Zach Dean is an American screenwriter and film producer, best known for writing the films Deadfall, The Tomorrow War and Fast X.

Zach Dean
EducationNew York University
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
Years active2012–present
Known for


Dean's first produced screenplay was for the 2012 heist film Deadfall, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, and starring Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, and Charlie Hunnam.[1] In 2005, Dean was on JetBlue Flight 292 from Burbank to New York when the passengers were informed that the plane's landing gear had malfunctioned. As the plane circled around for hours, Dean contemplated his mortality and vowed to write a screenplay about family, which would become the script for Kin (later renamed Deadfall).[1]

Dean wrote the 2017 sci-fi action thriller 24 Hours to Live, directed by Brian Smrz and starring Ethan Hawke.[2] He wrote the sci-fi action time travel thriller The Tomorrow War (originally titled Ghost Draft), which is directed by Chris McKay and stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, and Betty Gilpin.[3][4] Originally scheduled to be released by Paramount Pictures,[5] Amazon Studios acquired the rights to the film in a deal worth approximately $200 million, and release it on Prime Video on July 2, 2021.[6]

Several of his screenplays have made The Black List survey of Hollywood's best unproduced scripts. Beast, about a reformed criminal with a violent past, made the list in 2013.[7] The World War II film Atlantic Wall, with Bradley Cooper attached to star and Gavin O'Connor to direct, made the list in 2015.[8] Voyagers, a biopic for Warner Brothers which tells the love story of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, was on the 2016 Black List.[9] The Gorge was on the 2020 Black List,[10] and was purchased in 2020 by Skydance.[5] Other yet-to-be-produced screenplays include the sci-fi film Canary, which was purchased in 2018 by Imagine Entertainment to be directed by Ron Howard;[11] Methuselah, at Warner Brothers, based on the character from the Old Testament;[12] and the action-thriller Layover.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Dean is a Michigan native.[1] He earned a master's in writing from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2005.[14] Before selling his first script, he taught digital film production and screenwriting at Riverdale Country School in The Bronx.[1][13] He has also worked as a bartender, carpenter, and casino dealer.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e Zeitchik, Steven (24 March 2010). "An in-flight scare leads to a buzz script on the ground". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  2. ^ Harvey, Dennis (22 November 2017). "Film Review: '24 Hours to Live'". Variety. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  3. ^ Sneider, Jeff (19 August 2019). "J.K. Simmons, 'GLOW' Star Betty Gilpin Join Chris Pratt in 'Ghost Draft'". Collider. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  4. ^ Blistein, Jon (26 May 2021). "Chris Pratt Is a Time-Traveling, Alien-Fighting Super Soldier in 'The Tomorrow War' Trailer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b Kit, Borys (16 October 2020). "Skydance Picks Up Action Love Story 'The Gorge' From 'Tomorrow War' Writer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  6. ^ Dry, Jude (28 April 2021). "'The Tomorrow War' Teaser Trailer: Chris Pratt Gives Amazon Its $200 Million Summer Tentpole". Indiewire. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  7. ^ Han, Angie (16 December 2013). "The 2013 Black List: The Year's Most Liked Unproduced Screenplays". Slash Film. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike (29 November 2016). "Bradley Cooper, Gavin O'Connor Team On Imperative's WWII Drama 'Atlantic Wall'". Deadline. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  9. ^ Schechet Epstein, Sonia (21 February 2017). "Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan: Interview with Zach Dean". Science & Film. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (14 December 2020). "'Excelsior!' Script About Marvel's Stan Lee, Jack Kirby Makes 2020 Black List". Collider. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike (21 June 2018). "Imagine Buys Zach Dean Pitch 'Canary' As Ron Howard Directing Vehicle". Deadline. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (22 October 2014). "David Heyman's 'Methuselah' Finds Writer". Variety. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  13. ^ a b Siegal, Tatiana. "Endgame lands 'Layover'". Variety. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Alumni Recognized on the Black List 2020". NYU Tisch. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2021.

External linksEdit