David Koepp

David Koepp

Highest Rated: 91% Jurassic Park (1993)

Lowest Rated: 12% Mortdecai (2015)

Birthday: Jun 9, 1963

Birthplace: Not Available

The talented, prolific, and in-demand screenwriter David Koepp was the mind behind many of the late-'90s and early-2000s biggest pictures. Writing for directors such as Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Ron Howard, and Brian De Palma, Koepp was responsible for penning some of the highest-grossing films of all time. Comfortable working within any genre, Koepp takes pride in creating both character-driven pieces, like De Palma's Carlito's Way (1993) and his own Stir of Echoes (1999), and unforgettable action sequences like the T-Rex/jeep chase in Spielberg's Jurassic Park and Tom Cruise's aerial infiltration of the CIA in De Palma's Mission: Impossible (1996).Raised in the Midwest, Koepp began writing short stories in grade school. He eventually enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied playwriting and acting (his uncle was actor Claude Akins). More impressed with Koepp's writing than his acting, a professor convinced him to move out West and take up screenwriting. Koepp transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles, and began studying screenwriting techniques and film history. After graduating in 1986, he accepted a full-time position with a film distributor that allowed him time to write at night. Then, while working as a script reader, he met actor/director Martin Donovan who asked Koepp to collaborate on what would become his first feature film.Together with Donovan, Koepp wrote Apartment Zero (1988), a psychosexual thriller featuring Colin Firth as a shy cinephile who rents to a mysterious lodger in order to support his failing movie theater. The project turned out to be a moderate success. In the meantime, Koepp's fifth spec script, a thriller called Bad Influence (1990), had made its way around Hollywood. Universal Studios executive Casey Silver offered to produce the piece if Koepp turned it into a comedy. The screenwriter declined, and held out until director Curtis Hanson agreed to film it as is. Starring James Spader and Rob Lowe, Bad Influence tells the story of a timid financial analyst who becomes entangled with a psychopathic stranger. The final product still dazzled Casey Silver, who offered Koepp a rare and highly coveted job as a contract screenwriter on the Universal lot, which gave him access to the studio's top projects and allowed him to freelance for other companies.Koepp went to work on Daniel Petrie Jr.'s Toy Soldiers (1991). Based on the novel by William P. Kennedy, the film features Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, and Keith Coogan as teenagers who must defend their boarding school from Colombian terrorists. Reviewers nicknamed the picture "Red Dawn meets Dead Poets Society," but it has since become a cult favorite. Koepp then re-teamed with Martin Donovan to compose Robert Zemeckis' Death Becomes Her (1992), an inventive black comedy starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. Shortly afterward, Universal asked Koepp to co-write Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park (1994). The film -- about a theme park populated with real dinosaurs that are created from prehistoric DNA molecules -- was at the time the highest-grossing movie in history.Despite his success in blockbusters, Koepp made his next two films more personal, people-driven dramas. In 1993, he condensed author Edwin Torres' two-part character study of a professional criminal into Brian De Palma's celebrated Carlito's Way, which stars Al Pacino in the title role. Then, in 1994, he collaborated with his brother, Stephen Koepp (a writer for Time magazine), on Ron Howard's The Paper. Called "the Best Journalism Film Ever," by Larry King, The Paper features Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, and Glenn Close as the eccentric staff of a New York City daily newspaper.After adapting the classic radio series The Shadow (1994), for Russell Mulcahy, Koepp tried his own hand at directing. He wrote and helmed the short film Suspicious, starring Janeane Garofalo and Michael Rooker. Based on the u


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Indiana Jones 5 Screenwriter 2021
No Score Yet Bride of Frankenstein Screenwriter 2019
16% The Mummy Screenwriter $80.1M 2017
23% Inferno Screenwriter $34.4M 2016
No Score Yet Brilliance Screenwriter 2016
12% Mortdecai Screenwriter $6.9M 2015
55% Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Screenwriter $43.1M 2014
74% Premium Rush Director Screenwriter $20.3M 2012
68% Men in Black III Screenwriter $179.1M 2012
36% Angels & Demons Screenwriter $133.4M 2009
85% Ghost Town Director Screenwriter $13.3M 2008
78% Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Screenwriter $317M 2008
75% Zathura: A Space Adventure Screenwriter $28.1M 2005
75% War of the Worlds Screenwriter $234.2M 2005
46% Secret Window Director Actor Screenwriter $47.8M 2004
90% Spider-Man Screenwriter $403.8M 2002
48% Big Trouble Annoyed Sports Radio Host 2002
75% Panic Room Screenwriter Producer $95.4M 2002
67% Stir of Echoes Screenwriter Director 1999
40% Snake Eyes Screenwriter 1998
54% The Lost World - Jurassic Park Screenwriter 1997
75% The Trigger Effect Director Screenwriter 1996
63% Mission: Impossible Screenwriter 1996
No Score Yet Suspicious Screenwriter Director 1995
35% The Shadow Screenwriter 1994
88% The Paper Producer Screenwriter 1994
91% Jurassic Park Screenwriter $45.3M 1993
81% Carlito's Way Screenwriter 1993
52% Death Becomes Her Screenwriter 1992
36% Toy Soldiers Screenwriter 1991
71% Bad Influence Screenwriter 1990
31% I Come in Peace Screenwriter 1990
73% Apartment Zero Screenwriter Producer 1989


18% Hack
Screenwriter Executive Producer 2004


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