Jonathan Levine

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This article is about the film director and screenwriter. For other uses, see Jonathan Levine.
Jonathan Levine
Born Jonathan A. Levine
June 18, 1976 (1976-06-18) (age 40)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Brown University (BA)
American Film Institute (MFA)
Occupation Film director, screenwriter

Jonathan A. Levine (born June 18, 1976) is an American film director and screenwriter. He is well known for directing 50/50 in 2011.

Life and career[edit]

Levine was born in New York City, to Jewish parents. He attended the St Bernard's School in New York for his elementary school, and Phillips Academy in Andover for his high school. He also received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film Directing from the American Film Institute, or the AFI Conservatory.


Early short films[edit]

In 2006, he was nominated for a Best Independent Mini-Feature Award at the Black Reel Awards for his AFI Thesis short film Shards (2004), which also won a Certificate of Excellence at the 2005 Brooklyn Film Festival for Best Cinematography by Petra Korner. He also wrote and directed a documentary short entitled Love Bytes (2005), where he sets out on a cross country roadtrip to find love in major cities with the assistance of a laptop and an Audi A3.

Feature films and TV[edit]

Levine's feature directorial debut was the 2006 dramatic horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which starred Amber Heard in the title role. The screenplay was written by Jacob Forman. The film premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, followed by screenings at the Sitges Film Festival, South by Southwest, London FrightFest Film Festival, and the IFI Horrorthon, at the French Cinemathèque.

In 2008, Levine wrote and directed a film entitled The Wackness, starring Josh Peck, which won the Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic) as well.[1] The Wackness also won Best Narrative Feature at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival, The Most Popular Feature Film Award at the 2008 Melbourne International Film Festival, and was nominated for a Best First Screenplay award at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards as well as for Best International Feature Film at the 2008 Zurich Film Festival.

He also directed the 2011 film 50/50 starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick, about Gordon-Levitt's character Adam undergoing a tumor that could lead to his death, getting support from his best friend played by Seth Rogen and eventually falling in love with his therapist, played by Kendrick. The film won an Audience Award at the 2011 Aspen Filmfest, an Audience Award at the 2011 Stockholm Film Festival and the Achille Valdata Award at the 2011 Torino International Film Festival or Torino International Festival of Young Cinema.

In 2013, Levine directed the film Warm Bodies,[2] starring Nicholas Hoult as a zombie who is able to come back to life and fall in love with a human girl played by Teresa Palmer and which was also based on the novel of the same name by writer Isaac Marion.[3][4]

In 2014, Levine directed the pilot episode of the TV series he created with Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo, Rush, a medical drama series revolving around a hard-partying doctor named William P. Rush played by Tom Ellis. However, the series only lasted for one season on the USA Network.

In 2015, Levin directed and co-wrote the Christmas holiday comedy film, The Night Before starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen (re-teaming with Gordon-Levitt and Rogen from 50/50), Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Mindy Kaling, Jillian Bell and more.

Levine was director Paul Schrader's assistant for a time before his own directorial career took off.[citation needed]

Levine is currently in pre-production to direct a film called Legend, based on a book and series of the same name by Marie Lu.[citation needed]

Levine filmed a pilot for a Showtime comedy series created and executive produced by Jim Carrey titled I'm Dying Up Here - partially based on the 2010 non-fiction book of the same name by William Knoedelseder about the stand-up comic scene in LA during the 1970s.[citation needed]

It was announced that Levine would also be directing Brooklyn Castle, a feature adaptation of the 2012 documentary of the same name involving a junior high school class from New York City that ends up competing in, and winning a prestigious national chess tournament (the United States Chess Federation's national high school championship).[citation needed]


In addition to writing or co-writing the screenplays for feature or short films that he directed such as Shards (2004) (short), Love Bytes (2005)(documentary short), The Wackness (2008), Warm Bodies (2013), The Night Before (2015), Levine has also written an episode of the TV series The Screen Junkies Show entitled "Zombie Acting Tips" (2013). He also wrote the screenplay for the short film The Weight (2009), directed by Nicholas Jarecki (writer and director of the film Arbitrage).

Levine also wrote, created and executive produced (along with Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo) the medical drama TV series Rush, specifically writing two episodes: the "Pilot" (2014) (which he also directed) and "Don't Ask Me Why" (2014).


Levine produced the 2016 film Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, directed by Jake Szymanski and starring Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, and Aubrey Plaza.

Levine also served as an executive producer on the 2014 medical drama TV series he created for the USA Network, Rush.



  1. ^ Kit, Borys (January 19, 2010). "'Warm Bodies' lands Jonathan Levine". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  2. ^ "'Mandy Lane' Director Takes New Spin on Zombie Genre with 'Warm Bodies'". January 19, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ Barton, Steve (January 19, 2010). "Zombies Need Love Too! Cuddle Up with Some Warm Bodies!". Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (January 19, 2010). "Summit cozies up to 'Warm Bodies'". Retrieved October 20, 2010. 

External links[edit]