Jake Kasdan

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Jake Kasdan
Kasdan in 2012
Jacob Kasdan

(1974-10-28) October 28, 1974 (age 48)
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • actor
Years active1983–present
SpouseInara George

Jacob Kasdan (born October 28, 1974) is an American filmmaker and actor. He is best known for directing Walk Hard (2007), 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 Jewish family, with little religious education[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).

After the success of New Girl, Kasdan announced that on July 11, 2012, that he had signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television, through The Detective Agency, to pursue own projects.[3]

In February 2015, Fox announced it had greenlit a pilot for the comedy The Grinder to be directed by Kasdan and starring Rob Lowe.[4]

On March 26, 2019, The Detective Agency's producing partners Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar reupped, and signed a new overall deal at 20th Century Fox Television.[5]

In October 2021, it was announced that Disney+ had given a series order to a television adaptation of graphic novel, American Born Chinese. It will be produced by 20th Century Television with Kelvin Yu and Charles Yu as writers and executive producers, Marvin Mar and Kasdan as executive producers, and Destin Daniel Cretton as director and executive producer.[6] Most recently, he served as executive producer of the workplace comedy pilot XYZ at ABC.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Kasdan is married to singer-songwriter Inara George of The Bird and the Bee. They have three children, including twins.[8]



Year Title Director Producer Writer
1998 Zero Effect Yes Yes Yes
2002 Orange County Yes No No
2006 The TV Set Yes Yes Yes
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Yes Yes Yes
2011 Bad Teacher Yes Executive No
2014 Sex Tape Yes Executive No
2017 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Yes Executive No
2019 Jumanji: The Next Level Yes Yes Yes
2023 Red One Yes Yes No


Year Title Producer
2008 Shades of Ray Executive
2011 Friends with Kids Yes

Acting credits

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

Soundtrack credits

Year Title Song
1998 Zero Effect Let's Run Off and Get Married
Cold and Dark in My Heart
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Walk Hard
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

Year Title Role
1991 Grand Canyon Production assistant
1994 Wyatt Earp Archivist

Television and web[edit]

Year(s) Title Director Executive
Writer Notes
1999–00 Freaks and Geeks Yes No No Director (5 episodes) / Also consulting producer (15 episodes)
2000 Grosse Pointe Yes No No 2 episodes
2001 Undeclared Yes No No Episode: "Prototype"
2002 Zero Effect Yes Co-Executive Yes Unsold television pilot
2006 Cracking Up Yes No No Episode: "The Fixer"
2008 Californication Yes No No Episode: "In a Lonely Place"
2011 Spring/Fall Yes No No Television film
2011–18 New Girl Yes Yes No Director (7 episodes) / Executive producer (146 episodes)
2012–13 Ben and Kate Yes Yes No Director (2 episodes) / Executive producer (16 episodes)
2015 Weird Loners Yes Yes No Director (2 episodes) / Executive producer (6 episodes)
2015–16 The Grinder Yes Yes No Director (2 episodes) / Executive producer (22 episodes)
2015–20 Fresh off the Boat Yes Yes No Director (Episode: "The Shunning") /
Executive producer (116 episodes)
2016–19 Speechless No Yes No 63 episodes
2017 Jalen Vs. Everybody No Yes No Television film
2019 Heart of Life No Yes No Television film
2019–20 Bless This Mess No Yes No 26 episodes
2021–present Doogie Kamealoha, M.D Yes Yes No Director (Episode: "Aloha – The Hello One") /
Executive producer (10 episodes)
2023 Prom Pact No Yes No Television film
2023 American Born Chinese No Yes No [9]

Acting credits

Year Title Role Notes
2021 Young Rock Tyler the Director Episode: "A Christmas Peril"

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. ^ Marechal, A. J. (2012-07-12). "Kasdan signs deal with 20th TV". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-16.
  4. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (12 February 2015). "Fox Orders Rob Lowe Comedy 'The Grinder' To Pilot". Variety.
  5. ^ Thorne, Will (2019-03-26). "Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar Sign New Overall Deal at 20th Century Fox". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-16.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 4, 2021). "Disney+ Greenlights 'American Born Chinese' Series From Melvin Mar, Kelvin Yu & Jake Kasdan; 'Shang-Chi's Destin Daniel Cretton To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  7. ^ White, Peter (2021-12-15). "'Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.' Duo Alison Bennett & Melvin Mar Set Workplace Comedy 'XYZ' At ABC". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-12-16.
  8. ^ Audio commentary to Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 7, 2022). "'Shang-Chi's Michelle Yeoh & Destin Daniel Cretton Reunite For Disney+ Series 'American Born Chinese;' Chin Han, Yeo Yann Yann & Daniel Wu Also Star". Retrieved February 7, 2022.

External links[edit]