Jake Kasdan

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Jake Kasdan
Jake Kasdan.jpg
Kasdan at Paleyfest 2012
Jacob Kasdan

(1974-10-28) October 28, 1974 (age 46)
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • actor
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Inara George
Parent(s)Lawrence Kasdan
RelativesJonathan Kasdan (brother)

Jacob "Jake" Kasdan (born October 28, 1974) is an American film and television director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known for directing Bad Teacher (2011), Sex Tape (2014), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).

Early life[edit]

Kasdan was born and raised in a secular Jewish family[1] in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Meg (née Goldman), a writer, and writer-director Lawrence Kasdan.[2] His younger brother, Jon Kasdan, also works in the film and television industry as an actor and writer.


Kasdan has directed seven theatrical films: Zero Effect (1998), Orange County (2002), The TV Set (2006), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Bad Teacher (2011), Sex Tape (2014), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019). He has also worked in television, most notably with Judd Apatow, as a consulting producer and director on Freaks and Geeks and as a director on Undeclared. He has also directed numerous stage productions. He is attached to direct John Grisham novel Calico Joe to a family film adaptation.

In 2008, Kasdan received his first Golden Globe nomination for Walk Hard in the Best Original Song category (shared with John C. Reilly, Judd Apatow, and Marshall Crenshaw), but lost to "Guaranteed" from Into the Wild (written by Eddie Vedder).

As a child, he made several appearances in his father's movies such as The Big Chill and Silverado (in the former he is an autograph seeker at a funeral and in the latter a stable boy).

In February 2015, Fox announced it had greenlit a pilot for the comedy The Grinder to be directed by Kasdan and starring Rob Lowe.[3]

He attained true global fame after working for the Jumanji franchise between 2017 and 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Kasdan is married to singer-songwriter Inara George of The Bird and the Bee. They have three children: Otis, and twins Beau and Lorelei.[4]



Filmmaking credits[edit]

Title Year Director Producer Writer
Zero Effect 1998 Yes Yes Yes
Orange County 2002 Yes No No
The TV Set 2006 Yes Yes Yes
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story 2007 Yes Yes Yes
Shades of Ray 2008 No Executive No
Bad Teacher 2011 Yes Executive No
Friends with Kids 2011 No Yes No
Sex Tape 2014 Yes Executive No
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 2017 Yes Executive No
Jumanji: The Next Level 2019 Yes Yes Yes

Acting credits[edit]

Title Year Role
The Big Chill 1983 Autograph Seeker
Silverado 1985 Stable Boy
The Accidental Tourist 1988 Scott Canfield
Zero Effect 1998 Bank Teller (voice)
Shades of Ray 2008 Director # 3

Soundtrack credits[edit]

Song written Film
Let's Run Off and Get Married Zero Effect
Cold and Dark in My Heart
Walk Hard Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Take My Hand
(Mama) You Got To Love Your Negro Man
Cut My Brother in Half Blues
There's a Change a'Happening (I Can Feel It)
(You Make Me So) Hard

Other credits[edit]

Title Year Credited as
Grand Canyon 1991 Production assistant
Wyatt Earp 1994 Archivist


Title Year(s) Director Producer Writer Notes
Freaks and Geeks 1999–00 Yes Consulting No Director (5 episodes) / Producer (15 episodes)
Grosse Pointe 2000 Yes No No 2 episodes
Undeclared 2001 Yes No No Episode: "Prototype"
Zero Effect 2002 Yes Co-Executive Yes Unsold television pilot
Cracking Up 2006 Yes No No Episode: "The Fixer"
Californication 2008 Yes No No Episode: "In a Lonely Place"
Spring/Fall 2011 Yes No No Television film
New Girl 2011–18 Yes Executive No Director (7 episodes) / Producer (146 episodes)
Ben and Kate 2012–13 Yes Executive No Director (2 episodes) / Producer (16 episodes)
Weird Loners 2015 Yes Executive No Director (2 episodes) / Producer (6 episodes)
The Grinder 2015–16 Yes Executive No Director (2 episodes) / Producer (22 episodes)
Fresh off the Boat 2015–20 Yes Executive No Director (Episode: "The Shunning") / Producer (116 episodes)
Speechless 2016–19 No Executive No 63 episodes
Jalen Vs. Everybody 2017 No Executive No Television film
Heart of Life 2019 No Executive No Television film
Bless This Mess 2019–20 No Executive No 26 episodes

Music video[edit]


Year Award Category Film Result Notes
2007 Sierra Award Best Song Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Won Shared with Judd Apatow,
Marshall Crenshaw and John C. Reilly
2008 Golden Globe Best Original Song Nominated
2009 Grammy Best Song Written for Motion Picture
Television or Other Visual Media
2012 Emmy Award Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding
Directing for a Comedy Series
New Girl Nominated Pilot


  1. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "What's a Nice Jewish Boy Like Jake Kasdan Doing Making a 'Sex Tape?'" by Curt Schleier July 18, 2014
  2. ^ Lawrence Kasdan Biography (1949–)
  3. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth. "Fox Orders Rob Lowe Comedy 'The Grinder' To Pilot". Variety.
  4. ^ Audio commentary to Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

External links[edit]