David Giler

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David Giler
David Kevin Giler

(1943-07-23)July 23, 1943
DiedDecember 19, 2020(2020-12-19) (aged 77)
OccupationFilm/television producer, screenwriter
Years active1962–2017
Notable work
(m. 1970; div. 1972)

David Kevin Giler (July 23, 1943[1] – December 19, 2020) was an American filmmaker who was active in the film industry since the early 1960s.



Giler's father Bernie (1908–1967) was a writer. Giler began his career collaborating with his father for television programs such as The Gallant Men ("Signals for an End Run") (1962), Kraft Suspense Theatre ("Leviathan Five") (1964), Burke's Law ("Who Killed the Man on the White Horse?") (1965), and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. ("The Low Blue C Affair") (1967).

Giler's father died in 1967 and he began to be credited on his own on such shows as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ("The Matterhorn Affair") (1967), and The Bold Ones: The Lawyers ("The Crowd Pleaser") (1969).


Giler had begun writing feature films. In 1968 he was reportedly writing a script called Our Bag.[2]

His first produced credit was the critically reviled Myra Breckinridge, an adaptation of Gore Vidal's controversial novel. The resulting movie was a disaster but Giler's script – heavily rewritten by director Michael Sarne – was much praised.[3][4] He wrote a remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice[5] and adapted The King Must Die[6] but neither was made. He did some uncredited rewriting on Skin Game (1971).

He was credited on The Parallax View (1974). In 1975 Giler turned to directing, his only film to date in that capacity, The Black Bird.[7]

Giler wrote Fun with Dick and Jane (1977), and an adaptation of Fear of Flying that was never filmed.[8]

Walter Hill[edit]

Giler formed the production company Brandywine Productions with Walter Hill and Gordon Carroll and in 1979 the trio co-produced and rewrote the script for the legendary horror thriller Alien. He and Hill became embroiled in a much-publicized behind-the-scenes fight with Alien's original writer, Dan O'Bannon, over who was to receive screenplay credit. Giler and Hill claim they completely rewrote the script [9] and therefore wanted to relegate O'Bannon to a 'story by' credit only. O'Bannon claimed they did little more than change the names of the characters and dialogue. Ultimately, O'Bannon was the only one to receive credit for the screenplay in the final film, alongside a 'story by' co-credit with Ronald Shusett.

Giler and Hill later wrote Southern Comfort, and wrote the storyline, alongside James Cameron, that became the basis for Cameron's 1986 sequel, Aliens.

Giler on his own wrote the comedy The Money Pit (1986). He did an uncredited rewrite on Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and produced Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985). He wrote a remake of The Decline of the American Empire which was not filmed.[10]

Hill and Giler executive produced Tales from the Crypt and Tales from the Cryptkeeper for cable channel HBO. They returned to the Alien franchise, producing (and co-writing with Larry Ferguson) Alien 3 (1992). They were credited as producers on Alien Resurrection (1997) but had minimal involvement with it; the same applies for the other sequels.

Giler and Hill wrote and produced Undisputed.

Personal life[edit]

Giler was married to actress Nancy Kwan from 1970 until their divorce in 1972.

On December 19, 2020, he died of cancer at his home in Bangkok.[11][12]



Title Year Writer Producer Director Notes
Myra Breckinridge 1970 Yes No Mike Sarne
The Parallax View 1974 Yes No Alan J. Pakula
The Black Bird 1975 Yes No Himself Directorial Debut
Fun with Dick and Jane 1977 Yes No Ted Kotcheff
Alien 1979 No Yes Ridley Scott
Southern Comfort 1981 Yes Yes Walter Hill
Rustlers' Rhapsody 1985 No Yes Hugh Wilson
The Money Pit 1986 Yes Executive Richard Benjamin
Aliens 1986 Story Executive James Cameron
Let It Ride 1989 No Yes Joe Pytka
Alien 3 1992 Yes Yes David Fincher
Demon Knight 1995 No Executive Ernest Dickerson Based on Tales from the Crypt television series
Bordello of Blood 1996 No Executive Gilbert Adler Based on Tales from the Crypt television series
Alien Resurrection 1997 No Yes Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Undisputed 2002 Yes Yes Walter Hill
Ritual 2002 No Yes Avi Nesher Based on Tales from the Crypt television series
Alien vs. Predator 2004 No Yes Paul W. S. Anderson
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem 2007 No Yes The Brothers Strause
Prometheus 2012 No Yes Ridley Scott
Alien: Covenant 2017 No Yes Ridley Scott
Uncredited works
Title Year Role Notes
Myra Breckinridge 1970 Producer
Skin Game 1971 Writer
Alien 1979 Script revisions
Beverly Hills Cop II 1987 Writer Directed by Tony Scott


Title Year Writer Producer Notes
The Gallant Men 1962 Yes No Episode "Signals for an End Run"
Kraft Suspense Theatre 1964 Yes No Episode "Leviathan Five"
Burke's Law 1965 Yes No Episode "Who Killed the Man on the White Horse?"
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. 1967 Yes No Episode "The Low Blue C Affair"
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 1967 Yes No Episode "The Matterhorn Affair"
The Bold Ones: The Lawyers 1969 Story No Episode "The Crowd Pleaser"
Tales from the Crypt 1989–1996 No Executive 93 episodes
Two-Fisted Tales 1992 No Executive Television film
Tales from the Cryptkeeper 1993–1994 No Executive 5 episodes
Rebel Highway 1994 No Yes 4 episodes
W.E.I.R.D. World 1995 No Executive Television film
Perversions of Science 1997 No Executive 10 episodes


  1. ^ 1943 births in New York City, on Ancestry.com.
  2. ^ Martin, B. (Oct 3, 1968). "4 star acquires 'cops, robbers'". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155951850.
  3. ^ "Shell shock on the 'Myra' set--and it's not a war film". Los Angeles Times. Oct 19, 1969. ProQuest 156394933.
  4. ^ "Borgnine due in mystery". Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ A. H. W. (Jul 23, 1972). "The postman rings thrice". New York Times. ProQuest 119538974.
  6. ^ A. H. W. (Dec 10, 1972). "Welcome back, vincente". New York Times. ProQuest 119456138.
  7. ^ Warga, W. (Sep 15, 1974). "The spadework behind a 'falcon' remake". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157643253.
  8. ^ Murphy, M. (Mar 22, 1976). "MOVIE CALL SHEET". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 157977486.
  9. ^ "Interview with David Giler". Cinefantastique.
  10. ^ Charles Champlin (Mar 19, 1987). "Remaking decline would be a perilous ploy". The Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 435570791.
  11. ^ "David Giler Dies: 'Alien' Franchise Producer, 'The Parallax View' Writer Was 77". Deadline. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "David Giler, Writer-Producer on 'Alien' Franchise, Dies at 77". Variety.

External links[edit]