Simon Kinberg

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Simon Kinberg
Simon Kinberg.jpg
Kinberg at the 2008 Screenwriting Expo
Born (1973-08-02) August 2, 1973 (age 41)
London, England
Occupation Screenwriter, film producer

Simon Kinberg (born August 2, 1973) is an English-born American screenwriter and film producer. He is best known for his work in the X-Men film franchise, and wrote and/or produced several other box office success such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes, This Means War, and Elysium.

Early life[edit]

He was born in London, England. He is Jewish.[1] His family moved to the United States, and he was raised in Los Angeles, California. Kinberg attended Brentwood School in Los Angeles and graduated in 1991. He later graduated from Brown University, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and received his MFA from Columbia University Film School.[2]

Career[edit]

While still in film school, Kinberg sold a pitch to Warner Brothers, then went on to write scripts for Disney, Sony, and DreamWorks, working with Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer, among others. After finishing school, Kinberg moved to Hollywood, where his first screenwriting credit was a sequel to the hit action film xXx (2002), xXx: State of the Union. His next screenwriting venture was the screenplay for Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Doug Liman's 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The script began as Kinberg's thesis project for film school. It went on to gross over $475 million worldwide, and won MTV Movie Awards and People's Choice Awards. Kinberg also wrote the pilot episode for a television adaptation of Mr. & Mrs. Smith for ABC TV.

Kinberg's next screenwriting job was the highly anticipated sequel to X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), which he co-wrote with Zak Penn. The film made $102 million on its opening weekend, one of the biggest openings in history. Despite receiving mixed reviews, it went on to gross over $460 million worldwide, making it the most successful film in the franchise up to that point. Comic-book writer Chris Claremont wrote the novelization of the film, and made Kinberg a character in the book.[citation needed]

Kinberg reunited with director Doug Liman for the film Jumper (2008). Kinberg wrote and produced the movie, which stars Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, and Diane Lane. The film opened number one at the box office on Presidents Day 2008, and made more than $220 million worldwide. The film spawned a comic book and video game.

Kinberg was the final writer for Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The film was released by Warner Brothers on Christmas 2009 and set the record for the biggest opening day ($25 million) and biggest opening weekend ($65 million) in Christmas history. Robert Downey, Jr. won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of the famous detective. The film was nominated for several awards, including two nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards. The final worldwide gross for the film was over $520 million.

Kinberg was the producer of X-Men: First Class at 20th Century Fox, directed by Matthew Vaughn, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. The film opened June 3, 2011, number one at the box office, and 87% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and grossed more than $350 million worldwide.

Kinberg was the writer and producer of the film This Means War, starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy, released February 17, 2012. He was also executive producer of the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 2012.

Kinberg produced Elysium, directed by Neill Blomkamp, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, which was released August 9, 2013.

Most recently, Kinberg was the writer and the producer of the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, which unites the cast from all the X-Men movies, including Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, and new members like Peter Dinklage and Omar Sy. The film was released to rave reviews, a 92 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an "A" Cinemascore from audiences. The film has grossed over 740 million dollars, and is widely considered the best film in the franchise.

He produced the 2014 film Let's Be Cops. Currently, Kinberg is producing the Neill Blomkamp film Chappie, starring Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, and Sharlto Copley. In addition, he is producing a live-action version of Cinderella at Disney directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. He is also working on The Fantastic Four as the writer and producer, and he is writing and producing X-Men: Apocalypse, the next film in the X-Men franchise.[3][4] In addition, Kinberg is producing The Martian, based on the eponymous novel, to be directed by science-fiction master Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon. The film will be released on Thanksgiving 2015. Kinberg and Ridley Scott are also producing together an adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic novel Murder on the Orient Express. Kinberg is also producing the live action Magic: The Gathering film.[5]

His production company Genre Films has a first look deal with Twentieth Century Fox.[citation needed]

The Hollywood Reporter initially reported that Lawrence Kasdan, writer of Episode V and Episode VI, and Kinberg would write and produce Episode VIII and Episode IX of the new "Star Wars" films';[6] a week later the publication stated that Kasdan and Kinberg would only be working on future Star Wars projects, but not necessarily on Episode VIII and Episode IX.[7] He is also serving as writer and executive producer of the new Star Wars Rebels animated series. He wrote the first two episodes, which will air in October 2014 on Disney networks.

Script doctoring[edit]

Kinberg was an uncredited script doctor for many movies, including Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Date Night (2010), Knight and Day (2010), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and Edge of Tomorrow (2014).[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films
Year Title Credited as Notes
Writer Producer
2002 The Legacy Yes No TV film
2005 XXX: State of the Union Yes No
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Yes No
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Yes No
2007 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Yes No TV adaptation of the feature film
also executive producer
Go Next (short) No Yes Short film
2008 Jumper Yes Yes
2009 Sherlock Holmes Yes No
2011 X-Men: First Class No Yes
2012 This Means War Yes Yes
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Yes No Also executive producer
2013 Elysium No Yes
2014 Let's Be Cops No Yes
X-Men: Days of Future Past Yes Yes
Star Wars Rebels (TV series) Yes No Also executive producer
Ouija Yes No
Big Hero 6 Yes No Also excutive producer
2015 Cinderella No Yes
Chappie No Yes
The Fantastic Four Yes Yes

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2005, Simon received the Movieline magazine award for Screenwriter of the Year, and was named New Power Screenwriter of the Year by Premiere magazine. Kinberg's films have grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. Simon was awarded the commencement speaker for Brentwood School in Los Angeles in 2009.

References[edit]

External links[edit]