A journalist by trade, Mark Boal became involved in show business when an article he wrote for Playboy in 2004 entitled "Death and Dishonor" was adapted into the screenplay for the Paul Haggis film In the Valley of Elah. The story of an Iraq War veteran who was murdered after his return home was a critical success, and Boal would go on to write and produce 2009's The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The movie would strike a major chord with audiences and critics alike, earning the writer an Oscar nomination and win for Best Original Screenplay.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Father William Boal produced educational films.
- Ranked among the Top 10 of high-school debaters in the country during his senior year.
- Has worked as a freelance journalist, writing articles for Rolling Stone, the Village Voice and Playboy magazine.
- A 2004 article titled "Death and Dishonor" published in Playboy magazine became the inspiration for the 2007 film In the Valley of Elah.
- Wrote the original screenplay for The Hurt Locker (2008) based on his experiences as a journalist in Iraq.
- Sued by an Iraq war veteran who claimed the 2008 war film, in particular Jeremy Renner's character, was based on his life; the lawsuit was subsequently thrown out by the court.