Date of Birth: 1964
As a child growing up in Wisconsin, David Koepp found he had a talent for writing stories. He went on to study playwriting and acting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later transferred to the University of California School of Theater, Film and Television, graduating in 1986. He was working as a script reader when writer/director Martin Donovan asked Koepp to collaborate with him on the screenplay for Apartment Zero (1988). The film, starring Colin Firth, won several awards.
Now that he had a foot in the door, Koepp began turning out screenplays for directors such as Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian De Palma, including Jurassic Park (1993, for which he won several awards), The Paper (1994), Mission Impossible (1996) and Snake Eyes (1998). Meanwhile, he’d written and directed the short film Suspicious (1994) starring Janeanne Garofalo that made the rounds of film festivals. He was encouraged enough by the film’s reception to go on to write the screenplay for what would be his feature film directorial debut, The Trigger Effect (1996). Made on a budget of less than $2 million, it generated enough returns for Koepp to write and direct a second film, Stir of Echoes (1999) starring Kevin Bacon. The ghost story won Best Movie from the International Horror Guild, and Grand Prize from the Gérardmer Film Festival.
For the next few years, Koepp concentrated on writing, turning out hits such as Panic Room (which he also produced) starring Jodie Foster and Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire (both 2002), the latter becoming one of the highest-grossing films ever made. Koepp also created the CBS TV crime series Hack, which debuted September 2002 and was picked up for the 2003/2004 season as well.
Now a successful screenwriter, producer and TV series creator/consultant, Koepp took time to concentrate on his fourth film, Secret Window (2004). As a director, it would be his biggest budget film, with a bigger star (Oscar-nominated Johnny Depp, fresh from the 2003 success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) than he’d ever worked with as a director. In 2008, he directed Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear in the comedy Ghost Town and four years later he brought us Premium Rush (2012) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Koepp, who says the movie that most influenced him while growing up was Rosemary’s Baby, lives in New York.
Premium Rush (2012)
Ghost Town (2008)
Secret Window (2004)
Stir of Echoes (1999)
The Trigger Effect (1996)