|Born||Nicholas Austin Pizzolatto|
October 18, 1975
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Pen name||Jim Hammett|
|Education||Louisiana State University (BA)|
University of Arkansas (MFA)
|Notable works||True Detective|
Pizzolatto was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is of Italian descent. Pizzolatto grew up poor in a working-class Roman Catholic family in New Orleans. At age five, he and his family moved to a rural area of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Pizzolato graduated from Lake Charles' St. Louis Catholic High School in 1993 and left home when he was 17. Pizzolato attended Louisiana State University on a visual arts scholarship. He graduated from LSU with a B.A. in English and philosophy. Pizzolatto gave up writing following the death of a writing mentor and moved to Austin, Texas, where he worked as a bartender and technical writer for four years. He later enrolled in an MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas, and received the Lily Peter Fellowship for poetry and Walton fellowship in 2003. He graduated in 2005.
He wrote two short stories when he was completing his MFA at the University of Arkansas – "Ghost-Birds" and "Between Here and the Yellow Sea" – which were sold to The Atlantic Monthly. In 2004, his work was among the finalists for the National Magazine Award in Fiction. His collection of short fiction Between Here and the Yellow Sea was long-listed for the 2006 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and was also named one of the top five fiction debuts of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine.
He also received an honorable mention from the Pushcart Prize, and his short story "Wanted Man" is included in Best American Mystery Stories 2009.
His first novel, Galveston, was published by Scribner's in June 2010. It was translated into many languages. In 2005, Pizzolatto was named one of Poets & Writers magazine's best new writers. In 2010, Galveston earned him the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger, the French Academy's award for Best First Novel, Foreign. It was also a 2010 Edgar Award finalist for best first novel. Galveston also won third prize in the 2010 Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, and additionally won the 2011 Spur Award for Best First Novel from the Western Writers of America. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 2018, based partially on a screenplay by Pizzolatto himself (credited under the pseudonym Jim Hammett) and starring Ben Foster and Elle Fanning.
Before creating True Detective, Pizzolatto taught fiction and literature as Kenan Visiting Writer (2005–2006) at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Spring 2008 at the University of Chicago, and as Assistant Professor of English (2008–12) at DePauw University. He moved to California to pursue a screenwriting career in the fall of 2010.
In 2011, he wrote two episodes for the first season of the crime drama television series The Killing. Pizzolatto was dissatisfied by the dynamic between the showrunner and the writers of the show; he remarked that, "I want to be the guiding vision. I don't do well serving someone else's vision." He decided to leave the show after spending two weeks in the writers room on the show's second season.
In 2012, he created an original television series called True Detective, which was sold to HBO and completed shooting in June 2013, with Pizzolatto as executive producer, sole writer, and showrunner. It premiered in January 2014, and became the most watched freshman show in the network's history. The show was critically acclaimed and was so popular the finale crashed HBO's HBO Go streaming service. Pizzolatto listed several influences on the show's first season: philosophy books such as Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, Eugene Thacker's In The Dust of This Planet, Ray Brassier's Nihil Unbound, Jim Crawford's Confessions of an Antinatalist, and David Benatar's Better Never to Have Been. Pizzolatto also mentions horror authors Laird Barron, John Langan, Simon Strantzas, and Ligotti.
A new season of True Detective premiered on June 21, 2015, with Pizzolatto again writing/co-writing all the episodes.
In late 2015, it was announced that Pizzolatto had signed a new deal with HBO through 2018.
In August 2016, HBO announced a potential new series written by Pizzolatto and starring Robert Downey Jr., centering on the character of investigative attorney Perry Mason. On August 25, 2017, it was announced that Pizzolatto had dropped out of the production in order to focus on the third season of True Detective and that he was being replaced as the project's writer by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald.
In January 2020, FX announced that Pizzolatto had signed an overall deal with the network, with the first project being the drama series Redeemer. The following year, negotiations for an early termination of the deal were underway after the development of Redeemer was canceled.
In March 2023, it was reported that Pizzolatto would be writing a Western series for Prime Video. Pizzolatto has said that the series "may be the most purely fun story I've ever written". The previous year he had said that "The Grass Rifles is an original western TV series I've written two episodes of, along with a season-long outline. It's the most populist, funniest thing I've ever written. Also the most romantic..." A month later, it was announced the series was being "refashioned" into a television series adaptation of the 1960 film The Magnificent Seven.
