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Eric Heisserer

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Eric Heisserer
Heisserer in 2021
Eric Andrew Heisserer

1970 (age 53–54)
Occupation(s)Filmmaker, comic book writer, television writer, television producer
Years active2005–present
(m. 2010)

Eric Andrew Heisserer (born 1970) is an American filmmaker, comic book writer, television writer, and television producer. His screenplay for the film Arrival earned him a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the 89th Academy Awards in 2016.


Heisserer's professional screenwriting career was launched with the sale of The Dionaea House to Warner Bros. in 2005,[1] based on an online epistolary story of the same name[2] that he wrote from autumn 2004 to winter 2006.[1] The Dionaea House was a multimedia novel told across multiple blogs run by fictional characters, and concerned an ominous house that existed in multiple places across the United States. It is considered to be one of the first popular creepypasta stories. He then developed an original television pilot for Paramount Pictures and CBS, and wrote feature projects for Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Warner Bros.[3] In 2007, he sold a pitch to Regency Enterprises and Fox called Inhuman, a supernatural thriller set in Tokyo that combines live action and anime sequences, as well as a coming-of-age horror script titled Dustycats, about a teenage girl who discovers she transforms into a werecat when aroused.[4]

In December 2008, Heisserer was hired to re-envision and rewrite the script for the franchise reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, produced by Platinum Dunes.[5] An early draft had been written by Wesley Strick. The script went on to land director Samuel Bayer, actor Jackie Earle Haley, and began filming in May 2009.[6]

He rewrote the prequel to director John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing.[7] In April 2010, Heisserer signed on to write Final Destination 5,[8] the fifth film of the horror film franchise.

Heisserer made his directorial debut with the film Hours, starring Paul Walker.[9] Heisserer co-wrote The Conjuring 2 along with the brothers Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes.[10] Heisserer wrote along with artist Felipe Massafera and Colorist Wes Dzioba, the comic book series Shaper.[11]

Heisserer wrote the 2016 film Arrival based on Ted Chiang's short story "The Story of Your Life". Heisserer has said that he was attracted to the challenge of adapting the non-linear story by its emotional content.[12] After the release of the film, he was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 89th Academy Awards.

In July 2017, Heisserer announced that he was developing a science fiction series based on another Ted Chiang's story, "Liking What You See: A Documentary", for AMC. The series will explore concepts such as beauty, relationships, and advertising.[13]

On September 27, 2017, there was an announcement that Heisserer would write the script for the live-action remake of the sci-fi romance anime Your Name. By September 2020, he was replaced by Lee Isaac Chung and Emily V. Gordon.[14]

Heisserer wrote the script for Bird Box (2018), based on the thriller book Bird Box, by Josh Malerman.[15][16] Released by Netflix, the film stars Sandra Bullock and was directed by Susanne Bier.[17]

Heisserer formerly served as creator, head writer, show runner, and executive producer of the adapted 2021 Netflix series Shadow and Bone, an adaptation of the fantasy book series The Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology.[18] The show ran for two seasons before being cancelled by Netflix in November 2023.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Heisserer is the son of Margaret L., a senior editor for a publishing company, and Andrew J. Heisserer, a professor of ancient history, of Norman, Oklahoma. Heisserer married television producer/writer Christine Boylan in 2010. His previous marriage ended in divorce.[20]

Heisserer identifies as agnostic.[21]



Year Title Writer Producer Notes
2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street Yes No Co-written with Wesley Strick
2011 Final Destination 5 Yes No
The Thing Yes No
2013 Hours Yes No Also director
2016 Lights Out Yes Yes
Arrival Yes Executive Saturn Award for Best Writing
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Screenplay
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2018 Bird Box Yes Executive
2020 Bloodshot Yes No Co-written with Jeff Wadlow


Year Title Writer Executive
2021–2023 Shadow and Bone Yes Yes


He wrote the book "150 Screenwriting Challenges", containing exercises to help screenwriters develop their skills.[22] It was published in November 2013.


  1. ^ a b "Warners buys spec 'House'; Heyday aboard". HollywoodReporter.com. May 11, 2005. Archived from the original on December 26, 2005.
  2. ^ Eric Heisserer. "The Dionaea House: Correspondence from Mark Condry". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  3. ^ "Writer Eric Heisserer Talks Getting Final Destination 5 Right". DreadCentral.com.
  4. ^ "Inhuman and Dustycats, 2011". The Hollywood Reporter. June 2007.
  5. ^ "Eric Heisserer Paying Attention to the Hallmarks of 'Final Destination' Franchise". Bloody-Disgusting.com.
  6. ^ Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton to star in 'The Thing' Archived February 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Screenwriter Eric Heisserer Talks Bringing The Thing Story Full Circle". DreadCentral.com.
  8. ^ "New Title for Fifth 'Final Destination', Opening Disaster Revealed!". Bloody-Disgusting.com.
  9. ^ "Paul Walker Starring in Post-Hurricane Katrina Thriller 'Hours'". Hollywood Reporter. October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  10. ^ "New Writer Tapped For The Conjuring 2". Dread Central. October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  11. ^ "Eric Heisserer Talks Space Opera In "Shaper"". BD. October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  12. ^ Greene, Steve (February 7, 2017). "'Arrival' Screenwriter Eric Heisserer on Writing the Unfilmable Story: Awards Spotlight". IndieWire. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  13. ^ Riesman, Abraham (July 22, 2017). "Arrival Screenwriter Developing AMC Sci-Fi Series". Vulture. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 18, 2020). "Lee Isaac Chung To Direct 'Your Name' Live-Action Reimagining From Toho, Paramount And Bad Robot". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  15. ^ "Eric Heisserer In Talks To Adapt 'Bird Box' For Universal". deadline.com. July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  16. ^ "'Mama' director Andy Muschietti in talks for 'Bird Box'". digitalspy.co.uk. February 27, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 19, 2017). "Sandra Bullock to Star in Netflix Thriller 'Bird Box'". Variety. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (January 10, 2019). "Netflix Orders Shadow And Bone Series Based On Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse Novels From Eric Heisserer & Shawn Levy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  19. ^ "Shadow and Bone cancelled after two seasons as Netflix axes five underperforming shows". November 16, 2023.
  20. ^ "Christine Boylan, Eric Heisserer". The New York Times. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  21. ^ Heisserer, Eric (January 23, 2018). "As an agnostic I find merit in the theory that the rapture has happened in slow motion and only Prince, Bowie, and Ursula made the cut". @HIGHzurrer. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  22. ^ "Eric Heisserer".

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