Adam Wingard

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Adam Wingard
Wingard at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1982-12-03) December 3, 1982 (age 41)
Alma materFull Sail University (BS)
  • Film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
  • editor
  • cinematographer
  • composer
Years active2004–present

Adam Wingard (/ˈwɪŋɡɑːrd/ WING-gard;[1][2] born December 3, 1982) is an American filmmaker. He has served as a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, cinematographer, actor, and composer on numerous American films.[3][4]

Following an early career as a member of the mumblecore movement, he became notable for his works in the horror and action genres, especially the films You're Next (2011), and The Guest (2014), and the bigger budget franchise films Blair Witch (2016), Death Note (2017), and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), and its sequel Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024).

Life and career[edit]

Wingard was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and graduated from Full Sail University in 2002. His first feature, the horror comedy Home Sick, starring Bill Moseley and Tiffany Shepis, was a stepping stone to his second feature, the psychotropic ghost story horror film Pop Skull. Made on a total budget of $2,000, Pop Skull had its international premiere at the Rome Film Festival and its domestic premiere at the AFI Film Festival in 2007. A Horrible Way to Die (2010) and What Fun We Were Having (2011) that followed.

The romantic horror film A Horrible Way to Die premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in the Vanguard section and was acquired by Starz/Anchor Bay at the festival for a North American theatrical and home media release. What Fun We Were Having: 4 Stories About Date Rape is a 4-part anthology that had its premiere at the 2011 Fantastia Film Festival in Montreal, Canada where Wingard was honored by the festival with his own sidebar section: “Medicated Monsters – A Spotlight on Filmmaker Adam Wingard”.

In 2011, Wingard co-directed Autoerotic with the actor and filmmaker Joe Swanberg. He was selected to direct one chapter of The ABCs of Death, a 26-chapter horror comedy anthology for Drafthouse Films and Magnet. A solo directorial effort, You're Next, a home invasion slasher, premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the ‘Midnight Madness’ section.[5] The film was acquired by Lionsgate and received a wide release in August 2013 to favorable reviews.

In 2013, Wingard offered the project Peter Jackson, director of the 2005 remake of King Kong and he had been interested in producing a sequel to the film, titled Skull Island, with Wingard as director and Simon Barrett writing it. Jackson had been impressed with Wingard's work in You're Next, and investigated a potential sequel. However, Universal Pictures rights abandoned due to acquired film rights to Warner Bros, which complicated a sequel to a unproduced movie.[6] Wingard pivoted to offering a modern-day sequel, but ultimately nothing came of the proposal.[7]

In 2014, Wingard directed The Guest starring Dan Stevens, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, receiving wide critical acclaim upon its wider theatrical release in mid-September.[8] Wingard directed the found-footage horror film Blair Witch, based on a script by Simon Barrett. The film is a sequel to the 1999 The Blair Witch Project and received mixed reviews.[9]

In 2015, Wingard signed on to direct a live action American film adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's popular horror crime-thriller manga series Death Note.[10] The neo-noir dark fantasy horror-thriller was released on Netflix on August 25, 2017, to a mixed reception, with criticism aimed at the number of changes from the source material, rushed plot, shallow execution, writing and the pacing while praise was aimed at the visual style, direction, performances of the cast, soundtrack and the dark, macabre sense of humour, along with the attempted unique and distinctive take on the Death Note mythos. Despite the mixed response, the film was considered a sizable enough success for Netflix to develop a sequel in 2018 with Greg Russo writing the script.[11] No word has been made on whether Wingard is set to return as director.

In May 2017, Wingard was announced as the director for Godzilla vs. Kong, which was released in March 2021.[12] In February 2021, it was announced that Wingard would direct and co-write, with Simon Barrett, a sequel to Face/Off.[13] In March 2021, Wingard was announced as the director of ThunderCats, also co-writing it with Barrett.[14] In May 2021, it was announced that Wingard would direct an adaptation of the comic Hardcore by Robert Kirkman. Wingard will also write the screenplay with Will Simmons from a story by Kirkman.[15]

In April 2021, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Legendary was "quietly taking steps" to stretch the MonsterVerse into "one or more installments," while negotiating with Wingard to potentially return to direct. Various ideas were being considered, with Son of Kong being one potential title.[16] In May 2022, it was reported that Wingard would return to direct a sequel to Godzilla vs. Kong, entitled Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Wingard's film Pop Skull[18][19][20] won the Best Feature Film award at the Indianapolis International Film Festival[21] and the Jury award at the Boston Underground Film Festival.[22] Wingard's A Horrible Way to Die won Best Screenplay (Simon Barrett), Best Actor (A.J. Bowen) and Best Actress (Amy Seimetz) at the 2010 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.[23] Wingard's You're Next won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Simon Barrett), and Best Actress (Sharni Vinson) at the 2011 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.[24]



