John Francis Daley

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John Francis Daley
John Francis Daley in March 2012.jpg
Daley in March 2012
Born (1985-07-20) July 20, 1985 (age 37)
  • Actor
  • film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
  • musician
Years active1998–present
Corinne Kingsbury
(m. 2016)

John Francis Daley (born July 20, 1985) is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and musician. He is known for playing high school freshman Sam Weir on the NBC comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks and FBI criminal profiler Dr. Lance Sweets on the crime drama series Bones, for which he was nominated for a 2014 PRISM Award.[1] He plays keyboards and sings for the band Dayplayer.[2]

In cinema, Daley is known for his collaborative work with Jonathan Goldstein as a film-making duo. The pair have worked on various projects together. Daley and Goldstein's first work together was initially based in comedy where they were co-screenwriters for Horrible Bosses (2011), co-writers for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), co-story writers for Horrible Bosses 2 (2014), and co-wrote/co-directed the fifth film in the National Lampoon's Vacation film series, Vacation (2015). The duo were co-story writers for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) with Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and they co-directed the 2018 comedy Game Night.

Early life[edit]

Daley was born in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, Illinois, to R.F. Daley, an actor, and Nancy Daley, a piano teacher.[3] His father is of Irish Catholic background, while his mother is Jewish.[4][5][6][7] He grew up in Nyack, New York,[8] where he played Danny in Nyack Middle School's production of Grease.


Daley began acting when he was cast as "Young Tommy" in the U.S. and international tours of the Broadway hit The Who's Tommy. He played Sam Weir, protagonist of the "Geeks", in the television series Freaks and Geeks, and since then he has worked continuously in television, including series such as The Geena Davis Show, Boston Public, Regular Joe, Kitchen Confidential, Judging Amy, and Spin City. He was #94 on VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars.[3]

In 2001, he co-directed a short film titled What Babies Do. He also wrote and starred in the comedy short Friday Night. In 2005, he appeared in the film Waiting... and in the Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential. In 2007, Daley joined the cast of the Fox drama series Bones, portraying psychologist Lance Sweets. He co-wrote the season six episode "The Truth in the Myth" with his writing partner Jonathan Goldstein.[citation needed] Sweets was ultimately killed in the season 10 premiere; Bones executive producer Stephen Nathan said Sweets was killed because Daley wanted time off to direct a movie, and he was concerned that Daley's absence would be too long, especially if the directing job led to other jobs.[9]

Daley was also featured in the music video for "Mercy Kiss" by Abandoned Pools.

In 2011, Daley and his writing partner Jonathan M. Goldstein wrote the black comedy Horrible Bosses. In 2013, Daley co-wrote The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with Goldstein; Daley also has a cameo in the film as a paramedic. In 2013, the two were hired to write Call of the Wild for DreamWorks Studios.[10] John plays Ben House in Rapture-Palooza. Daley went on to write the story for the sequel to Horrible Bosses.

Daley and Goldstein co-wrote and co-directed the 2015 film Vacation, the latest installment of the National Lampoon's Vacation film series, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate.[11]

Daley and Goldstein wrote the screenplay for the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming with four other screenwriters,[12] and were both considered to direct[13] before Jon Watts was hired.[14]

Daley and Goldstein directed the 2018 black comedy Game Night, based on a screenplay by Mark Perez. The film, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, "earned a raft of glowing reviews for its whip-smart script, energetic performances, and deliberate avoidance of modern comedy's ubiquitous tropes," and grossed $117 million at the worldwide box office, versus a $37 million budget. While Daley and Goldstein did not receive screenwriter credit, they later said they rewrote "almost all of the original script's dialogue, totally overhauled the characters — most notably a creepy cop portrayed by Jesse Plemons — and comprehensively reworked the original script's third act."[15]

In 2018, it was announced that the duo were set to direct a film adaptation of DC Comics' The Flash for their DC Extended Universe,[16] but it was announced in July that they have left the project. Despite this, both Daley and Goldstein received story by credit alongside the film's screenwriter, Christina Hodson.[17]

In July 2019, it was announced that Goldstein and Daley were entering early negotiations to direct the reboot of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023).[18] In January 2020, it was announced that, in addition to directing the film, Goldstein and Daley were also writing a new draft of the screenplay.[19]

Filmography (with Jonathan M. Goldstein)[edit]


