Seth Grahame-Smith

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Seth Grahame-Smith
Seth Grahame-Smith by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Grahame-Smith in March 2012
Born Seth Jared Greenberg
(1976-01-04) January 4, 1976 (age 38)
Rockville Centre, New York, United States
Occupation Novelist, screenwriter, film producer
Nationality American
Alma mater Emerson College
Genre Comedy, horror fiction, mashup, non-fiction
Notable works Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Unholy Night
Spouse Erin Stickle (m. 2004)

www.sethgrahamesmith.com

Seth Grahame-Smith (born Seth Jared Greenberg; January 4, 1976) is an American best-selling author, screenwriter, and producer of film and television. He is best known as the author of The New York Times best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter; the latter of which has been adapted as a feature film. Grahame-Smith is also the co-creator, head writer and executive producer of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a scripted television comedy appearing on MTV. In collaboration with David Katzenberg, his partner in Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith is currently developing a number of projects for television and film.

Personal life[edit]

Grahame-Smith was born in Rockville Centre, New York, the son of Deborah Ann (née Williams) and Barry Michael Greenberg.[1] He eventually grew up in Weston and Bethel, Connecticut, where he attended Bethel High School.[2][3] His parents divorced when he was a child. Subsequently, his mother changed his surname to "Grahame", after author Kenneth Grahame, and later added the surname "Smith", from her re-marriage.[4] Grahame-Smith attended an Episcopal church after his mother's re-marriage (his father was Jewish).[4] His mother was a literary editor and his stepfather was a rare books dealer.[5]

Grahame-Smith received a degree in film from Emerson College. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Erin, and sons, Joshua and Jacob.

Career[edit]

Literature[edit]

Grahame-Smith's first widely published book was The Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies, a non-fiction history of the erotic art form published in 2005. The next year, Grahame-Smith published The Spider-Man Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual, an examination of Marvel Comics' Spider-Man, with an introduction by Stan Lee. In 2007, Grahame-Smith wrote How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills, a tongue-in-cheek guide to help readers escape situations most often shown in horror films. The book's introduction was written by horror film director Wes Craven. Grahame-Smith's next book was the satirical Pardon My President: Fold-and-Mail Apologies for 8 Years, a collection of letters addressed to various parties intended to apologize for the wrongs they had suffered under the administration of George W. Bush.[6]

The idea for Grahame-Smith's next novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, came from his editor at Quirk Books, Jason Rekulak. Using Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice as a platform, Rekulak suggested that Grahame-Smith mix a zombie plot into the public domain novel. Enamored of the idea, Grahame-Smith immediately began working on the novel, first by reading Pride and Prejudice and then by inserting the gruesome zombie elements, a process he has described as similar to microsurgery. Though Quirk Books was initially reluctant to publish the book in fear of alienating Austen's fans, the novel went to press in 2009, with modest sales expectations. In the weeks prior to the release, however, the book's popularity swelled dramatically as the cover and title of the novel circulated the internet. Anticipation for the book grew so rapidly that in its first week of release, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies surged to No. 3 on the New York Times Best Seller list.[7] Since that time, the novel has sold over a million copies and been translated into over 20 languages.

Building on the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith wrote another mash-up, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. As the title suggests, this book traces Abraham Lincoln's life from childhood through assassination, relying upon his "secret diaries" to reveal his central role in a world-wide struggle against vampirism. Released on March 2, 2010, this novel debuted at No. 4 on the The New York Times best seller list under the category "Hardcover Fiction."[8]

In addition to writing novels, Grahame-Smith made his debut as a comic book writer on Marvel Zombies Return: Hulk with artist Richard Elson.[9]

Unholy Night, Grahame-Smith's most recent novel, was released on April 10, 2012.[10] It is the story of three criminals Balthazar, Gaspar, and Melchyor, who will become known as the Magi who visited Jesus after his birth, including Herod the Great, Augustus Caesar, Pontius Pilate, and the Virgin Mary in supporting roles.[11]

Film[edit]

Both of Grahame-Smith's best-selling books are currently being adapted as feature films. In 2011, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was optioned by Lionsgate Entertainment, with Natalie Portman producing, and David O. Russell adapting and directing. Russell has since left the project.[12] In 2013, a new group of producers, including Portman, hired Burr Steers to direct and Lily Collins to star.[13] Jennifer Aniston and Rowan Atkinson are also going to star with Collins.

Grahame-Smith also adapted his book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,[14] for the screen, for producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.[15] He wrote the script for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, the film adaptation of the 1960s soap opera, replacing longtime Burton scribe John August.[16] Grahame-Smith produced the film adaptation of the Mark Bianculli and Jeff Richard special script The Waiting.[17] Smith polished the script for The Fantastic Four.[18] Smith will be produced the reboot Gremlins film.[19] He is also currently writing a script for the sequel to the 1988 supernatural comedy film Beetlejuice.

Television[edit]

After receiving a degree in film from Emerson College, Grahame-Smith moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote and produced for several television series, including "Vendettas" and the History Channel's "History's Mysteries."[20] Building on these experiences, Grahame-Smith was hired to produce an innovative CBS online series, Clark and Michael, starring Clark Duke, Michael Cera, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Andy Richter.[21]

While working on Clark and Michael, Grahame-Smith met another producer on the series, David Katzenberg (son of Jeffrey), who would become his partner in Katzsmith Productions. Under the Katzsmith banner, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg created, wrote, and produced a scripted comedy for MTV called The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which follows an awkward high-school loser who gains notoriety for his extraordinary endowment.[2]

Through Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg are currently developing a number of projects for television and film.[examples needed]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies (2005)
  • The Spider-Man Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual (2006)
  • How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills (2007)
  • Pardon My President: Fold-and-Mail Apologies for 8 Years (2008)
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009)
  • Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (2010)
  • Unholy Night (2012)

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Barry Michael Greenberg". Familytreemaker. 
  2. ^ a b Itzkoff, Dave (May 23, 2010). "A Standout Student at Ribald High". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Sharkey, Alix (April 30, 2010). "Seth Grahame-Smith interview". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  4. ^ a b Babayan, Siran (April 6, 2012). "Seth Grahame-Smith's New Book Unholy Night Asks: What the Hell Were the Three Wise Doing There?". LA Weekly. 
  5. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith". Hollywood Reporter. November 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith wants to resurrect 'Beetlejuice,' 'It'". The Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (March 21, 2010). "Inside List". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Critique of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Time. March 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ Brownfield, Troy (June 22, 2009). "The Zombies – This Time, With Literate Roots". Newsarama. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  10. ^ Barton, Steve (March 30, 2012). "Seth Grahame-Smith Spends an Unholy Night with the Three Wise Men". Dread Central. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ McFarland, Kevin (April 23, 2012). "Unholy Night". The A. V. Club. 
  12. ^ "David O. Russell Quits 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'". Screenrant. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ "'Pride, Prejudice and Zombies' Resurrected With Lily Collins and Director Burr Steers (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. May 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and Seth Grahame-Smith Talk Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Dread Central. May 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Screenplay Writer Revealed". Dread Central. March 30, 2010. 
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (July 15, 2010). "WB moves on Depp's 'Shadow'". Variety. 
  17. ^ "No more "WAITING": filmmakers assigned to haunting feature". Fangoria. March 28, 2012. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys. "Fantastic Four". Hollywood Reporter. 
  19. ^ Exclusive: ‘Gremlins’ Reboot Has Seth Grahame-Smith Snacking After Midnight!
  20. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith". Internet Movie Database. 
  21. ^ "Clark and Michael". Internet Movie Database. 

External links[edit]