Screenplay Writers

Throughout history, there have been many screenplay writers who have contributed greatly to their field. The list includes many familiar and great screenplay writers, such as John Krasinski, Quentin Tarantino, Roald Dahl, Emilio Estevez and John Cleese.
More From Screenplay Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Screenplay Writers

 1 Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes
4
Famous As: Television Producer
Birthdate: January 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.

 2 Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

 3 Gene Roddenberry

Gene Roddenberry
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: El Paso
Died: October 24, 1991
TV writer and producer Gene Roddenberry, who created the original Star Trek series of the 1960s, also produced its spin-offs. He was the first TV writer to have a Hollywood Walk of Fame star and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. His ashes were flown into space.
Recommended Lists:

 4 Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 5 Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach
4
Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: September 3, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Noah Baumbach is an American filmmaker and screenwriter. One of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers of his generation, Noah Baumbach has received Academy Award nominations for films, such as Marriage Story and The Squid and the Whale. His style of filmmaking is cited as an influence by many aspiring filmmakers.

 6 Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh
4
Famous As: Playwright, Screenwriter, Filmmaker
Birthdate: March 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camberwell

The director and writer of the Academy Award-winning short film, Six Shooter, Martin McDonagh is also well known as a playwright and stage director. The Beauty Queen of Leenane is one of the his noted works. The crime drama film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was another successful venture of McDonagh. He says he prefers films to plays.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Caroline Aherne

Caroline Aherne
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
Died: July 2, 2016
BAFTA-winning comedian Caroline Aherne is remembered for her portrayal of the character Mrs. Merton on various shows, such as Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show and The Mrs Merton Show. Fans also loved her as Denise Royle in the sitcom The Royle Family and as a narrator on Gogglebox. 
You May Like

 8 David Mamet

David Mamet
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: November 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Author, screenwriter, and playwright David Mamet is best known for his Pulitzer-winning and Tony-nominated play Glengarry Glen Ross. He has written for many Broadway and off-Broadway plays and also for films such as House of Games. He has produced and written for the show The Unit and authored several books.

Recommended Lists:

 9 David Ayer

David Ayer
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer, Actor
Birthdate: January 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Champaign

 10 Neil Simon

Neil Simon
3
Famous As: Playwright & Screenwriter
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York
Died: August 26, 2018
Recommended Lists:

 11 Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman
4
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Charlie Kaufman is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist. One of the most decorated screenwriters of his generation, Kaufman has won several prestigious awards, such as the Academy Award, BAFTA Awards, and Writers Guild of America award. Three of his scripts feature in the 101 greatest movie screenplays list published by the Writers Guild of America.

 12 Shane Van Dyke

Shane Van Dyke
3
Famous As: Actor, Screenwriter, Film director, Television actor
Birthdate: August 28, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 13 Denis Villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve
4
Famous As: Film Director, Screenwriter, Playwright
Birthdate: October 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada

Known for directing critically acclaimed movies, such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve was adjudged Filmmaker of the Decade in 2019 by the Hollywood Critics Association. One of the most popular and respected filmmakers of the current generation, Denis Villeneuve's films have had a major impact all over the world.

 14 Max Landis

Max Landis
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film actor, Film director
Birthdate: August 3, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beverly Hills
Recommended Lists:

 15 Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Director & Producer
Birthdate: June 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Joss Whedon is best known for creating the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. He has directed the Marvel film The Avengers and its sequel. He co-wrote Justice League and Toy Story. He has also created various comic book series, such as Astonishing X-Men, and owns two production houses.

 16 Adam McKay

Adam McKay
4
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Adam McKay began as the chief writer of Saturday Night Live. The Academy Award-winning screenwriter later co-founded the Upright Citizens Brigade and directed the Anchorman films. Along with Will Ferrell, he co-wrote several films and series and founded the site Funny or Die. He has also hosted a science podcast.

 17 Nick Castle

Nick Castle
3
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Film actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 18 James L. Brooks

James L. Brooks
3
Famous As: Film producer, Film director
Birthdate: May 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 19 Douglas Fairbanks

Douglas Fairbanks
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 12, 1939

 20 Shane Black

Shane Black
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film director, Actor
Birthdate: December 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 21 Russell T Davies

Russell T Davies
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Television producer, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: April 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Swansea

Russell T Davies is a Welsh television producer and screenwriter who contributed immensely to the success of the popular science fiction television show Doctor Who. When Davies was working for the show, Doctor Who received five successive National Television Awards starting from 2005. He has also won prestigious awards, such as the British Academy Craft Award and the Cymru Award.

