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Highest paid film screenwriters


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Current records

$4 million:

  • The Long Kiss Goodnight by Shane Black
$3 million:
  • Basic Instinct by Joe Eszterhas
  • Medicine Man by Tom Schulman
  • The Ugly Americans (Eurotrip) by Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer
  • Bad Dog (unproduced) by Dale Launer
  • Married in the Morning (unproduced) by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan
  • Panic Room by David Koepp. $2 million against $3 million.
$2.75 million:
  • Mozart and the Whale (The Newports) by Ronald Bass. $2 million against $2,750,000.
$2.5 million:
  • The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan
  • Twister by Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Crichton
  • Jade by Joe Eszterhas
  • A Knight's Tale by Brian Helgeland
  • Untitled Will Davies Romantic Comedy (unproduced) by Will Davies
  • Jackson (unproduced) by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson
  • The Superconducting Supercollider of Sparkle Creek, Wisconsin (unproduced) by David Koepp and John Kamps. '$2.5 million against $3.25 million with an additional deferred bonus of $1.5 million for Koepp.
  • Deja Vu by Terry Rossio and Bill Marsilii. $2 million against $5 million.
$2.25 million:
  • Untitled Disney Family Comedy (unproduced) by Kevin Bisch
  • They Came From Upstairs (unproduced) by Mark Burton
  • You, Me and Dupree by Mike LeSieur
  • The Break-Up by Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender
$2 million:
  • The Arrangement (unproduced) by Kevin Bisch
  • Stalker: A Love Story (unproduced) by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert
  • The Worst Man (unproduced) by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert
  • Manhattan Ghost Story (unproduced) by Ronald Bass, based on the novel by T.M. Wright.
  • Radio Flyer by David M. Evans
  • Forever Young by Jeffrey Abrams
  • Showgirls by Joe Eszterhas
  • Sacred Cows (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas
  • Reliable Sources (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas
  • Courage Under Fire by Patrick Sheane Duncan
  • Tennessee (Pearl Harbor) by Randall Wallace
  • River Road (unproduced) by Andrew Niccol
  • The Mark (unproduced) by Rob Liefield
  • Untitled Tim Herlihy Comedy (unproduced) by Tim Herlihy
  • The Game by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris
  • Untitled Firestein-Pesce Action Project (unproduced) by Les Firestein and PJ Pesce
  • Executive Search (unproduced) by Gerald Di Pego
  • Going West (Switchback) by Jeb Stuart
  • Untitled Michael McCullers Buddy Comedy (unproduced) by Michael McCullers
  • Alpha (unproduced) by David Benioff
  • Ghost Town by David Koepp and John Kamps
  • Male Pattern Baldness (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas. $2 million against 4.5 million.
$1.8 million:
  • RPM (unproduced) by J.H. Wyman
  • Stay by David Benioff
$1.5 million:
  • The Passion of the Ark by Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg. $1.5 million against 2.5 million.
$1.25 million:
  • 99 Problems (unproduced) by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. $1.25 against $2 million.
$1.1 million:
  • Milk Money by John Mattson, bought outright by Paramount in 1992.
$1 million:
  • Foreplay (unproduced) by Joe Eszterhas. $1 million against $3.5 million.
  • The Cheese Stands Alone (unproduced) by Kathy McWorter.
  • Steinbeck's Point of View (unproduced) by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson. $750,000 against $3,750,000 with an additional potential $2 million bonus cast contingent.
  • Man-Witch by Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg. $750,000 against $1.5 million.
Source: Wikipedia and hollywoodlitsales.com
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You're right, OverItAll. Still, the fact that James E. Reilly receives $2m a year is also repulsive... And what is amazing that daytime writing is actually the most lucrative of writing niche. :lol:

I'm surprised they don't pay JERk in Krispy Kreme currency.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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:( Hollywood doesn't respect GREAT films!

[LOL...I hope Sylph knows I'm just kidding]

Showgirls is classic. Especially during the "emoting" scene where Elizabeth Berkeley literally stops dead in her tracks, faces the car, and throws herself down on it sobbing.

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