David Koepp

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David Koepp
Born (1963-06-09) June 9, 1963 (age 52)
Pewaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Occupation Screenwriter, director
Spouse(s) Melissa Thomas

David Koepp (born June 9, 1963) is an American screenwriter and director. Koepp is the fifth most successful screenwriter of all time in terms of U.S. box office receipts with a total gross of over $2.3 billion.[1]

Koepp has achieved both critical and commercial success in a wide variety of genres: thriller, science fiction, comedy, action, drama, crime, superhero, horror, adventure, and fantasy.

Some of the best known films he has written include the sci-fi adventure films Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008); the action spy films Mission: Impossible (1996) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014); the superhero film Spider-Man (2002); the sci-fi disaster film War of the Worlds (2005) and the mystery thriller Angels & Demons (2009). Koepp has directed six films over the course of his career: The Trigger Effect (1996), Stir of Echoes (1999), Secret Window (2004), Ghost Town (2008), Premium Rush (2012), and Mortdecai (2015).


As a writer, Koepp has worked on blockbuster Hollywood films such as Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, and Spider-Man. He appeared briefly as "Unlucky Bastard", the man mauled by a T. rex in San Diego in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, on which he worked as a writer and second unit director. Although Koepp did not write Jurassic Park III, he did devise the film's basic storyline.[2][3] Koepp later declined an offer to write a script for the series' fourth film, Jurassic World, as he felt he had nothing left to contribute to the series.[4]

Koepp was reportedly paid $4,000,000 for his Panic Room screenplay. He wrote the screenplay for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and co-wrote and directed 2008's Ghost Town starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear.

Koepp's work as a director has not had quite the same box office success. His films include Secret Window, Stir of Echoes, and The Trigger Effect.

Koepp has also worked in television, creating the 2002 series Hack starring David Morse.

In 2012, Koepp directed Premium Rush, which he co-wrote with John Kamps.[5] In an August 2011 lawsuit, Joe Quirk, the author of the 1998 novel The Ultimate Rush, accused Koepp and the makers of Premium Rush of copyright infringement.[6] On April 2, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed this case, finding that the two works were not substantially similar.[7]

On February 17, 2013, Koepp received the WGA East's Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement.[8]

On July 10, 2013, Lionsgate was reported to have acquired the comedic crime novel The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery, written by Kyril Bonfiglioli.[9] Koepp directed the film, titled Mortdecai, from a script by Eric Aronson;[10] Johnny Depp played the lead role of Charlie Mortdecai,[11] and the film also featured Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, and Paul Bettany.[12] Koepp adapted the Marcus Sakey novel Brilliance, which will star Will Smith and Noomi Rapace.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Koepp was born in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, to a family therapist mother and Donald Koepp, who owns a billboard company.[14][15] While attending Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin, he worked evenings and weekends at the McDonald's restaurant in Delafield. He received his bachelor's in film from UCLA. He has a wife, Melissa, and four children.


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Contribution Notes
1988 Apartment Zero Writer with Martin Donovan
1990 Bad Influence Writer
1990 I Come in Peace Writer (as Leonard Maas, Jr.) with Jonathan Tydor and John Kamps
1990 Why Me? Writer (as Leonard Maas, Jr.) with Donald E. Westlake, based on Westlake's novel
1991 Toy Soldiers Writer with Daniel Petrie, Jr.
1992 Death Becomes Her Writer with Martin Donovan
1993 Jurassic Park Writer with Michael Crichton
1993 Carlito's Way Writer based on the novels Carlito's Way and After Hours by Judge Edwin Torres.
1994 The Paper Writer with Stephen Koepp
1994 The Shadow Writer
1996 Mission: Impossible Writer with Robert Towne and Steven Zaillian
1996 The Trigger Effect Writer/Director with Robert Towne
1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park Writer
1998 Snake Eyes Writer story by Brian De Palma and Koepp
1999 Stir of Echoes Writer/Director
2002 Panic Room Writer
2002 Spider-Man Writer
2004 Secret Window Writer/Director
2005 Zathura Writer with John Kamps
2005 War of the Worlds Writer with Josh Friedman
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Writer (screenplay) story by George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson
2008 Ghost Town Writer/Director with John Kamps
2009 Angels & Demons Writer with Akiva Goldsman
2009 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Writer (uncredited)
2011 The Little Engine That Could Writer
2012 Premium Rush Writer/Director with John Kamps
2012 Men in Black 3 Writer (uncredited) with Jeff Nathanson and Michael Soccio
2014 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Writer with Adam Cozad, Anthony Peckham and Steven Zaillian
2015 Mortdecai Director
2016 Inferno Writer

Short films[edit]

Year Title Contribution Notes
1994 Suspicious Writer/Director


Year Title Contribution Notes
2002 Hack Writer (also series creator)
2003 Suspense Director TV film


  1. ^ Box Office Mojo - People Index
  2. ^ "Jurassic Park 3 Director Talks Script Problems of the Upcoming Sequel". Screenwritersutopia.com. July 11, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Jumanji's Joe Johnston Joins Jurassic". About.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2006. 
  4. ^ Douglas, Edward (August 22, 2012). "Exclusive: David Koepp on Jack Ryan , Snow White & Jurassic Park". comingsoon.net. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (November 11, 2009). "Koepp to helm 'Premium Rush'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ Stevens, Elizabeth Lesly, "A Big Hollywood Movie Is Coming, and a Novelist Cries Foul", The New York Times, August 20, 2011
  7. ^ Gardner, Eriq, "Sony Pictures Wins 'Premium Rush' Theft Lawsuit", "The Hollywood Reporter", April 3, 2013
  8. ^ McNary, Dave, "WGA East Honors Koepp", "Variety", January 29, 2013
  9. ^ "Johnny Depp to Star in 'Mortdecai' for Lionsgate, Director David Koepp". thewrap.com. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "David Koepp is set to direct from Eric Aronson’s script". deadline.com. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Johnny Depp in Talks to Star in 'Mortdecai'". hollywoodreporter.com. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor join Johnny Depp on Mortdecai". guardian.co.uk. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Noomi Rapace Finds Brilliance". 
  14. ^ David Koepp Biography (1963-)
  15. ^ [1]

External links[edit]