Seth Grahame-Smith

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Seth Grahame-Smith
Grahame-Smith in March 2012
Grahame-Smith in March 2012
BornSeth Jared Greenberg
(1976-01-04) January 4, 1976 (age 42)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
OccupationNovelist, screenwriter, film producer
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Alma materEmerson College
GenreComedy, horror fiction, mashup, non-fiction
Notable worksPride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Unholy Night
Spouse
Erin Stickle (m. 2004)
Children2
Website
sethgrahamesmith.com

Seth Grahame-Smith (born Seth Jared Greenberg; January 4, 1976) is an American novelist, film director, film producer, and screenwriter. He is best known as the author of The New York Times best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, both of which have been adapted as feature films. Grahame-Smith is also the co-creator, head writer and executive producer of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a scripted television comedy appearing on MTV. In collaboration with David Katzenberg, his partner in Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith is currently developing a number of projects for television and film.

Personal life[edit]

Grahame-Smith was born in Rockville Centre, New York, the son of Deborah Ann (née Williams) and Barry Michael Greenberg.[1] He eventually grew up in Weston and Bethel, Connecticut, where he attended Bethel High School.[2][3] His parents divorced when he was a child. Subsequently, his mother changed his surname to "Grahame", after author Kenneth Grahame, and later added the surname "Smith", from her remarriage.[4] Grahame-Smith attended an Episcopal church after his mother's remarriage (his father was Jewish).[4] His mother was a literary editor and his stepfather was a rare books dealer.[5]

Grahame-Smith received a degree in film from Emerson College. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Erin, and sons, Joshua and Jacob.

Career[edit]

Literature[edit]

Grahame-Smith's first widely published book was The Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies, a non-fiction history of the erotic art form published in 2005. The next year, Grahame-Smith published The Spider-Man Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual, an examination of Marvel Comics' Spider-Man, with an introduction by Stan Lee. In 2007, Grahame-Smith wrote How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills, a tongue-in-cheek guide to help readers escape situations most often shown in horror films. The book's introduction was written by horror film director Wes Craven. Grahame-Smith's next book was the satirical Pardon My President: Fold-and-Mail Apologies for 8 Years, a collection of letters addressed to various parties intended to apologize for the wrongs they had suffered under the administration of George W. Bush.[6]

The idea for Grahame-Smith's next novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, came from his editor at Quirk Books, Jason Rekulak. Using Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice as a platform, Rekulak suggested that Grahame-Smith mix a zombie plot into the public domain novel. Enamored of the idea, Grahame-Smith immediately began working on the novel, first by reading Pride and Prejudice and then by inserting the gruesome zombie elements, a process he has described as similar to microsurgery. Though Quirk Books was initially reluctant to publish the book in fear of alienating Austen's fans, the novel went to press in 2009, with modest sales expectations. In the weeks prior to the release, however, the book's popularity swelled dramatically as the cover and title of the novel circulated the internet. Anticipation for the book grew so rapidly that in its first week of release, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies surged to No. 3 on the New York Times Best Seller list.[7] Since that time, the novel has sold over a million copies and been translated into over 20 languages.

Building on the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith wrote another mash-up, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. As the title suggests, this book traces Abraham Lincoln's life from childhood through assassination, relying upon his "secret diaries" to reveal his central role in a worldwide struggle against vampirism. Released on March 2, 2010, this novel debuted at No. 4 on The New York Times best seller list under the category "Hardcover Fiction."[8]

In addition to writing novels, Grahame-Smith made his debut as a comic book writer on Marvel Zombies Return: Hulk with artist Richard Elson.[9]

Unholy Night, Grahame-Smith's most recent novel, was released on April 10, 2012.[10] It depicts Balthazar, Gaspar, and Melchyor, the Magi of popular tradition, as criminals who ultimately visit the infant Jesus. Herod the Great, Augustus Caesar, Pontius Pilate, and the Virgin Mary appear as supporting characters.[11]

Film[edit]

Two of Grahame-Smith's best-selling books were made into feature films. Grahame-Smith adapted his book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,[12] for the screen, for producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.[13] In 2011, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was optioned by Lionsgate Entertainment, with Natalie Portman producing, and David O. Russell initially set to adapt and direct. Russell later left the project.[14] In 2013, a new group of producers, including Portman, hired Burr Steers to direct. Lily James and Bella Heathcote were chosen to star as the oldest Bennett sisters. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was released on February 5, 2016.

