Simon Beaufoy already had a best original screenplay Academy Award nomination under his belt, (for the cult classic British comedy The Full Monty), by the time he first read a draft of Indian author Vikas Swarup's debut novel, Q&A.
Several months later, he found himself meandering through the slums of Mumbai, looking for inspiration. Before long he had adapted the novel into a screenplay, building a more elaborate narrative around the protagonist, Jamal, and most importantly, adding a central love interest: Latika. (Source)
Eventually British studio Celador took on the project. And based primarily on Beaufoy's credentials, particularly with regards to The Full Monty, Danny Boyle agreed to direct. Beaufoy's work on Slumdog ultimately won him the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay as well as the Golden Globe for best screenplay. (Source)
Beaufoy has continued to build on his Slumdog success, collaborating again with Boyle again in 2010 on 127 Hours. He followed up by contributing screenplays for 2011's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, the second installment of The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire, in 2013, and the 2015 disaster film Everest.