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Joshua Davis (writer)

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Joshua Davis
  • Writer
  • journalist
  • filmmaker
  • co-founder of Epic Magazine

Joshua Davis (born 1974) is an American writer, film producer and co-founder of Epic Magazine.[1]

Early life


Davis is the son of Miss Nevada winner Janet Hadland and Highlander film producer Peter S. Davis.[2] Davis attended Stanford University, where he double majored in Economics and Modern Thought and Literature.[3]



Davis wrote the New York Times bestselling book Spare Parts, which grew out of his article "La Vida Robot."[4] The story follows the lives of four teenage immigrants who built an underwater robot. The book was a finalist for Columbia University's J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize[5] and was adapted into the movie Spare Parts by Lionsgate starring George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis and Marisa Tomei. It premiered in January 2015.[6]

In 2012, Davis was kidnapped in Libya while reporting an article for Men's Journal.[7] Later that year, he lived with John McAfee in Belize and documented McAfee's lifestyle and legal problems, including allegations of murder.[8] In 2003, Davis covered the Iraq war for Wired.[9] For The New Yorker in 2011, Davis wrote about bitcoin when the cryptocurrency was worth five dollars.[10] He has also profiled Elon Musk multiple times, including a 2010 Wired cover story[11] and in an early in-depth article about Tesla.[12]

Davis' first book, The Underdog, was published by Random House in 2005.[13] It chronicles Davis' entry into unusual competitions around the world, including the US Sumo Open[14] and the World Armwrestling Championship in Gdynia, Poland. Davis documented his time as a competitive arm wrestler in the film "The Beast Within," which won best documentary at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival.[15]

In 2013, Davis and Joshuah Bearman formed Epic Magazine,[16] a magazine and production company specializing in unusual true stories.[17] Davis and Bearman have sold more than fifty articles to Hollywood, with four films and two TV series produced.[18] Davis, in partnership with J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot, also produced the short documentary series "Moon Shot," which chronicles the work of those competing for the Google Lunar X Prize.[19]


  • 2003 Winner of Best Documentary at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival for The Beast Within[20]
  • 2014 Finalist for the National Magazine Award in Feature Writing for "John McAfee's Last Stand"[21]
  • 2015 Finalist for the Columbia School of Journalism's Lukas Prize for Spare Parts[22][23]
  • 2021 Finalist for an Independent Spirit Award as an Executive Producer of Little America
  • 2022 Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival as an Executive Producer of Breaking
  • 2023 Winner of the Audience Award for Best Film at the Sundance Film Festival as a Producer of Radical[24]


Title Director Writer Producer Ref.
West Coast Yes Yes Yes [25]
The Beast Within Yes Yes Yes
The Sun Also Sets Yes Yes Yes [26]
Moonshot No No Yes [27]
The Debater Yes No Yes [28]
Spare Parts No Yes No
Little America No No Yes
Breaking No No Yes [29]
Radical No No Yes [30]
The Big Cigar No No Yes [31]




  • The Underdog, 2006
  • Entrenched, 2011[32]
  • McAfee's Last Stand, 2012
  • Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream, 2014


  • "If We Run Out Of Batteries, This War Is Screwed," Wired, June 1, 2003
  • "La Vida Robot," Best of Technology Writing, 2006[33]
  • "Say Hello to Stanley," Best of Technology Writing, 2007
  • "Face Blind," Best American Science Writing, 2007[34]
  • "The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist," Wired, March 12, 2009[35]
  • "The Crypto Currency," The New Yorker, October 10, 2011
  • "Fox Makes Epic First-Look Deal for Online Venture for Film Centric Journalism," Deadline, August 19, 2013
  • "Magazine Writing, On the Web, for Film," The New York Times, August 11, 2013[36]
  • "The Mercenary," Medium, August 19, 2013[37]
  • "Building An Epic Brand Around Incredible True Stories," Fast Company, August 23, 2013[38]
  • "Pipino: Gentleman Thief," Epic Magazine, 2014[39]
  • "Deep Sea Cowboys," Epic Magazine, 2017[40]
  • "Arab Spring Break," Epic Magazine, 2017[41]


