TV: Bad Boys (Writer), Die Hard 2 (Writer), Hostage (Writer), Money Train (Writer)
Novels: True Believers, Dark Horse, The Lucky Day series

WD Richter
Notable Films/TV: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1979) (Writer), Big Trouble in Little China (Writer), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Director), All Night Long (Writer)
Novels: Don’t Even Think About It

John Ridley
Notable Films/TV: 12 Years a Slave (Writer), American Crime (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Undercover Brother (Writer), Jimi: All By My Side (Writer/Director)
Novels: Stray Dogs, Love is a Racket, Everybody Smokes in Hell, A Conversation with Mann, The Drift, Those Who Walk in Darkness, What Fire Cannot Burn

Ken Russell
Notable Films/TV:Tommy (Writer/Director), Altered States (Director), The Devils (Director), Women in Love (Director)
Novels: Mike & Gaby’s Space Gospel, Violation, Beethoven Confidential, Brahms Gets Laid, Elgar: The Erotic Variations, Delius: A Moment with Venus.

John Sayles
Notable Films/TV: Eight Men Out (Writer/Director), Lone Star (Writer/Director), Passion Fish (Writer/Director), The Alienist (Writer)
Novels: A Moment in the Sun, The Bimbos, Los Gusanos, Union Dues, Pride of the Bimbos, The Anarchists Convention

Paul Scheuring 
Notable Films/TV: Prison Break (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), A Man Apart (Writer), The Experiment (Writer/Director), Halo: Nightfall (Executive Producer, Writer)
Novels: The Far Shore

Sidney Sheldon
Notable Films/TV: I Dream of Jeannie (Executive Producer/creator, Writer), Annie Get Your Gun (Writer), The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (Writer), The Patty Duke Show (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: A BUNCH

Kristen Smith
Notable Films/TV: 10 Things I Hate About You (Writer), Legally Blonde (Writer), The House Bunny (Writer), She’s the Man (Writer)
Novels: The Geography of Girlhood, Trinket

Sylvester Stallone
Notable Films/TV: Rocky (Writer), First Blood (Writer), The Expendables (Writer/Director), Rocky Balboa (Writer/Director)
Novels: Paradise Alley

Zack Stentz
Notable Films/TV: Thor (Writer), X-Men: First Class (Writer), Fringe (Producer, Writer), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Writer)
Novels: Colin Fischer (With Ashely Edward Miller)

Josh Stolberg
Notable Films/TV: Piranha 3D (Writer), Jigsaw (Writer), Good Luck Chuck (Writer), Kids in America (Writer/Director)
Novels: Incarnate

Dalton Trumbo 
Notable Films/TV: Spartacus (Writer), Roman Holiday (Writer), The Brave One (Writer), Exodus (Writer)
Novels: Eclipse, Johnny Got His Gun, Night of the Aurochs

Stephen Sinclair
Notable Films/TV: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Writer), Dead Alive (Writer), Meet the Feebles (Writer), Russian Snark (Writer/Director)
Novels: Thief of Colours, Dread

J. Michael Straczynski
Notable Films/TV: Sense8 (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Changeling (Writer), Babylon 5 (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Ninja Assassin (Writer)
Novels: Demon Night, Othersyde, Tribulations

Rob Thomas 
Notable Films/TV: izombie (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Veronica Mars (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), Party Down (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), 90210 (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer)
Novels: Rats Saw Dogs, Green Thumb, Satellite Down

Scott Thomas
Notable Films/TV: Raven’s Home (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), RL Stein’s The Haunting Hour (Writer), Best Friends Whenever (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer), Scooby-Doo! Mysteries Incorporated (2010) (Writer)
Novels: Kill Creek

Michael Tolkin 
Notable Films/TV: The Player (Writer), Deep Impact (Writer), Nine (Writer), Ray Donovan (Writer)
Novels: The Player, NK3, Under the Radar, Return of the Player, Among the Dead

Andrew Kevin Walker
Notable Films/TV: Se7en (Writer), Sleepy Hollow (Writer), The Wolfman (2010) (Writer), 8MM (Writer)
Novels: Old Man Johnson

Randall Wallace 
Notable Films/TV: Braveheart (Writer), The Man in the Iron Mask (Writer/Director), We Were Soldiers (Writer/Director), Heaven is for Real (Writer/Director)
Novels: The Touch, Love, and Honor

Matthew Weiner 
Notable Films/TV: Mad Man (Executive Producer/creator, Writer, Director), The Sopranos (Executive Producer, Writer), Are You Here (Writer/Director), Orange is the New Black (Director)
Novels: Heather, The Totality

Joe Weisberg 
Notable Films/TV:The Americans (Executive Producer/creator, Writer), Falling Skys (Writer), Damages (Writer)
Novels: An Ordinary Spy, 10th Grade

DB Weiss 
Notable Films/TV: Game of Thrones (Executive Producer/Creator, Writer, Director), The Specials (Executive Producer), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Writer)
Novels: Lucky Wander Boy

Chris Weitz
Notable Films/TV: About a Boy (Writer/Director), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Writer), A Better Life (Director), Cinderella (2015) (Writer)
Novels: The Young World, The New Order, The Revival

Gary Whitta
Notable Films/TV: The Book of Eli (Writer), Rogue One (Writer), After Earth (Writer), Star Wars: Rebels (Writer)
Novels: Abomination

Matt Whitten
Notable Films/TV:House (Writer), Supernatural (Writer), Law & Order (Writer), Pretty Little Liars (Writer)
Novels: The Killing Bee, Strange Bedfellows, Breakfast at Madeline’s, Grand Delusion

Gregory Widen
Notable Films/TV: Highlander (Writer), Backdraft (Writer), The Prophecy (Writer/Director), Tales From The Crypt (Writer/Director)
Novels: Blood Makes Noise

Linda Woolverton
Notable Films/TV: Beauty and the Beast (1991) (Writer), The Lion King (Writer), Alice in Wonderland (2010) (Writer), Maleficent (Writer)
Novels: Star Wind, Running Before the Wind

S. Craig Zahler
Notable Films/TV: Bone Tomahawk (Writer/Director), Brawl in Cell Block 99 (Writer/Director), Asylum Blackout (Writer)
Novels: A Congregation of Jackals, Wraiths of the Broken Land, Corpus Chrome, Inc., Mean Business on North Ganson Street, Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child


Special shoutouts go to the late George Romero, whose unfinished zombie novel is due out later this year, as well as to Jason Blum, who oversees an entire horror publishing company, and to Spike Lee, Gary Ross, and Tim Burton for writing children’s books. A number of actors, such as Gene Hackman, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, and Hugh Laurie have also written novels.

Do any of these take you by surprise? Have you read any of these filmmaker’s novels? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to our Patreon Page so you can keep up with our “Book Club” on the podcast this year called “Next Best Adaptation” as we read through this year’s Best Adapted Screenplay contenders then give our thoughts on the podcast.

You can follow Will and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @mavericksmovies

Will Mavity
Will Mavityhttps://nextbestpicture.com
Loves Awards Season, analyzing stats & conducting interviews. Hollywood Critics Association Member.

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