Terry Rossio

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Terry Rossio
Terry Rossio (2009) (cropped).png
Rossio in 2009
Born (1960-07-02) July 2, 1960 (age 59)

Terry Rossio (born July 2, 1960) is an American screenwriter. He wrote the films Aladdin, Shrek, and all five of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Shrek, and won the Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production, as well as the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Shrek. He often collaborates with fellow screenwriter Ted Elliott.

Life and career[edit]

Rossio was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan[citation needed]. After graduating from Saddleback High School in Santa Ana, California, he went on to study at California State University, Fullerton where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications, with an emphasis in radio, television and film. He is the founder of Wordplay, also known as Wordplayer.com, one of the premier screenwriting sites on the Internet.

Along with his writing partner Ted Elliott, Rossio has written some of the most successful American films of the past 30 years, including Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Shrek. He is the second most successful screenwriter of all time in terms of domestic box office receipts with totals at around $2.5 billion.[1]

In March 2017, Legendary Entertainment announced that Rossio would lead their writers room to help develop the story for Godzilla vs Kong.[2] A press release revealed Rossio as the sole screenwriter for Godzilla vs. Kong.[3]

As quoted in the India Times, Deadline Hollywood and other sources, "Pirates of the Caribbean writer Terry Rossio has been sued by his former agent for pending commission payment of over two years. Dodie Herskovitz, of Dodie Gold Management, filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court and claimed the screenwriter has not paid her 'certain revenues' she is owed under their contract, said The Hollywood Reporter. Herskovitz said she became Rossio's manager in February 2002, and their contract entitled her to 10 per cent of gross revenues and other amounts earned from entertainment industry work negotiated by her firm. Rossio, however, ended their contract in March 2013. The former manager claims she managed the writer while he signed to write (with Ted Elliott) installments of Pirates of the Caribbean saga, apart from The Lone Ranger, Déjà Vu and upcoming projects Lightspeed and Instant Karma.”[4][5]

Rossio is also associated with the anti-vaccination movement, writing in a tweet from November 23, 2018, "My heart goes out to all the parents of vaccine damaged children, who have to not only endure the sadness of their loss, but also the vitriol of ill-informed and insensitive people (such as those here). Anti-Vax is equivalent to calling someone a nigger and makes as little sense".[6] Subsequently, Rossio received a strong backlash from Twitter users for his use of a racist slur, and for comparing defenders of the anti-vaccination movement with victims of racism.[7]

Filmography (partial listing)[edit]

Year Film Writer Producer Directed by Notes
1989 Little Monsters Yes No Richard Alan Greenberg
1992 Aladdin Yes No Ron Clements
John Musker
1994 The Puppet Masters Yes No Stuart Orme
1997 Men in Black uncredited No Barry Sonnenfeld
1998 The Mask of Zorro Yes No Martin Campbell
Godzilla Story No Roland Emmerich Early unproduced screenplay
Small Soldiers Yes No Joe Dante
2000 The Road to El Dorado Yes No Don Paul
Bibo Bergeron
2001 Shrek Yes Yes Andrew Adamson
Vicky Jenson
BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay[8]
Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated - Nebula Award nomination for Best Script
2002 Treasure Planet Story No Ron Clements
John Musker
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl
Yes No Gore Verbinski Nominated - Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated - Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
2004 National Treasure uncredited No Jon Turteltaub
2005 The Legend of Zorro Yes No Martin Campbell
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Yes No Gore Verbinski
Déjà Vu Yes executive Tony Scott
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Yes No Gore Verbinski
National Treasure: Book of Secrets Story No Jon Turteltaub
2009 G-Force uncredited associate Hoyt Yeatman
2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Yes executive Rob Marshall
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Tales of the Code – Wedlocked
Yes No James Ward Byrkit Short film
2013 Lovestruck: The Musical Yes executive Sanaa Hamri
The Lone Ranger Yes executive Gore Verbinski Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
2015 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Yes No Howy Parkins episode #89 - Captain Frost
2017 Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Yes executive Joachim Rønning
Espen Sandberg
2019 Aladdin No No Guy Ritchie "Based on" credit (with Ron Clements, John Musker, and Ted Elliott).
2020 Godzilla vs. Kong Yes No Adam Wingard Head of writers room
TBA The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents Yes No

Other credits[edit]

Year Film Role
1998 Antz Consultant/advisor
2003 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
2004 Shrek 2 Creative consultant


  1. ^ "Box Office Mojo - People Index". boxofficemojo.com.
  2. ^ Kit, Borys (March 10, 2017). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Film Sets Writers Room (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Entertainment's Monsterverse Shifts into Overdrive as Cameras Roll on the Next Big-Screen Adventure "Godzilla Vs. Kong"". Business Wire. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Patten, Dominic (4 August 2015). "'Pirates' Scribe Terry Rossio Hit With Commissions Non-Payment Lawsuit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "'Pirates of the Caribbean' writer Terry Rossio sued for commission". India Times. 5 August 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "Terry Rossio on Twitter". 23 November 2018.
  7. ^ "'Aladdin' Writer Terry Rossio Criticized for Using N-Word on Twitter". SFGate. 23 November 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.

External links[edit]