Perhaps no other screenwriter in the annals of Hollywood history had as varied a career as Akiva Goldsman. For the first decade of his life as a film scribe, Goldsman collaborated with Joel Schumacher...
New York City, New York, USA
|Intimate Portrait: Jane Kaczmarek||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||Interviewee||20027|
|Moving Image Salutes Ron Howard||2005 2004 - 2005||Actor||Presenter||20057|
|Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||2006 2005 - 2006||Actor||Self||20067|
|Felicity||2001 1997 - 2001||Actor||Guest Speaker||20017|
|Star Trek||2009||Actor||Vulcan Council Member||20097|
|Star Trek Into Darkness||2013||Actor||Starfleet Admiral||20137|
|Kings||2008 2007 - 2008||Director||n/a||4|
|Starsky & Hutch||2004||Producer||n/a||3|
|Mr. & Mrs. Smith||2005||Producer||n/a||3|
|I'm Reed Fish||2007||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Paranormal Activity 4||2012||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Lost in Space||1998||Producer||n/a||3|
|I Am Legend||2007||Producer||n/a||3|
|Deep Blue Sea||1999||Producer||n/a||3|
|Paranormal Activity 3||2011||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Paranormal Activity 2||2010||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Brooklyn Rules||2007||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|Angels & Demons||2009||Screenplay||(adaptation)||1|
|Lost in Space||1998||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Batman & Robin||1997||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|The Da Vinci Code||2006||Screenplay||(adaptation)||1|
|A Beautiful Mind||2001||Screenplay||(Adaptation)||1|
|A Time to Kill||1996||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|I Am Legend||2007||Screenplay||(rewrite)||1|
|Adapted John Grisham's novel, "A Time to Kill"; film directed by Schumacher|
|Re-teamed with Will Smith to produce the superhero comedy, "Hancock"|
|Produced and co-wrote with Reed Fish, the semi-autobiographical tale about seizing the day, "I'm Reed Fish"|
|Submitted his writing to magazines like The New Yorker|
|Served as a producer of "Mindhunters"|
|Wrote the screenplay for "I, Robot" starring Will Smith|
|Founded a consulting firm that helped mental health workers create comprehensive treatment environments|
|Made rare on screen appearance as a speaker in an episode of "Felicity" (WB)|
|Wrote the screenplay for "The Cinderella Man"; re-teamed with Howard and Crowe from "A Beautiful Mind"|
|Fourth collaboration with Schumacher, the script for "Batman & Robin"|
|Penned screenplay for "Silent Fall"|
|Co-wrote the screenplay for Schumacher's "Batman Forever"; the third installment in the franchise|
|Produced the dark comedy, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie|
|Reportedly re-wrote Steve Zaillian's draft of "The Sum of All Fears"; neither received final on screen credit|
|Wrote the feature adaptation of "A Beautiful Mind"; directed by Ron Howard and loosely based on the biography of John Forbes Nash Jr.|
|Formed Weed Road Pictures|
|Adapted Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" for the big screen; starring Tom Hanks and directed by Howard|
|Reportedly did uncredited rewriting on "The Specialist"|
|Served as a producer on "Deep Blue Sea"|
|Received credit for adapting Alice Hoffman's novel "Practical Magic" for the screen|
|Contributed to the screenplay for "The Recruit"|
|Made screenwriting debut with "The Client"; first collaboration with Joel Schumacher|
|Penned "Angels & Demons," the film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel and sequel to "The Da Vinci Code"; re-teamed with Hanks and Howard|
|Produced the big screen adaptation of "Lost in Space"; also wrote the screenplay|
Born on July 7, 1962 in Brooklyn, NY, Goldsman was raised by his father, Tev, a therapist, and his mother, Mira, a Holocaust survivor, child psychologist and author of Children with Emerald Eyes. Both his parents founded the Blueberry Treatment Centers, one of the United States' first group homes for emotionally disturbed children. By the time he was 10, however, Goldsman was fed up with his parents' focus on the other children, which actually spurred his desire to slip into a fantasy world and write. As a teenager, he followed through on his desire and began writing stories that he submitted to several prominent publications, including The New Yorker. His efforts were met with resounding rejection, but he continued undaunted, graduating high school at 16 and attending Wesleyan University, where he still indulged his inner muse. The summer before he graduated Wesleyan in 1983, Goldsman visited his mother, who was a clinical director at a camp for autistic and schizophrenic children. When an eight-year-old boy drowned, Goldsman was deeply effected - enough to spend the next decade working at his parents' treatment center.