Along with Richard Wenk, Pizzolatto co-wrote the screenplay for The Magnificent Seven (2016), a remake of the period-piece western The Magnificent Seven (1960) (which was itself a western remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven Samurai). Antoine Fuqua directed, and the film, released on September 23, 2016, starred Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard and others.
Pizzolatto adapted his 2010 novel Galveston for the film of the same name; however, he requested to be credited under the pseudonym Jim Hammett following director Mélanie Laurent's contributions to the screenplay, despite not being formally engaged as a writer on the project, feeling the final script did not reflect his own. Producer Tyler Davidson confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly, saying, "My personal opinion is that Nic did not feel the final script reflected his work as the sole credited writer, and his representatives advised us to credit him with his pseudonym."
In December 2018, Pizzolatto revealed that he had assisted Deadwood creator David Milch in writing the screenplay for the film adaptation. In return, Milch helped him with the third season of True Detective by co-writing the fourth episode as well as giving Pizzolatto advice on crafting the season.
In April 2020, Pizzolatto said he was interested in writing a Batman film, saying: "Batman is the only character in the world I didn't create that I want a shot at. And he's the only piece of geek culture I have any affinity for."
The first two short stories Pizzolatto submitted sold simultaneously to The Atlantic. His collection of short fiction Between Here and the Yellow Sea was long-listed for the 2006 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and named one of the top five fiction debuts of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine.
Pizzolatto was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction in 2004. He received an honorable mention from the Pushcart Prize, and his story "Wanted Man" is included in Best American Mystery Stories 2009. While he was a graduate student at the University of Arkansas Programs in Creative Writing, Nic earned a number of awards in both fiction and poetry including a Lily Peter Fellowship in Poetry and a Walton Fellowship in Fiction.
His novel Galveston won third prize in the 2010 Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 Edgar Award for best first novel. It won the 2011 Spur Award for Best First Novel from the Western Writers of America. In France, Galveston was awarded the Prix du Premier Roman étranger (Best Foreign First Novel) for 2011, by a jury of literary critics. In 2015 it won Best Translated Crime Novel by the Swedish Crime Writers Academy. In the Netherlands Galveston won the 2016 De VN Thriller Award.
Pizzolatto and True Detective won the 2015 British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme.
Pizzolatto lives in Austin, Texas, with his daughter Allegra Pizzolatto. He got engaged to singer-songwriter Suzanne Santo in December 2021.
|2016||The Magnificent Seven||No||Yes|
|2018||Galveston||No||Yes||Credited as Jim Hammett|
|2019||Deadwood: The Movie||No||Yes||uncredited|
|2025||Blade||No||Yes||Co-written with Michael Starrbury|
|Year||Show||Season||Episode||Episode number||Original airdate||Notes|
|2011||The Killing||1||"What You Have Left"||6||May 1, 2011|
|"Orpheus Descending"||13||June 19, 2011||Written by Pizzolatto & Veena Sud|
|2014||True Detective||1||"The Long Bright Dark"||1||January 12, 2014|
|"Seeing Things"||2||January 19, 2014|
|"The Locked Room"||3||January 26, 2014|
|"Who Goes There"||4||February 9, 2014||Writer and actor|
|"The Secret Fate of All Life"||5||February 16, 2014|
|"Haunted Houses"||6||February 23, 2014|
|"After You've Gone"||7||March 2, 2014|
|"Form and Void"||8||March 9, 2014|
|2015||2||"The Western Book of the Dead"||9||June 21, 2015|
|"Night Finds You"||10||June 28, 2015|
|"Maybe Tomorrow"||11||July 5, 2015|
|"Down Will Come"||12||July 12, 2015||Written by Pizzolatto & Scott Lasser|
|"Other Lives"||13||July 19, 2015|
|"Church in Ruins"||14||July 26, 2015||Written by Pizzolatto & Scott Lasser|
|"Black Maps and Motel Rooms"||15||August 2, 2015|
|"Omega Station"||16||August 9, 2015|
|2019||3||"The Great War and Modern Memory"||17||January 13, 2019|
|"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"||18||January 13, 2019|
|"The Big Never"||19||January 20, 2019|
|"The Hour and the Day"||20||January 27, 2019||Written by Pizzolatto & David Milch; also director|
|"If You Have Ghosts"||21||February 3, 2019||Writer and director|
|"Hunters in the Dark"||22||February 10, 2019||Written by Pizzolatto & Graham Gordy|
|"The Final Country"||23||February 17, 2019|
|"Now Am Found"||24||February 24, 2019|
- Pizzolatto, Nic. 2003. "Ghost-Birds" The Atlantic Monthly October 2003 issue. (short story).