Year Title
Director Writer DOP Editor Notes
2007 Home Sick Yes No No No
Pop Skull Yes Yes Yes Yes Also producer
2010 A Horrible Way to Die Yes No No Yes Also camera operator and music supervisor
Blackmail Boys No No Yes No
2011 Caitlin Plays Herself No No Yes No Co-cinematographer with Joe Swanberg
Autoerotic Yes Yes Yes Yes Co-directed with Joe Swanberg and co-cinematographer with Chris Hilleke
Also camera operator
What Fun We Were Having:
4 Stories About Date Rape
Yes Yes Yes Yes
You're Next Yes No No Yes Also composer
Art History No No Yes No Co-cinematographer with Joe Swanberg
The Zone No No Yes No
2012 Marriage Material No No Yes No
2014 The Guest Yes No No Yes
The Last Survivors No No No Yes Co-edited with Sarah Broshar
2016 Blair Witch Yes No No No Also composer
2017 Death Note Yes No No No
2021 Godzilla vs. Kong Yes No No No
2024 Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Yes Story No No Co-wrote story with Terry Rossio and Simon Barrett[25]
Also executive producer
Acting roles
Year Title Role
2007 Pop Skull Raymond
2010 Autoerotic
2011 Art History Bill
2013 24 Exposures Billy
2014 The Last Survivors Compound Soldier
2020 She Dies Tomorrow Dune Buggy Man


Year Title Director Editor Notes
2007 An Evening with P. Oswalt No Yes Live comedy show
2016 Outcast Yes No 1 episode;
Also executive consultant

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer DoP Editor Actor Role Notes
2004 The Little One Yes No No Yes Yes No
2005 The Girlfriend Yes No No Yes Yes No
2007 1000 Year Sleep Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
2008 Laura Panic Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Paradox Mary Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Little Sister Gone Yes No No No No No
2009 Her Name is Laura Panic Yes No No No No No
2011 Ultra Modern Yes No No No No No Segment from 60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero
2012 Tape 56 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Brad Segment from V/H/S;
Also camera operator and sound designer
Q is for Quack Yes No No No No Yes Adam Segment from The ABCs of Death
2013 Phase I Clinical Trials Yes No Executive No Yes Yes Herman Segment from V/H/S/2;
Also set photographer
Special thanks
Year Title
2013 Cheap Thrills
2017 XX


  1. ^ Walters, Mark (August 23, 2013). "YOU'RE NEXT interview with director Adam Wingard at South by Southwest 2013". bigfanboy. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  2. ^ Champane, Jimmy (July 26, 2016). "SDCC2016 - Blair Witch Interview with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Adam Wingard". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2014. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014.
  4. ^ "Home Sick Comes Home Today!". August 26, 2008.
  5. ^ "'Guest' Director Adam Wingard Goes Back to Horror with 'The Woods' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. February 4, 2015.
  6. ^ Pearson, Ben (2021). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Director Adam Wingard Was Once Hand-Picked By Peter Jackson to Make a Sequel to 2005's 'King Kong'". Slashfilm. Archived from the original on March 25, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  7. ^ Kaye, Don (2021). "Godzilla vs. Kong Director Almost Made a Sequel to Peter Jackson's King Kong". Den Of Geek. Archived from the original on April 22, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Take a Trip into The Woods - Dread Central". February 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "Adam Wingard Heads Into 'The Woods' - Bloody Disgusting". February 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Adam Wingard to Direct ‘Death Note’. /Film, April 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys; Hayden, Erik (August 22, 2018). "When Will Netflix Movies Finally Be Ready for Their Close-Up?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (June 12, 2020). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Shifts to 2021; 'Matrix 4' Moves Nearly a Year to 2022". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  13. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. (February 11, 2021). "'Face/Off' Facelift To Be Delivered By 'Godzilla Vs Kong' Director Adam Wingard At Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 29, 2021). "'Godzilla Vs. Kong' Director Adam Wingard To Helm 'ThunderCats' Movie For Warner Bros". Deadline. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Donnelly, Matt (May 24, 2021). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Filmmaker Adam Wingard to Direct Comic Adaptation 'Hardcore' at Universal". Variety. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  16. ^ Borys Kit (April 27, 2021). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Director Adam Wingard In Talks for Legendary's Next MonsterVerse Film (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 27, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 12, 2022). "Godzilla vs. Kong 2: Dan Stevens Reunites With The Guest Director Adam Wingard On Legendary Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  18. ^ "Review of Adam Wingard's brilliant POP SKULL". September 15, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  19. ^ Brown, Todd (December 9, 2007). "News: Adam Wingard Convinces Me I've Wasted My Life. Trailer And Stills From POP SKULL". Retrieved November 10, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Koehler, Robert (November 21, 2007). "Variety Reviews – Pop Skull – Film Reviews – AFI". Variety. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  21. ^ "indyfilmfest". Indianapolis International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  22. ^ Everleth, Mike (March 28, 2008). "2008 Boston Underground Film Festival: Award Winners". Underground Film Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  23. ^ "FANTASTIC FEST 2010 ANNOUNCES THE FANTASTIC FEST AWARDS". Fantastic Fest. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  24. ^ "FANTASTIC FEST 2011 ANNOUNCES THE FANTASTIC FEST AWARDS". Fantastic Fest. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  25. ^ "Origins". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved April 26, 2023.

External links[edit]