Year Title Director Writer Producer
2011 Horrible Bosses No Yes No
2013 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone No Yes No
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 No Yes No
2014 Horrible Bosses 2 No Story No
2015 Vacation Yes Yes No
2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming No Yes No
2018 Game Night Yes Uncredited No
2019 Stuber No No Yes
2021 Vacation Friends No Yes No
2023 Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Yes Yes Executive producer
The Flash No Story No

Short films

Year Title Director Writer
2001 What Babies Do Yes No
2011 Audio Tour Yes Yes


Year Title Director Writer Notes
2011 Bones No Yes Episode "The Truth in the Myth"
2019 In the Dark Yes Yes Episode "All About the Benjamin";
Consulting producer
2021 Welcome to Georgia No Yes

Acting roles[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Allerd Fishbein's in Love Allerd Fishbein Short film
2003 View from the Top Rodney
2005 Waiting... Mitch
2008 Burying the Ex Zak Original short film
2011 Horrible Bosses Carter
2013 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Paramedic
Rapture-Palooza Ben
2015 Dude Bro Party Massacre III Ernest Cameo role
Vacation Ride Operator
2018 Game Night Carter
2022 5-25-77 Pat


Year Title Role Notes
1999–2000 Freaks and Geeks Sam Weir 18 episodes
2000–2001 Boston Public Anthony Ward 5 episodes
2000–2001 The Geena Davis Show Carter Ryan 22 episodes
2001 The Ellen Show Erik Episode: "Walden Pond"
The Kennedys Anthony TV movie
2002 Spin City Spencer Episode: "Eyes Wide Open"
2003 Regular Joe Grant Binder 5 episodes
2004 Judging Amy Jace Crosby Episode: "Roadhouse Blues"
2005–2006 Kitchen Confidential Jim 13 episodes
2006 Stacked Kevin Episode: "The Third Date"
2007 The Call Tom TV movie
2007–2014 Bones Dr. Lance Sweets 138 episodes
2010 Yo Gabba Gabba! Himself Episode: "Flying"
2012 The Finder Dr. Lance Sweets Episode: "Bullets"
2015 Bottom's Butte Scott and Cabana Boy Voice
2016 Fresh Off the Boat Jordan Episode: "Rent Day"
2019 Drunk History James J. Andrews Episode: "Behind Enemy Lines"


  1. ^ "John Francis Daley as Lance Sweets". Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "Dayplayer", My space.
  3. ^ a b "5 Things You Didn't Know About Bones' John Francis Daley". wetpaint. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  4. ^ "Interfaith Celebrities: a Former Geek, the Equestrian Author, and an Aboriginal Jewish Doctor". July 5, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "John Francis Daley". Twitter – @JohnFDaley. February 23, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012. For Ash Wednesday, I have my Irish Catholic dad put the ash on my forehead, then I have my Jewish mother lick her thumb and wipe it off.
  6. ^ "John Francis Daley on co-writing tonight's episode of 'Bones' and sharing a scene with his dad for the first time. (Awww.)". Entertainment Weekly. April 14, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2013. I have sympathy nerves for everyone. I think it's the half-Jew in me.
  7. ^ "The Talented Mr Daley". September 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012. Um my mom's Jewish and my dad's Irish. I am in fact the same mix as Harrison Ford, which I like to point out as often as possible when I go on dates.
  8. ^ Sklar, Ronald. "John Francis Daley: Cult Star Confidential". Pop Entertainment. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  9. ^ Thomlison, Adam. "Q&A". TV Tabloid. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Graser, Marc. "Writers set for Dreamworks' 'Wild'". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  11. ^ "'Horrible Bosses' Writers to Direct 'Vacation' Reboot (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "Back To Walley World: The Griswolds Go On 'Vacation' Again". NPR. July 25, 2015. Archived from the original on July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 2, 2015). "'Spider-Man' Director Short List Topped By Ted Melfi & Jonathan Levine". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 2, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios Find Their 'Spider-Man' Star and Director". June 23, 2015. Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  15. ^ Lee, Chris (June 21, 2018). "How Game Night Broke Modern Comedy's Rules to Win at the Box Office". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 16, 2018). "'Flash' Standalone Film Taps Directors John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  17. ^ "Michael Shannon Appears on 'The Flash' Movie Cast List". Collider. December 22, 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  18. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 30, 2019). "Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley in Talks to Direct 'Dungeons & Dragons' Movie". Variety. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Goldstein, Jonathan (January 21, 2020). "This just in...". @JM_Goldstein. Retrieved May 15, 2020.

External links[edit]