Though he devoted his young adulthood to helping children, Goldsman still held ambitions to be a writer. He pursued a master of fine arts in creative writing at New York University, after which he dove headlong into his parents' business, founding a consulting firm to assist mental health workers in creating comprehensive treatments for their patients. It was after winning a debate at Harvard University over treatment of troubled children that Goldsman decided to pursue a writing career. After taking a course in screenwriting, he churned out the pages for what became "Silent Fall" (1994), a psychological thriller drawn from Goldsman's experiences with mentally troubled children about a psychologist (Richard Dreyfuss) aiding a criminal investigation in which a key witness is an autistic boy (Ben Faulkner). Though "Silent Fall" was considered mediocre creatively and financially, the film nonetheless helped Goldsman gain a foothold in the industry. He was soon hired by director Joel Schumacher to adapt John Grisham's best-selling novel for "The Client" (1994), a compelling thriller that netted star Susan Sarandon an Oscar nomination and marked the start of a fruitful collaboration with Schumacher.
In 1995, Goldsman did rewrites on Schumacher's "Batman Forever," the third installment in a franchise that was quickly losing its edge, with many feeling that it was inferior to the first two Tim Burton-directed films. A second Grisham adaptation, "A Time to Kill" (1996), was better received by critics and audiences, who responded positively to its plot involving murder and race relations in Mississippi. Meanwhile, the Schumacher-Goldsman collaboration continued with "Batman & Robin" (1997), a confusing, excessively overproduced fourth installment that nearly killed the once ballyhooed series. Most agreed that the script was littered with lame jokes and bad dialogue, particularly when Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) - who spouted lines like "The iceman cometh" and "My name is Freeze. Learn it well, for it's the chilling sound of your doom" - was on screen. Though many blamed Schumacher's direction for veering too close to the camp of the 1960s television series, Goldsman shared responsibility. Perhaps significantly, the film marked a break in the collaboration between Goldsman and Schumacher.
For his next project, Goldsman turned his attention to another camp television classic from the 1960s, "Lost in Space" (1998), starring William Hurt as the iconic John Robinson. But rather than embrace its inherent camp qualities, Goldsman instead adopted a serious tone that was seriously out of place. Film critic Roger Ebert even opined that "'Lost in Space' is one of those typing-speed jobs where the screenwriter is like a stenographer, rewriting what he's seen at the movies." Though it opened well, "Lost in Space" quickly fell off and ultimately grossed a little over half of its estimated $126 million budget. That same year, Goldsman was one of three credited writers who adapted Alice Hoffman's novel "Practical Magic" (1998) into a vehicle for Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, who starred as two polar opposite sisters whose heritage of practicing magic has led to a curse that ultimately leaves all the men they love dead. Perhaps due to the multitude of writers, the resulting film lacked a strong point of view, leaving many feeling that the quirky charm and inherent comedy in the novel was somehow lost.
After being credited as a producer on Renny Harlin's silly thriller "Deep Blue Sea" (1999), Goldsman remained busy, dividing his time between developing projects through his production company Weed Road Pictures and accepting for-hire writing jobs. He was the first to take a crack at adapting Tom Clancy's novel, The Sum of All Fears, which was released in 2002 with Ben Affleck as the Jack Ryan character. By that time, however, Goldsman's contributions were no longer worthy of screen credit. He also did uncredited takes on adapting Arthur Golden's novel Memoirs of a Geisha for Steven Spielberg, but the filmmaker opted to concentrate instead on "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" (2001), leaving Goldsman's efforts to be reworked by others. Goldsman finally triumphed with his next produced screenplay, "A Beautiful Mind" (2001), which was loosely based on the life of Nobel laureate John Forbes Nash, Jr. (Russell Crowe), who fought a lonely battle against a lifetime of schizophrenia. Though the film drew criticism for omitting key biographical details, Goldsman readily defended his efforts, saying that it was "a movie of the architecture of a man's life; not a recording of the facts." Regardless of the outcry, "A Beautiful Mind" earned numerous awards, including Goldsman's first Academy Award.