  1. ^ "Building An Epic Brand Around Incredible, True Stories". Fast Company. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  2. ^ "Peter S. Davis, 'Highlander' Producer, Dies at 79". The Hollywood Reporter. 2021-02-23. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  3. ^ "Convocation speakers extol active learning, exploring new experiences".
  4. ^ Davis, Joshua. "La Vida Robot". Wired.
  5. ^ "Jenny Nordberg, Harold Holzer and Dan Egan Win the 2015 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards". Nieman Reports. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  6. ^ "George Lopez film about Phoenix school gets release date". Azcentral.com. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Arab Spring Break". Men's Journal. 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  8. ^ Davis, Joshua. "McAfee's Last Stand". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  9. ^ ""If We Run Out of Batteries, This War is Screwed."". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  10. ^ Davis, Joshua. "The Crypto-Currency". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  11. ^ "How Elon Musk Turned Tesla Into the Car Company of the Future". Wired. Vol. 18, no. 10. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  12. ^ "Batteries Included". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  13. ^ "*** UNDERDOG NATION *** THE BOOK ***". Underdognation.com. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
  14. ^ SUMO, 10 September 2009, archived from the original on 2021-12-12, retrieved 2021-04-27
  15. ^ "Tickets $10 -mountainfilm fest- bouldering etc..." CascadeClimbers.com. 21 April 2004. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  16. ^ "Extraordinary True Stories - Epic Magazine". Epicmagazine.com. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Building An Epic Brand Around Incredible, True Stories". Fast Company. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Magazine Writing on the Web, for Film". The New York Times. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  19. ^ Santos, Nix (17 March 2016). "Watch: Reach to Infinity and Beyond With J.J. Abrams on 'Moon Shot'". Indiewire.com. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  20. ^ "Telluride fest to support environment fund". Pique Newsmagazine. 9 April 2004. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  21. ^ "National Magazine Awards 2014 Finalists Announced". Magazine.org. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Spare Parts". Macmillan. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  23. ^ "The J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards | Columbia Journalism School". journalism.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  24. ^ Radical - IMDb, retrieved 2023-04-04
  25. ^ Davis, Joshua, West Coast (Drama), Erica Shaffer, Monty Black, Gil Ferrales, Nikolai Kinski, retrieved 2021-04-28
  26. ^ Davis, Joshua (2006-06-10), The Sun Also Sets (Documentary, Short), Carlos Roig, retrieved 2021-04-28
  27. ^ Moon Shot (Documentary), Mike Vergalla, Bad Robot, Epic Digital, Grain Media, 2016-03-15, retrieved 2021-04-28{{citation}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  28. ^ "Epic Digital documents the making of IBM Project Debater: The first AI to debate a human". Vox Media. 2020-05-05. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  29. ^ Breaking (2022) - IMDb, retrieved 2023-03-28
  30. ^ Radical (2023) - IMDb, retrieved 2023-03-28
  31. ^ The Big Cigar (TV Mini Series 2023– ) - IMDb, retrieved 2023-03-28
  32. ^ Entrenched: The Best of Joshua Davis. Retrieved 2021-04-28 – via www.amazon.com.
  33. ^ "La Vida Robot | Epic Magazine". epicmagazine.com. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  34. ^ "Face Blind". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  35. ^ "The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  36. ^ Carr, David (2013-08-12). "Magazine Writing on the Web, for Film". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  37. ^ Davis, Joshua (2016-03-07). "The Mercenary". Medium. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  38. ^ Zax, David (2013-08-23). "Building An Epic Brand Around Incredible, True Stories". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  39. ^ Magazine, Epic (2016-03-07). "Pipino: Gentleman Thief". Medium. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  40. ^ "Deep Sea Cowboys | Epic Magazine". epicmagazine.com. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  41. ^ "Arab Spring Break". Epic Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-28.