Grahame-Smith wrote the script for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, the film adaptation of the 1960s soap opera, replacing longtime Burton scribe John August.[15] Grahame-Smith produced the film adaptation of the Mark Bianculli and Jeff Richard spec script The Waiting.[16] Smith polished the script for Fantastic Four.[17] Smith will be producing the rebooted Gremlins film.[18] He is also currently writing a script for the sequel to the 1988 supernatural comedy film Beetlejuice. The remake Something Wicked This Way Comes is set for his directorial debut.[19] Smith produced the theatrical film version of It, which was released in September 2017[20][21] and is producing the feature length follow up to the 1980s' action-comedy homage film short titled Kung Fury in 2018.[22]

Television[edit]

After receiving a degree in film from Emerson College, Grahame-Smith moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote and produced for several television series, including Vendettas and the History Channel's History's Mysteries.[23] Building on these experiences, Grahame-Smith was hired to produce an innovative[further explanation needed] CBS online series, Clark and Michael, starring Clark Duke, Michael Cera, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Andy Richter.[24]

While working on Clark and Michael, Grahame-Smith met another producer on the series, David Katzenberg (son of Jeffrey), who would become his partner in Katzsmith Productions. Under the Katzsmith banner, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg created, wrote, and produced a scripted comedy for MTV called The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which follows an awkward high-school loser who gains notoriety for his extraordinary endowment.[2] In January 2015, it was announced that he will write the screenplays for the sequels to Beetlejuice[25] and Gremlins.[26]

Through Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg are currently developing a number of projects for television and film.[example needed]

Bibliography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Screenwriter Story
writer
Producer
2012 Dark Shadows No Yes Yes No Co-story writer with John August
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter No Yes Executive Based on his novel;
Co-screenwriter with Simon Kinberg
2016 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies No No No No Credited on-screen for being based on his novel
2017 The Lego Batman Movie No Yes Yes No Co-screenwriter with Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington
It No No No Yes
The Lego Ninjago Movie No No No Executive
2019 It – Chapter Two No No No Executive
2020 The Flash No Yes Yes No Co-screenwriter with Chris Brancato, Joby Harold and Dan Mazeau;
Co-story writer with Rick Famuyiwa, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim
TBA An American Werewolf in London No No No Yes
Untitled Beetlejuice sequel No Yes Yes
Gremlins 3 No No No Yes

Television[edit]

Year Title Credited as Notes
Creator Director Writer Producer
2000–2001 History's Mysteries No No Yes Coordinating Documentary series;
Writer on 2 episodes
2001 The Most No No Yes No Miniseries
2007 Clark and Michael No No No Yes
2010–2011 The Hard Times of RJ Berger Yes Yes Yes Executive Director on 2 episodes;
Writer on 4 episodes;
Producer on 12 episodes
2015 87th Academy Awards No No Yes No TV Special

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Seth Jared Greenberg". Familytreemaker.
  2. ^ a b Itzkoff, Dave (May 23, 2010). "A Standout Student at Ribald High". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Sharkey, Alix (April 30, 2010). "Seth Grahame-Smith interview". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  4. ^ a b Babayan, Siran (April 6, 2012). "Seth Grahame-Smith's New Book Unholy Night Asks: What the Hell Were the Three Wise Doing There?". LA Weekly.
  5. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith". The Hollywood Reporter. November 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith wants to resurrect 'Beetlejuice,' 'It'". The Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (March 21, 2010). "Inside List". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Critique of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Time. March 8, 2010.
  9. ^ Brownfield, Troy (June 22, 2009). "The Zombies – This Time, With Literate Roots". Newsarama. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  10. ^ Barton, Steve (March 30, 2012). "Seth Grahame-Smith Spends an Unholy Night with the Three Wise Men". Dread Central. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  11. ^ McFarland, Kevin (April 23, 2012). "Unholy Night". The A.V. Club.
  12. ^ "Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and Seth Grahame-Smith Talk Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Dread Central. May 2, 2012.
  13. ^ "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Screenplay Writer Revealed". Dread Central. March 30, 2010.
  14. ^ "David O. Russell Quits 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'". Screenrant. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (July 15, 2010). "WB moves on Depp's 'Shadow'". Variety.
  16. ^ "No more "WAITING": filmmakers assigned to haunting feature". Fangoria. March 28, 2012. Archived from the original on May 21, 2012.
  17. ^ Kit, Borys. "Fantastic Four". The Hollywood Reporter.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: 'Gremlins' Reboot Has Seth Grahame-Smith Snacking After Midnight! - Bloody Disgusting". bloody-disgusting.com.
  19. ^ "'Beetlejuice' Sequel: Writer Plans To Bring Back Michael Keaton". January 12, 2015.
  20. ^ "IT remake to shoot this Summer! - Heaven of Horror". April 14, 2016.
  21. ^ "It (2017)" – via www.imdb.com.
  22. ^ "Michael Fassbender to Star in 'Kung Fury' Feature Film".
  23. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith". Internet Movie Database.
  24. ^ "Clark and Michael". Internet Movie Database.
  25. ^ "Beetlejuice 2 – Seth Grahame-Smith Talks Sequel". Internet Movie Database.
  26. ^ "Seth Grahame-Smith Penning 'Gremlins". Internet Movie Database.

External links[edit]