 22 S. E. Hinton

S. E. Hinton
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

 23 Amy Sherman-Palladino

Amy Sherman-Palladino
3
Famous As: She is the creator of the comedy-drama series Gilmore Girls
Birthdate: January 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Amy Sherman-Palladino created many popular comedy-drama series, such as Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Bunheads. The six-time Primetime Emmy-winning director became the first female won win the Emmy for direction and comedy writing. She owns a production house and is known for her signature master-shot style.

 24 Elaine May

Elaine May
3
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
Birthdate: April 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 25 Wyatt Cooper

Wyatt Cooper
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quitman, Mississippi, United States
Died: January 5, 1978

Wyatt Cooper was an American author, actor, and screenwriter. He is remembered for his marriage with socialite Gloria Vanderbilt—a union that produced Anderson Cooper, a popular television journalist. While being married to Gloria Vanderbilt, Wyatt Cooper often made public appearances and enjoyed hogging the limelight.

 26 Paul Haggis

Paul Haggis
3
Famous As: Director, screenwriter, and producer who won the Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture for the 2004 film Crash
Birthdate: March 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada

 27 Akiva Schaffer

Akiva Schaffer
3
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Film editor, Songwriter, Writer, Television actor
Birthdate: December 1, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkeley

 28 Dan Gilroy

Dan Gilroy
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film director best known for writing and directing Nightcrawler (2014)
Birthdate: June 24, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

 29 Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou
3
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

Part of the Chinese Fifth Generation of filmmakers, Zhang Yimou is best known for his Academy Award-nominated films Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, and Hero. His most expensive film, The Great Wall, was, however, a box-office failure. He also directed part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

 30 Leigh Whannell

Leigh Whannell
3
Famous As: Actor, Screenwriter, Writer, Director
Birthdate: January 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melbourne

Leigh Whannell is an Australian screenwriter, actor, producer, and director. He often collaborates with his friend James Wan, and the two have worked together on the movies Saw, Dead Silence, and Insidious. He also wrote the Saw video game. He worked as a reporter and film critic for TV shows before entering the film industry. 

 31 Peter Marc Jacobson

Peter Marc Jacobson
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer, Television actor, Film actor, Film director, Actor
Birthdate: October 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City

 32 Simon Kinberg

Simon Kinberg
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer
Birthdate: August 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

 33 Greg Berlanti

Greg Berlanti
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer
Birthdate: May 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Suffern, New York, United States

 34 Alex Kurtzman

Alex Kurtzman
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer
Birthdate: September 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 35 Christopher McQuarrie

Christopher McQuarrie
3
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, United States

 36 Drew Goddard

Drew Goddard
3
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Writer
Birthdate: February 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Alamos

 37 Damon Lindelof

Damon Lindelof
3
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States

 38 Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Joseph L. Mankiewicz
3
Famous As: Writer, Director, Producer
Birthdate: February 11, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 5, 1993
Polish-American screenwriter and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz won Academy Awards for his work in the movies All About Eve and Letter to Three Wives. He was associated with Paramount, MGM, and Twentieth Century Fox. He also had his own production company, Figaro, and directed the film Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor.

 39 Jesse Armstrong

Jesse Armstrong
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 1972 AD
Birthplace: Oswestry, England

 40 Gary Delaney

Gary Delaney
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: April 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Solihull

 41 Mike Henry

Mike Henry
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: November 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pontiac, Michigan, United States

 42 Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby
3
Famous As: Author & Editor
Birthdate: April 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Redhill

British author Nick Hornby is best known for his bestselling books Fever Pitch, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, all of which were later made into movies. A Cambridge alumnus, he had begun as a freelance journalist for publications such as GQ. He is also known for his music reviews.

 43 Burnie Burns

Burnie Burns
3
Famous As: Screenplay Writer, Actor, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker
Birthdate: January 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States

 44 Nicholas Pileggi

Nicholas Pileggi
3
Famous As: Writer, Screenwriter, Film producer, Journalist
Birthdate: February 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City

 45 Diablo Cody

Diablo Cody
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Producer, Director, Dancer, Writer, Journalist
Birthdate: June 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lemont, Illinois, United States

 46 Paula Pell

Paula Pell
3
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States

 47 Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 1, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Coney Island, New York, United States
Died: December 12, 1999

 48 Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd
2
Famous As: screenwriter, film producer
Birthdate: June 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stamford

 49 Bryan Fuller

Bryan Fuller
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Television producer
Birthdate: July 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lewiston

 50 Martha Fiennes

Martha Fiennes
3
Famous As: actor, screenwriter, writer
Birthdate: February 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Suffolk