Date of Birth: August 29, 1979
Born and raised in Kingston, Pennsylvania, Dan Harris' earliest claim to fame was being accidentally hit in the head with a tennis ball by Woody Allen. A 17-year-old high school senior at the time, he was working as a production assistant on one of Allen's sets. Since then, Harris aspired to be a movie director.
While at Columbia University in New York City, Harris wrote and directed several shorts. Even though he never wanted to be a writer, he found that in order to have material to direct he would have to write it himself. His short film, Urban Chaos Theory (2000), won the Grand Jury Prize for the best short film at the NoDance Film Festival. Upon completing his bachelor's degree at Columbia in 2001, Harris won the Louis B. Sudler prize in the arts for his screenplay, America's Least Wanted. It was the only time a screenplay ever won. A year later, The Killing of Candice Klein (2002), another short, received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.
Having spent his summers in Los Angeles, Harris moved there permanently after graduation. It was there he met his writing partner, Michael Dougherty. Together, they wrote the screenplay for a not-yet-released horror movie. Just three weeks after Sundance, X-Men director Bryan Singer recruited the pair to write X2: X-Men United (2003). Harris was only 22. That same year, his photography was published by New York fashion landmark Visionaire, and he was named one of the top 10 screenwriters to watch by Variety.
Harris made his feature directorial debut with Imaginary Heroes (2005), a film he'd written when he was just 20 years old. Filmed on a $10 million budget, it stars Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams and Emile Hirsch. Although the story is not based on his own life, it is a reflection of events he witnessed while growing up.
He and Dougherty have also written the screenplay for the highly anticipated Superman feature film (2006).
Imaginary Heroes (2005)