James Vanderbilt

Sometimes one's legacy can precede you by a large margin, and with James Vanderbilt, that was definitely the case. He was a descendant of the fabled Vanderbilt family, but he carved a new unique path in his family's lineage by becoming a well-known screenwriter. His career kicked off in a big way in 2003 as three of his projects all were released. There was "Darkness Falls" (2003), an American/Australian horror film that was the first film directed by Jonathan Liebesman. There was also the John Travolta-starring thriller "Basic" (2003). The last of his debut trio was "The Rundown" (2003), a comedy starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott. None of the three movies were major successes, and Vanderbilt faded back into writer obscurity. That all changed a few years later when he wrote the acclaimed David Fincher film "Zodiac" (2007) and received considerable buzz for his work. His work on "Zodiac" led him to writing "The Losers" (2010). Following that, he paired with Marc Webb to write "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012). While he contributed to the story of the sequel "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (2014), Vanderbilt wasn't a part of the writing process. Instead, he wrote the political action movie "White House Down" (2013), which was directed by Roland Emmerich. Emmerich liked working with Vanderbilt so much that he hired him to write a draft for the Independence Day sequel. After languishing in big-budget films, Vanderbilt moved in another direction, as he wrote and directed "Truth" (2015), a based-on-a-true-story political drama about the memoir of the disgraced journalist Mary Mapes.