Max Borenstein is an American screenwriter. He is best known for his work on the MonsterVerse film series featuring classic Kaiju of Toho's Godzilla mythos, including writing Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island (2017), and contributing to the story of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021).
Life and career
Borenstein wrote, edited, and directed the 2003 film Swordswallowers and Thin Men while a senior at Yale University. The film starred Peter Cellini, Zoe Kazan, Fran Kranz and Graham Norris, and featured Army Wives star Sally Pressman and Midnight's Children lead Satya Bhabha. The film won Best Feature and Best Screenplay at the New York Independent Film Festival and was named Best First Feature 2003 by Los Angeles Times critic Kevin Thomas.
Borenstein's 2008 screenplay What Is Life Worth?, based on Kenneth Feinberg's memoir of the same name, was included on The Black List, an annual list compiled by Hollywood executives of their favorite unproduced screenplays. On February 14, 2018, it was reported that he would produce his screenplay into film alongside Michael Sugar, Marc Butan, Sean Sorensen, and Bard Dorros, with director David Frankel helming the project. His 2009 screenplay Jimi, commissioned by Legendary Pictures and based on the life of guitarist Jimi Hendrix, was also included on The Black List. Borenstein has written and/or co-written additional projects for Legendary's MonsterVerse, including Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He was hired to write Paladin for Walt Disney Pictures, and Mona for New Regency.
On May 4, 2017, HBO announced that Borenstein is one of four writers working on a potential pilot for a Game of Thrones spin-off. In addition to Borenstein, Carly Wray, Jane Goldman, and Brian Helgeland are also working on potential pilots. Borenstein has been working and communicating with George R. R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of novels upon which the original series is based. Current Game of Thrones showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff would also be executive producers for whichever project is picked up by HBO.
|2003||Swordswallowers and Thin Men||Yes||Yes||No||Also cinematographer & editor and actor|
|2017||Kong: Skull Island||No||Yes||No||Co-wrote with Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly|
|2019||Godzilla: King of the Monsters||No||Story||No||Co-wrote with Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields|
|2021||Godzilla vs. Kong||No||Yes||No||Co-wrote with Eric Pearson|
|TBA||Hypnotic||No||Yes||No||Co-wrote with Robert Rodriguez|
|2019||The Terror: Infamy||Yes||Executive||Anthology Series|
|TBA||Untitled Lakers/HBO Project||Yes||Yes||Series|
|2007||Law and Order: Christmas Special||Yes||No||No|
|2008||A Room of One's Clone||Yes||No||No|
|2015||In Her Place||No||Yes||Yes|
- "The truth sinks in - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. September 18, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "Michael Keaton In Talks For 'What Is Life Worth'; David Frankel Helming From Max Borenstein's Black List Script – Berlin". Deadline. February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- "Screenplay Junkie #6: The 2008 Black List". Film Junk. December 12, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "50 Great Unproduced Movie Scripts". Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- Fleming, Jr, Mike (September 16, 2014). "Legendary's 'Skull Island'; Tom Hiddleston Stars, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Helms King Kong Origin Tale". Deadline.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (September 18, 2014). "'Godzilla' Sequel To Be Scripted By Max Borenstein". Deadline.com.
- Kit, Borys (March 9, 2012). "Disney Developing Sci-Fi Space Adventure 'Paladin' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (January 30, 2013). "Max Borenstein To Adapt 'Mona' For New Regency". Deadline.
- Holloway, Daniel (May 4, 2017). "'Game of Thrones' Spinoffs in the Works at HBO". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 4, 2017). "'Game of Thrones': HBO Exploring Four Different Follow-Up Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- Blistein, Jon (May 4, 2017). "HBO Preps 'Game of Thrones' Spin-Off Series With George R.R. Martin". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 6, 2017.