Mike Binder (born June 2, 1958) is an award winning American film director, screenwriter, producer and actor.
Life and career
A native of Detroit, Mike Binder grew up in Birmingham, one of the city's suburbs, and attended Camp Tamakwa, which formed the basis for his 1993 film Indian Summer. Beginning his career as a screenwriter and standup comedian, he had a banner month in March 1990 with the March 9 theatrical premiere of his first screenplay, Coupe de Ville, directed by Joe Roth and co-produced by Mike, and his own HBO stand up comedy special, broadcast the following night, March 10. Binder's own directorial debut was with his second screenplay, 1992's Crossing the Bridge. His standing in the industry further increased with his 20-episode 2001-02 HBO comedy series, The Mind of the Married Man, which he co-wrote, co-directed and starred in as the central character "Micky Barnes". The theme song was the title song of the musical I Love My Wife (1977), written by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart. His independently produced film The Sex Monster won "Best Film" and Binder won "Best Actor" at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.
Binder wrote and directed three mid-2000s films in which he also played supporting roles. The first, The Upside of Anger, starring Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, premiered at the January 2005 Sundance Film Festival; thirteen months later, Man About Town with Ben Affleck, was first seen at the February 2006 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and, after another thirteen months, he directed and starred in Reign Over Me starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. The three films were produced by Jack Binder, with whom Mike formed Sunlight Productions and whom produced The Mind of the Married Man, Alex Gartner (Upside of Anger) and Michael Rotenberg (Man About Town and Reign over Me). His newest film is Black or White starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer.
As an actor Binder was featured in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report with Tom Cruise, and Rod Lurie's The Contender with Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, and Jeff Bridges, and Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee with Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, and Julianne Moore.
As a writer, he has written screenplays for Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Robert Zemeckis, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, and Tim Allen.