Jack Thorne

Jack Thorne (born 6 December 1978) is an English screenwriter and playwright. Born in Bristol, England, he has written for radio, theatre and film. Thorne began his TV career writing on Shameless and Skins, before writing Cast Offs in 2009. He has since created the shows Glue, The Last Panthers, and Kiri. He has won five BAFTA awards: Best Mini-Series for This is England ’88, Best Drama Series for The Fades, Best Single for Don’t Take My Baby, Best Serial for This is England ’90 and Best Original Series for National Treasure.[1]

Jack Thorne
Born (1978-12-06) 6 December 1978
Bristol, England, UK
OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter
Notable awards
  • London Film Festival Award for Best British Newcomer (The Scouting Book For Boys) - 2009
  • Sony Radio Academy Gold Award for Best Drama (People Snogging in Public Places) - 2010
  • Fringe First Winner (Bunny) - 2010
  • Royal Television Society Award for Best Writer- Drama (This is England '86) (with Shane Meadows) - 2011
  • BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Series (The Fades) - 2012
  • BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Serial (This is England '88) - 2012
  • BAFTA TV Award for Best Single Drama (Don't Take My Baby) - 2016
  • BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Serial (This Is England '90) - 2016
  • Jameson Empire Award - Best TV Series (This Is England '90) - 2016
  • Royal Television Society Award for Best Mini-Series (National Treasure) - 2017
  • BAFTA TV Award for Best Mini-Series (National Treasure) - 2017
  • Olivier Award for Best New Play (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) - 2017
  • Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) - 2017

Thorne’s feature film credits include The Scouting Book for Boys, War Book, A Long Way Down, and Wonder (starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson). Thorne is also a prolific playwright having written the critically acclaimed The Solid Life of Sugar Water,[2] Hope,[3] and adaptations of Let The Right One In,[4] Woyzeck (starring John Boyega)[5] and A Christmas Carol (starring Rhys Ifans).[6] He also wrote the stage play for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child based on an original story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany, which won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2017[7] and the 2018 Tony Award for Best Play.


Thorne was educated at St. Bartholomew's School, Newbury, Berkshire. He matriculated in 1998 at Pembroke College, Cambridge.[8]


Thorne's plays for stage include When You Cure Me (Bush Theatre, 2005[9]), Fanny and Faggot (Finborough Theatre and tour 2007[10]), Stacy (Arcola Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, 2007[11]), Burying Your Brother in the Pavement (Royal National Theatre Connections Festival 2008[12]), 2 May 1997 (Bush Theatre 2009[13]), Bunny (Underbelly and tour 2010[14]) which won a Fringe First at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival [15] and Hope (Royal Court Theatre, 2014). He also collaborated on Greenland (2011) with Moira Buffini, Penelope Skinner and Matt Charman at the National Theatre.

In 2011 he participated in the Bush Theatre's project Sixty Six Books, for which he wrote a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible.[16]

In 2012 his version of Friedrich Duerrenmatt's The Physicists was staged at the Donmar Warehouse.[17]

His 2013 adaptation of the book and film Let The Right One In was staged in a production by the National Theatre of Scotland at Dundee Rep Theatre, London's Royal Court Theatre, West End and New York's St. Ann's Warehouse.

In summer 2015, his play The Solid Life of Sugar Water premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, produced by Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth, it then toured in early 2016, with a run at the National Theatre in March 2016[18]

Thorne wrote the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on an original story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany, which is running at the Palace Theatre in London's West End since August 2016, and on Broadway since April 2018.

Together with the composer Stephen Warbeck, Thorne wrote Junkyard, a musical about coming-of-age in Lockleaze, an Adventure playground in Bristol.[19]

His plays are published by Nick Hern Books.[20]

Thorne wrote a new adaptation of Woyzeck by Georg Büchner for the Old Vic in 2017 with John Boyega in the title role.[21]

He has written a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for the Old Vic for the Christmas 2017/18 season, directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Rhys Ifans as Ebenezer Scrooge. The play will be produced on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, from 7 November 2019 to 5 January 2020. Campbell Scott will play Scrooge, with direction by Matthew Warchus.[22]


Thorne has written for the TV shows Skins and Shameless. He co-created Cast-offs [23]), and has co-written This Is England '86, This Is England '88, and This Is England '90 with Shane Meadows.[24][25] In August 2010, BBC Three announced Thorne would be writing a 60-minute, six episode supernatural drama for the channel called Touch, later re-titled The Fades.[26][27] In 2012, he won BAFTA awards for both drama series (The Fades) and serial (This Is England '88).[28][29] In 2014 the Thorne's original rural teen murder drama Glue premiered on E4 and the show was nominated Best Multichannel Programme and the 2015 Broadcast Awards. In autumn of 2015 This Is England '90 transmitted on Channel 4 and earned Thorne a Best Series Award at the Jameson Empire Awards 2016 and the BAFTA for Best-Mini Series in 2016. Next, the pan-European diamond heist thriller for Sky Atlantic The Last Panthers, which aired in the UK in September 2015 was BAFTA nominated for Best Drama Series. To round up a hat-trick of nominations at the 2016 BAFTA TV Awards Thorne's BBC 3 single Don't Take My Baby was nominated and went on to win the BAFTA for Best Single Drama.