- Pizzolatto, Nic. 2004. "Between Here and The Yellow Sea" The Atlantic Monthly November 2004 issue. (short story).
- Pizzolatto, Nic. 2004. "1987, The Races". The Missouri Review. 27, no. 1: 83-93. (short story)
- Pizzolatto, Nic. 2005. "Haunted Earth". The Iowa Review. 35, no. 2: 14-24. (short story)
- Pizzolatto, Nic. Between Here and the Yellow Sea: Stories. San Francisco, CA: MacAdam/Cage, 2005. ISBN 978-1-59692-168-9 (a collection of 9 short stories)
- Pizzolatto, Nic. 2009. "Graves of Light". Ploughshares. 35, no. 4: 140-156. (short story)
- Pizzolatto, Nic. Galveston: A Novel. New York: Scribner, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4391-6664-2
Notes and references
- "Faculty". DePauw University.
- Strainchamps, Bernard (September 2, 2012). "Where I came from a lot of people viewed violence merely as efficient communication". feedbooks. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
I'm Italian from the American Deep South
- Zeitchik, Steven (January 8, 2014). "Nic Pizzolatto, the brooding poet behind 'True Detective'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Hughes, Sarah (February 17, 2014). "True Detective: 'I didn't want it to be just another serial-killer show'". The Guardian. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Ringen, Jonathan (February 28, 2014). "The Dark Thrills of 'True Detective'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Walker, Dave (July 7, 2014). "Nic Pizzolatto, New Orleans-born novelist, discusses HBO's upcoming 'True Detective'". nola.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Slotnick, Alexander (January 8, 2014). "NIC PIZZOLATTO". The Last Magazine. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Seiber, Cliff (August 9, 2012). "Author Nic Pizzolatto to produce show for HBO". American Press. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- "St. Louis Catholic Alumni Newsletter". St. Louis Catholic High School. Spring 2013. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Seiber, Cliff (August 20, 2012). "Sunday Talk: Pizzolatto's star quickly rising". American Press. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Spurr, Kim (June 16, 2005). "Fiction writer, poet Pizzolatto to be visiting writer in 2005-06". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Rose, Lacey (August 6, 2014). "'True Detective's' Nic Pizzolatto on Season 2, 'Stupid Criticism' and Rumors of On-Set Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- "About Nic". Nic Pizzolatto. Archived from the original on July 23, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- "Nic Pizzolatto". The Missouri Review. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- Christopher Orr, Before True Detective: The Short Stories of Nic Pizzolatto, The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/02/before-em-true-detective-em-the-short-stories-of-nic-pizzolatto/283992/
- "2006 Longlist for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award in association with the Irish Times". Munster Literature Centre. 2006. Archived from the original on November 9, 2006. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Lehane, Dennis (July 16, 2010). "Love Among the Ruined". New York Times. Sunday Book Review. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Sepinwall, Alan (January 7, 2014). "'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto on Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson His Gripping New HBO Series". HitFix. What's Alan Watching? Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 30, 2012). "HBO Picks Up Matthew-Woody Series 'True Detective' With Eight-Episode Order". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
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- "True Detective : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
Metacritic score: 87
- Sepinwall, Alan (March 10, 2014). "'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto Looks Back on Season 1". HitFix. What's Alan Watching? Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 9, 2014). "'True Detective' Finale Crashes HBO Go". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Calia, Michael (February 2, 2014). "Writer Nic Pizzolatto on Thomas Ligotti and the Weird Secrets of 'True Detective'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- Killoran, Ellen. "'True Detective' Season 2: HBO Series Gets A Clean Slate, But Has It Learned From Its Mistakes?". Forbes.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (17 November 2015). "'True Detective' Season 3 Still Up in the Air as HBO Inks Deal with Nic Pizzolatto Through 2018".
- Andreeva, Nellie (15 August 2016). "HBO Eyes Series From Robert Downey Jr. & 'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto".
