The Info List - Eric Heisserer

Eric Andrew Heisserer (born 1970) is an American screenwriter. He is best known for writing the screenplay for Arrival, which earned him a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the 89th Academy Awards in 2016.

He also wrote the horror films A Nightmare on Elm Street, Final Destination 5, The Thing and Lights Out, and wrote and directed "Hours" with Paul Walker.


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 that he wrote in October 2004.[2] 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.[citation needed]

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.[4] 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.[5]

He rewrote the prequel to director John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing.[6] In April 2010, Heisserer signed on to write Final Destination 5,[7] the fifth film of the horror film franchise.

Heisserer made his directorial debut with the film Hours, starring Paul Walker.[8]

In July 2013 Heisserer was set to write the script for the then upcoming thriller book Bird Box by Josh Malerman.[9] Universal Pictures acquired the rights in February 2013 and now set the script for Andy Muschietti to direct the film.[10] In July 2017, the film was picked up by Netflix with Sandra Bullock starring and Susanne Bier as director.[11] Heisserer co-wrote The Conjuring 2 along with the brothers Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes.[12] Heisserer wrote along with artist Felipe Massafera and Colorist Wes Dzioba, the comic book series Shaper.[13]

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.[14] 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 story, Liking What You See: A Documentary, for AMC. The series will explore concepts such as beauty, relationships, and advertising.[15]

On 27 September 2017, there was an announcement that Heisserer would write the script for the live-action adaptation of the sci-fi romance anime Your Name.

Personal life

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. Since 2010, Heisserer has been married to television producer/writer Christine Boylan. His previous marriage ended in divorce.[16]

Heisserer identifies as agnostic.[17]


Year Film Director Writer Producer
2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street No Yes (with Wesley Strick) No
2011 Final Destination 5 No Yes No
2011 The Thing No Yes No
2013 Hours Yes Yes No
2016 Lights Out No Yes Yes
2016 Arrival No Yes Yes
2018 Bird Box No Yes No
TBA Your Name No Yes No


  1. ^ Hollywood Reporter article about the sale of Dionaea to Warner Brothers Archived December 26, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Heisserer, Eric. "The Dionaea House" Correspondence from Mark Condry". 
  3. ^ "Writer Eric Heisserer Talks Getting Final Destination 5 Right". DreadCentral.com. 
  4. ^ "Eric Heisserer Paying Attention to the Hallmarks of 'Final Destination' Franchise". Bloody-Disgusting.com. 
  5. ^ Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton to star in 'The Thing' Archived February 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Screenwriter Eric Heisserer Talks Bringing The Thing Story Full Circle". DreadCentral.com. 
  7. ^ "New Title for Fifth 'Final Destination', Opening Disaster Revealed!". Bloody-Disgusting.com. 
  8. ^ "Paul Walker Starring in Post-Hurricane Katrina Thriller 'Hours'". Hollywood Reporter. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  9. ^ "Eric Heisserer In Talks To Adapt 'Bird Box' For Universal". deadline.com. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "'Mama' director Andy Muschietti in talks for 'Bird Box'". digitalspy.co.uk. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin. "Sandra Bullock to Star in Netflix Thriller 'Bird Box'". Variety. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  12. ^ "New Writer Tapped For The Conjuring 2". Dread Central. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  13. ^ "Eric Heisserer Talks Space Opera In "Shaper"". BD. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  14. ^ Greene, Steve. "'Arrival' Screenwriter Eric Heisserer on Writing the Unfilmable Story: Awards Spotlight". IndieWire. IndieWire. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  15. ^ Riesman, Abraham. "Arrival Screenwriter Developing AMC Sci-Fi Series". Vulture. Vulture. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "Christine Boylan, Eric Heisserer". The New York Times. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ Heisserer, Eric (23 January 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 2018-01-24. 

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