Craig Mazin

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Craig Mazin
Born (1971-04-08) April 8, 1971 (age 48)
EducationPrinceton University
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1997–present

Craig Mazin (born April 8, 1971) is an American screenwriter and film director best known for writing and producing Chernobyl, a five-part miniseries for HBO and Sky based on the Chernobyl disaster, for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series.

He is also known for writing Identity Thief, The Hangover Part II, The Hangover Part III, Superhero Movie, and The Huntsman: Winter's War.

Since 2011, Mazin has co-hosted the Scriptnotes podcast alongside fellow screenwriter John August.

Early life[edit]

Mazin was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family.[1][2] He was raised on Staten Island, New York. He moved to Marlboro Township, New Jersey when he was a teen and attended Freehold High School which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2010.[3]

Mazin graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology from Princeton University in 1992. His freshman-year roommate at Princeton was Ted Cruz, now the junior U.S. Senator from Texas and a former Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election year.[4][5] He is highly critical of Cruz as well as his political views, and ridicules him frequently on Twitter.[6]


Mazin began his entertainment career as a marketing executive with Walt Disney Pictures in the mid-1990s, where he was responsible for writing and producing campaigns for studio films.[3]

He made his screenwriting debut with 1997's sci-fi comedy RocketMan, co-written with then-writing partner Greg Erb.[7] He has since written movies such as Senseless, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4 and Identity Thief.

Mazin has directed two films: 2000's low-budget superhero film The Specials, which he also produced, and the 2008 superhero spoof Superhero Movie, which he also wrote.

Since 2006, Mazin has collaborated with director Todd Phillips on several occasions. Mazin co-wrote both Hangover sequels, parts II and III, and executive produced School for Scoundrels.

In 2004, Mazin was elected to the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, West. He did not seek re-election, and his term expired in September 2006.

Along with fellow former WGA board member Ted Elliott, Mazin ran a website called The Artful Writer, which focused on issues relevant to working screenwriters. It closed in 2011, after seven years.

In 2011, Mazin and fellow screenwriter John August began Scriptnotes, a weekly podcast on the craft of screenwriting and the film industry.[8]

In July 2017, HBO and Sky Television announced Chernobyl, a five-part miniseries from Mazin about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. The series was filmed in Lithuania and Ukraine.[9] Mazin said that the "lesson of Chernobyl isn’t that modern nuclear power is dangerous. The lesson is that lying, arrogance, and suppression of criticism are dangerous."[10]

In an interview with Decider, Mazin said: "If I came to HBO and said ‘I want to do another season of Chernobyl, except it’s gonna be about another terrible tragedy,’ whether it’s Bhopal or Fukushima or something like that, I would imagine they at least would give me polite interest."[11]


Mazin supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[12][13]


Year Title Credit Notes
1997 RocketMan Screenplay, story by Screenplay by Craig Mazin and Greg Erb, story by Oren Aviv, Craig Mazin & Greg Erb
1998 Senseless Written by With Greg Erb
2000 The Specials Director, co-producer
2003 Scary Movie 3 Written by Written by Craig Mazin and Pat Proft
2006 Scary Movie 4 Screenplay, story by, producer Screenplay by Craig Mazin, Jim Abrahams & Pat Proft, story by Craig Mazin
School for Scoundrels Executive producer
2008 Superhero Movie Written by, director, producer
2011 The Hangover Part II Written by With Scot Armstrong & Todd Phillips
2012 The Words Special thanks
2013 Identity Thief Screenplay, story Screenplay by Craig Mazin, story by Craig Mazin and Jerry Eeten
The Hangover Part III Written by With Todd Phillips
Free Birds Special thanks
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War Writer With Evan Spiliotopoulos
Don't Think Twice Special thanks
2019 Chernobyl Creator, executive producer, writer TV miniseries
Winner—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series
Winner—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Celano, Clare Marie. "Freehold Hall of Fame inductees to be feted", News Transcript, March 3, 2010. Accessed February 5, 2011. "Screenwriter and author Craig Mazin, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., was 13 when he moved to Marlboro."
  4. ^
  5. ^ Patricia Murphy. "Ted Cruz at Princeton: Creepy, Sometimes Well Liked, and Exactly the Same"
  6. ^ Millstein, Seth (April 16, 2016). "These 17 Craig Mazin Tweets About Ted Cruz Are Some Of The Funniest Of The Campaign". Bustle. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "Interview (Part 1): Craig Mazin – Go Into The Story". Go Into The Story. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  8. ^ Scriptnotes on iTunes
  9. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2017-07-26). "HBO Sets 'Chernobyl' Miniseries to Star Jared Harris". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  10. ^ Towhey, Jessica (June 23, 2019). "Will HBO's 'Chernobyl' Miniseries Impact Perceptions of Nuclear Power?". Inside Sources. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "People are asking the writer of Chernobyl to do a similar show and he has some thoughts". Joe. June 6, 2019.
  12. ^ "The Creator of Chernobyl on Viewers Taking Away the Wrong Lessons". Slate. June 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "Chernobyl: The Show Russiagate Wrote". Jacobin. July 7, 2019.

External links[edit]