28 Days Later (2002)
The Author: Alex Garland ( The Beach, The Tesseract, The Coma )
The Screenplay: Following Danny Boyle’s adaptation of The Beach , he collaborated with Garland again for this original screenplay that turned the zombie formula on its rotting head.
Signature Style: Garland’s streetwise, urban viewpoint, often found in his novels comes into play with this film, as he presents the first realistic take on zombies in years.
The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
The Author: James Agee ( A Death In The Family, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and more)
The Screenplay: Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis Grubb, James Agee wrote the script with director Charles Laughton.
The film completely bombed upon release with both audiences and critics, only gaining appreciation over the years.
Signature Style: Despite writing in many different mediums, Agee is best known for his film criticism, although also wrote the screenplay for The African Queen .
There’s no discernible stylistic connection between this film and his works other than, as a film critic, he knew how to write one well.
The Author: Stephen Chbosky ( The Perks Of Being A Wallflower )
The Screenplay: An adaptation of the Broadway musical written by Jonathan Larson, the film ultimately earned mixed to poor reviews.
Signature Style: As the writer (and eventual director) of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower , Chbosky is well-versed in adolescent dramas, but that would be understating the tragedies that unfold in this film.
The Author: Michael Crichton ( Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo and many more)
The Screenplay: After Jurassic Park , Crichton could have had his pick of film writing gigs.
Here, it was Spielberg himself who commissioned Crichton to write the film based on a 10-page treatment by screenwriter Jeffrey Hilton.
Following Crichton’s final draft, Joss Whedon was brought in for rewrites.
Signature Style: It’s a classic man vs nature adventure from the author, who specialises in ‘science gone wrong’ storylines.
Jane Eyre (1943)
The Author: Aldous Huxley ( Brave New World, Point Counter Point, The Genius And The Goddess and many more)
The Screenplay: The script was written by Huxley, John Houseman, Henry Koster and Robert Stevenson and was based on a radio adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel.
Signature Style: Aldous Huxley is widely regarded as an intellectual who satirised society in his work, and there’s more than a shade of that in this adaptation.
Although, thankfully, his later interest in psychedelic drugs doesn’t seem to have affected his work here.
The Misfits (1961)
The Author: Arthur Miller ( Death Of A Salesman, All My Sons, The Crucible, A View From The Bridge among so many more)
The Screenplay: It was a completely original script by Miller, who is best known for his stage plays but had written film scripts before.
Despite many problems on set, including Miller’s own marriage breakdown with star Marilyn Monroe, the film received very positive reviews.
Signature Style: The film focuses on hard-hitting relationship drama in a style that is identifiably Miller’s.
The White Countess (2005)
The Author: Kazuo Ishiguro ( Remains Of The Day, Never Let Me Go, An Artist Of The Floating World and more)
The Screenplay: The script follows a group of people trying to get by in 30s Shanghai and received mostly missed to positive reviews.
Signature Style: Ishiguro normally always sets his novels in the past, particularly around the pre-war and post-war periods, which is where this film fits in. The sense of dramatic tragedy is a trait of Ishiguro too.
The Color Of Money (1986)
The Author: Richard Price ( Clockers, Bloodbrothers, The Wanderers and more)
The Screenplay: Price adapted the script from the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis (obviously a sequel to his previous novel The Hustler ) and earned himself an Oscar nom as a result.
Signature Style: Price’s novels explore a gritty, modern-day America complete with urban tension and realism, which can certainly be applied to this film, even if it is mostly contained to a pool hall.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
The Author: David Benioff ( 25th Hour, City Of Thieves and he is also the co-creator of the Game Of Thrones TV series)
The Screenplay: Benioff is a huge comic-book fan and chased the project for three years before he was hired to write the screenplay, which he mostly based on Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X storyline. The script was later revised by Hitman scribe Skip Woods.
Signature Style: Between Game Of Thrones and his previous script for Troy , Benioff has proved that he has a talent for steeping himself in mythology, which surely came in handy for this film.
A Star Is Born (1937)
The Author: Dorothy Parker ( Enough Rope, Sunset Gun, Death And Taxes , not to mention many collections of poetry)
The Screenplay: Parker wrote the script with Robert Carson and husband Alan Campbell, and it was nominated for an Academy Award.
Although later on in life, Parker claimed that she added nothing of significance to the screenplay.
Signature Style: Parker was known as a witty, wise-cracking writer and there’s plenty of that spark in this script, so maybe she contributed more than she let on?