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 25, 2017). "Perry Mason HBO Drama Project Starring Robert Downey Jr. Sets New Writers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- "Nic Pizzolatto and Matthew McConaughey Reteam for 'Redeemer' Drama Series at FX; 'True Detective' Duo Ink FX Productions & Fox 21 TV Studios Deals". 28 January 2020.
- Goldberg, Lesley (12 January 2021). "Nic Pizzolatto Negotiating Early Exit From FX Deal (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- Lesley Goldberg (March 2, 2023). "'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto Sets Western at Amazon (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter.
- Nic Pizzolatto (March 2, 2023). "Nic Pizzolatto on Instagram: "This may be the most purely fun story I've ever written, and I'm so excited to get the chance to bring it to you. Hang in there, everybody- meaningful entertainment on the way."".
- Nic Pizzolatto (19 August 2022). "Nic Pizzolatto on Instagram: "Since you asked (Some of you)- this is what I've been writing over the past year: 'Easy's Waltz' is an original film I plan to direct that will star Vince Vaughn as a singer in las Vegas... This may be my favorite story I've ever made. We've cast a couple other roles as well, and are solidifying financing... 'The Grass Rifles' is an original western TV series I've written two episodes of, along with a season-long outline. It's the most populist, funniest thing I've ever written. Also the most romantic... 'The Frenchman' is an international spy thriller based on the novel by Jack Beaumont (A pseudonym for an actual French spy and one of the most impressive men I've ever met)... Since all these projects require millions of dollars, and the market being what it is, I can't guarantee you'll actually get to watch all (Or any) of them, but the wheels are in motion... All of which is just to assure the fans on here that I haven't retired and am creating robustly (Just not super-dark stories about murder and retribution)... Okay. I'll probably go back to posting wedding pictures after this. Thanks. Be good."".
- Goldberg, Lesley (April 24, 2023). "Nic Pizzolatto's Amazon Western Refashioned as 'The Magnificent Seven' TV Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
- Nolfi, Joey (October 18, 2018). "Galveston: Nic Pizzolatto credited on Mélanie Laurent film under pseudonym". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
- "'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto Requested His Name to be Taken off Mélanie Laurent's 'Galveston' Adaptation". 19 October 2018.
- Travers, Ben (December 18, 2018). "Nic Pizzolatto Helped Write the 'Deadwood' Movie — So David Milch Helped Write 'True Detective' Season 3". IndieWire. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- "Ben Affleck to Direct, Star in WWII Drama 'Ghost Army' for Universal". 23 April 2019.
- Lattanzio, Ryan (2020-04-18). "'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto Wants Batman to Fight God in His Version of the DC Tentpole". IndieWire. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
- Kit, Borys (April 28, 2023). "Marvel's 'Blade' Nabs 'True Detective' Creator Nic Pizzolatto for Writing Duties (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 28, 2023. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
- "Marien Defalvard et Nic Pizzolatto, lauréats du Prix du Premier roman". Libération. AFP. November 16, 2011. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- "Nic Pizzolattos Galveston utnämnd till bästa översatta kriminalroman av Svenska Deckarakademin". Archived from the original on 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- "Galveston is de Vrij Nederland Thriller van het Jaar – Vrij Nederland". 2 June 2016.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 25, 2014). "Emmys 2014: Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Horror Story: Coven, True Detective and Many Repeat Winners Grab Gold". TVLine. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- Zuckerman, Esther (February 14, 2015). "The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game win WGA Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "All Nominations for 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards". Producers Guild. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- GQ. "Nic Pizzolatto: Writer".
- "2015 Television International – BAFTA Awards".
- Naveen Rao- (2021-12-29). "Who is Suzanne Santo's Boyfriend: Entertainment Big-Shot Nic Pizzolatto Has Moved Up the Relationship Ladder & is Now Her Fiancé!". Earn The Necklace. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
- ""True Detective" Who Goes There (TV Episode 2014) – Full Cast & Crew – IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
- Pizzolatto, Nic (Spring 2004). "1987, The Races". The Missouri Review. 27 (1): 83–93. doi:10.1353/mis.2004.0031. S2CID 161821517. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- Pizzolatto, Nic (Fall 2005). "Haunted Earth". The Iowa Review. 35 (2): 14–24. doi:10.17077/0021-065X.6014. ISSN 0021-065X. JSTOR 20152008. 5543752036.