Akiva Goldsman

Active - 1994 - 2017  |   Born - Jul 7, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, United States  |   Genres - Action, Science Fiction, Thriller, Comedy, Fantasy

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Biography

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman was born in Brooklyn, NY, where his mother and father were both child psychologists. Goldsman graduated from Wesleyan University in 1983, where one of his classmates was Paul Schiff; they lived together in a student house where the misadventures of the residents helped to inspire the campus comedy P.C.U., which Schiff produced. After graduating from Wesleyan, Goldsman studied creative writing at New York University, and later took up screenwriting. Goldsman's first screenplay to be produced was for the comedy-drama Indian Summer; his experiences with his parents helped to inform his second produced screenplay, Silent Fall, which concerned a psychologist dealing with an autistic child who witnessed a crime. Goldsman next adapted two John Grisham novels for the screen, The Client and A Time to Kill, and two films in the Batman franchise, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Goldsman took on the duties of producer as well as screenwriter for the first time in 1998 with the screen adaptation of the once-popular TV series Lost in Space; Goldman was also producer on the thriller Deep Blue Sea. In 2001, Goldsman won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his screenplay for the film A Beautiful Mind, based on the biography of John Nash written by Sylvia Nasar; Goldsman's script was also nominated for awards by the American Film Institute, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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Factsheet

  • Grew up in a group home for autistic and mentally ill children that was run by his child-psychologist parents.
  • Gave his mother the title for her 1977 book about treating autistic and disturbed children, Children With Emerald Eyes: Histories of Extraordinary Boys and Girls
  • Began writing short stories while a teenager. He submitted them to magazines, including the New Yorker, but they were rejected.
  • One of his college classmates was future Hollywood producer Paul Schiff; they lived in the same student house. 
  • Sold the first screenplay he wrote, Indian Summer, which was retitled Silent Fall by the time of its 1994 theatrical release.
  • Received death threats for having penned the screenplay for Batman & Robin, which was lambasted by critics and Batman fans alike upon its 1997 release.
  • Tried to secure the rights to Sylvia Nasar's book A Beautiful Mind, which he wanted to produce, but lost out to Imagine Films. As a result, he campaigned to write the screenplay, for which he copped a 2001 Oscar. 
  • Worked on the final draft of the never-produced Batman vs. Superman movie, which was slated for a 2004 release before being nixed.
  • While contemplating making a move into directing, he asked his pal J.J. Abrams if he could helm an episode of Fringe. He wound up also writing the episode ("Bad Dreams") and joining the show's creative team.