After his Oscar win, Goldsman returned to the world of lucrative script doctoring with uncredited rewrites of "The Missing" (2003), "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (2003) and "The Chronicles of Riddick" (2004). His next credit project was an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's popular "I, Robot" (2004), starring Will Smith as a futuristic detective investigating the murder of a brilliant scientist (James Cromwell) by the hand of a robot. Following a producer gig for the action comedy "Starsky and Hutch" (2004), Goldsman returned to his successful collaboration with director Ron Howard and actor Russell Crowe for "Cinderella Man" (2005), a compelling and heart-rending look at the life and career of boxer Jim Braddock (Crowe), who - with the help of his dedicated trainer (Paul Giamatti) - rose from working the docks during the Great Depression to become Heavyweight Champion. Though he missed his chance to earn another Academy Award nomination, Goldsman's work was nonetheless hailed by critics - a far cry from his less rewarding days with Joel Schumacher.
Once again working with Ron Howard, Goldsman tackled Dan Brown's hugely best-selling novel, "The Da Vinci Code" (2006), perhaps one of the most controversial and anticipated movies released in decades. The story followed symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), who is called to the Louvre where the murder of a curator has left behind a trail of mysterious symbolic clues that eventually lead to a secret society that has spent 2,000 years guarding a secret that could bring Christianity to its knees. Even before its release, the Catholic Church urged the faithful to boycott the film because of its depiction of members of Opus Dei. In fact, the church wanted filmmakers to put a disclaimer at the start of the film stating that it was fiction, not fact - a demand that the filmmakers publicly refused. Despite the public outcry, "The Da Vinci Code" opened to tepid reviews, though box office totals were healthy.
After an uncredited rewrite on the disaster remake "Poseidon" (2006), Goldsman received credit for "I Am Legend" (2008), a post-apocalyptic thriller about the last man on Earth (Will Smith) that was based on the cult sci-fi favorite, "The Omega Man" (1971). Though Goldsman spent his entire career working in the feature world, he made a sudden shift to the small screen when he wrote and directed episodes of "Fringe" (Fox, 2008- ), J.J. Abrams' science fiction conspiracy thriller about an FBI agent (Anna Torv) investigating worldwide paranormal activities with a brilliant, but mentally damaged scientist (John Noble) and his wisecracking son (Joshua Jackson). Continuing the newfound medium of television, Goldsman directed an episode of "Kings" (NBC, 2009- ), a modern day retelling of the biblical story of King David. Back in the feature world, he reunited with Ron Howard to adapt Dan Brown's lesser-known, but still best-selling "Angles and Demons" (2009), which actually proved to be more highly-anticipated by movie-going audiences than the "The Da Vinci Code." This time, the story followed Robert Langdon (Hanks) to the Vatican, where he follows a trail leading to the secretive Illuminati.
|Rebecca Goldsman||Wife||Died of a heart attack on July 6, 2010|
|Tev Goldsman||Father||Co-founded Blueberry Treatment Centers, one of the first group homes for emotionally disturbed children; divorced from Goldsman's mother|
|Mira Rothenberg||Mother||Holocaust survivor; co-founded Blueberry Treatment Centers, one of the first group homes for emotionally disturbed children; divorced from Goldsman's father|
|New York University|
|Goldsman and biographer Sylvia Nasar were awarded the 14th annual USC Scripter Award for "A Beautiful Mind" in 2002.|
|"For me, writing has always been an attempt at structuring a predictable environment out of what often seemed like an unpredictable universe." - Goldsman to The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 13, 2002|
From classic movie palaces to the state-of-the-art IMAX screens.