Thorne's Channel 4 drama National Treasure started on 20 September 2016.[30] In April 2016 it was announced that Thorne would be adapting Philip Pullman's epic trilogy His Dark Materials for BBC One.[31]

In 2017, it was announced that he would write an episode of the Channel 4/Amazon Video series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.[32][33]

In 2017, it was announced that Thorne will write the Damien Chazelle musical drama Netflix series The Eddy.[34]

Thorne's four-part dark drama Kiri began on Channel Four on 10 January 2018.[35]


Thorne has written four plays for radio; an adaptation of When You Cure Me (BBC Radio 3, 2006[36]), Left at the Angel (BBC Radio 4, 2007[37]), an adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (co-written with Alex Bulmer, BBC Radio 4, 2009[38]) and People Snogging in Public Places (BBC Radio 3, 2009[39]). The latter won him the Sony Radio Academy Awards Gold for Best Drama 2010.[40] The judges described it "as a wonderfully written and performed, highly original piece of radio drama in which the production perfectly mirrored the subject. Painful and funny, it was a bold exciting listen."[41] A Summer Night (BBC Radio 3, 2011) was Thorne's response to the 2011 London riots, transmitted live as part of the Free Thinking festival.

In 2012, People Snogging in Public Places was produced and broadcast by France-Culture (in the Fictions / Drôles de drames slot) under the French title of Regarder passer les trains (translator: Jacqueline Chnéour).


Thorne's first film The Scouting Book for Boys[42] was released in 2009, it won him Best Newcomer at the London Film Festival.[43] The jury said, "Jack Thorne is a poetic writer with an end-of-the-world imagination and a real gift for story-telling.".[44] Thorne has been commissioned to write feature films for producers both sides of the Atlantic, with credits including War Book starring Sophie Okonedo which Tom Harper directed, and A Long Way Down starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Aaron Paul (directed by Pascal Chaumeil) based on the novel by Nick Hornby.

On 8 May 2013, Thorne was hired to adapt the film adaptation of Wonder; a 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. Thorne co-wrote the script with Steve Conrad and Stephen Chbosky. The latter directed the film, which starred Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay and was released on 17 November 2017.[45] On 2 August 2017, it was announced he would rewrite the script for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,[46] but on 12 September 2017, he was replaced by J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio.[47][48][49] In 2018, it was announced that he will re-write the initial screenplay penned by Chris Weitz for Disney's live-action adaptation of Pinocchio, directed by Paul King[50], as well co-write The Aeronauts for Amazon Studios.[51]


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  2. "The Solid Life Of Sugar Water | National Theatre | South Bank, London". 8 December 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. "Hope - Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  4. "Let The Right One In - Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
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  6. "A Christmas Carol | The Old Vic". The Old Vic. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
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  17. Billington, Michael (8 June 2012). "The Physicists – review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  18. Thorne, Jack (6 February 2017). "Jack Thorne's Junkyard: how I turned an adventure playground into a musical". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  19. "Authors". Nick Hern Books. 2 May 1997. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  20. "John Boyega to star in Woyzeck at the Old Vic Theatre". Tuppence Magazine. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  21. Paulson, Michael. "Campbell Scott to Star in Broadway Christmas Carol" The New York Times, 13 August 2019
  22. Archived 22 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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  24. "News | Channel 4". www.channel4.com.
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  29. "Channel 4 announces National Treasure". Channel 4.
  30. "Writer Jack Thorne to adapt His Dark Materials". BBC News. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  31. Cynthia Littleton. "Amazon Grabs U.S. Rights to Bryan Cranston's 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' Anthology Series". Variety.
  32. Nellie Andreeva. "'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' TV Series From Ron Moore, Michael Dinner & Bryan Cranston Picked Up By Amazon". Deadline.
  33. Tartaglione, Nancy (1 September 2017). "Damien Chazelle & Netflix Have 'The Eddy' Musical Drama Series On Dance Card". Deadline. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
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  36. "Radio 4 Programmes – Afternoon Play, Looking for Angels, Looking for Angels: Left at the Angel". BBC. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  37. "Radio 4 Programmes – Classic Serial, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  38. "Radio 3 Programmes – The Wire, People Snogging in Public Places". BBC. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
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  44. Jr, Mike Fleming (8 May 2013). "Lionsgate Taps Jack Thorne To Adapt R.J. Palacio Novel 'Wonder'". Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  45. Lamble, Ryan (2 August 2017). "Star Wars Episode 9: Jack Thorne to rewrite the screenplay". Den of Geek. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  46. "J.J. Abrams to Write and Direct Star Wars: Episode IX". StarWars.com. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
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  48. Diapana, Tiny (12 September 2017). "Justice League Screenwriter Replaces Harry Potter's Jack Thorne In Star Wars: Episode IX". EpicStream. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  49. Kit, Borys (20 February 2018). "Disney's Live-Action 'Pinocchio' Enlists 'Paddington' Director". Hollywood Reporter.
  50. Andreas Wiseman (15 August 2018). "Felicity Jones-Eddie Redmayne Ballooning Pic 'The Aeronauts' Under Way In UK, Amazon Releases Striking First-Look". Deadline. Retrieved 6 November 2018.

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