Alex Kurtzman

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Alex Kurtzman
Alex Kurtzman San Diego Comic Con 2019.jpg
Kurtzman at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International
Born
Alexander Hilary Kurtzman

(1973-09-07) September 7, 1973 (age 47)
OccupationWriter, producer, director
Years active1996present
Known forCo-founder of K/O Paper Products, founder of Secret Hideout
Spouse(s)
Samantha Counter
(m. 2002)

Alexander Hilary Kurtzman (born September 7, 1973) is an American film and television writer, producer, and director. He is best known for co-producing the Star Trek franchise since 2009, co-writing the scripts to Transformers (2007), Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) with his writing and producing partner Roberto Orci, and directing and co-writing The Mummy (2017).

Contents

Early life, family and education

Kurtzman was born into a secular Jewish family [1] [2] [3] and raised in Los Angeles, California. [4] His longtime screenwriting partner Roberto Orci was his best friend in high school.

Kurtzman attended Wesleyan University. [5]

Career

Kurtzman first teamed with Orci on the syndicated series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, for the television unit of Pacific Renaissance Pictures, then operating out of Universal International. After they produced several storylines to cope with the absence of lead actor Kevin Sorbo following a stroke that Sorbo had suffered during the fourth season, Kurtzman and Orci, both aged 24, were placed in charge of the show. They moved into films after they were asked to rewrite Michael Bay's The Island. The film earned nearly $163 million at the worldwide box office, on a budget of $126 million, which was enough of a success that they were brought in to write Bay's Transformers, which earned $710 million. Though The Island,Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were not particularly well received by critics, the three films earned a combined $1.7 billion. They co-created the Fox TV series Fringe in 2008 along with J. J. Abrams. After the pilot, Kurtzman served as consulting producer on the show for the remainder of its run. [6] They then co-wrote the 2009 film Star Trek.

In 2011, Forbes magazine described Orci and Kurtzman as "Hollywood's Secret Weapons" as, over the course of the previous six years, their films had grossed a combined total of over $3 billion at the box office. The partnership also wrote People Like Us, originally known as Welcome to People, which was Kurtzman's theatrical directorial debut. [6]

Kurtzman has frequently worked with a tight-knit group of film professionals which include J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Adam Horowitz, Roberto Orci, Edward Kitsis, Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Jeff Pinkner, and Bryan Burk. [2] In April 2014, both Orci and Kurtzman confirmed to Variety that they would no longer work together on film projects; they added that they would still work together—but only on television projects. [7]

In 2018, Kurtzman signed a new five-year deal with CBS Television Studios to oversee and expand the Star Trek franchise on television, including serving as executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery (which he also co-showruns with Michelle Paradise [8] ), Star Trek: Short Treks , Star Trek: Picard , and Star Trek: Lower Decks . [9]

In August 2021, Kurtzman and Secret Hideout had extended its overall deal with CBS Studios through 2026. [10]

Personal life

In 2002, Kurtzman married Samantha Counter, the daughter of lawyer Nick Counter. [11]

Filmography

YearTitleCredited asNotes
Director Writer Producer
2005 The Island NoYesNoCo-wrote with Roberto Orci and Caspian Tredwell-Owen
The Legend of Zorro NoYesNoCo-wrote with Roberto Orci, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
2006 Mission: Impossible III NoYesNoCo-wrote with J. J. Abrams and Roberto Orci
2007 Transformers NoYesNoCo-wrote with Roberto Orci and John Rogers
2009 Watchmen NoUncreditedNoScript polish [12]
Star Trek NoYesexecutiveCo-wrote with Roberto Orci
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen NoYesNoCo-wrote with Ehren Kruger and Roberto Orci
2011 Cowboys & Aliens NoYesYesCo-wrote with Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof, Steve Oedekerk,
Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby
2012 People Like Us YesYesexecutiveDirectorial debut; co-wrote with Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness NoYesYesCo-wrote with Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 NoYesexecutive [13] Co-wrote with Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, and James Vanderbilt
2017 The Mummy YesYesYesWrote the story; co-wrote with Jon Spaihts, Jenny Lumet, David Koepp,
Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman

Producer only

YearTitleNotes
2008 Eagle Eye
2009 The Proposal Executive producer
2013 Now You See Me
Ender's Game
2016 Now You See Me 2

Television credits

YearTitleDirectorWriterExecutive
Producer
CreatorNotes
1997–1999 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys NoYesYesNo
1999–2000 Xena: Warrior Princess NoYesYesNo
2000 Jack of All Trades NoYesYesNo
2001–2003 Alias NoYesYesNoAlso supervising producer
2004The Secret ServiceNoYesYesNo Pilot
2008–2013 Fringe NoYesYesYesAlso consulting producer
2010–2020 Hawaii Five-0 NoYesYesNoAlso developer
2011Exit StrategyNoYesYesNoPilot
Locke & Key NoYesYesNo
2013–2017 Sleepy Hollow NoYesYesYes
2017–present Star Trek: Discovery YesYesYesYesEpisode "Brother"
2018–2020 Star Trek: Short Treks NoYesYesYes
2020–present Star Trek: Picard NoYesYesYes
2021–2021 Clarice NoYesYesYes
TBA Star Trek: Strange New Worlds NoYesYesYesFilming
TBA The Man Who Fell to Earth NoNoYesNoFilming

Executive Producer only

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References

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  2. 1 2 Littleton, Cynthia (October 16, 2009). "Abrams keeps it all in the fan family - J.J. and his collaborators conquer Hollywood". Variety. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. We’re all self-deprecating short Jews, with the exception of Bob Orci
  3. Wills, Adam (July 22, 2009). "Jews Get Geek on at Comic-Con". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018.
  4. "Alex Kurtzman Biography". IGN.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  5. Itzkoff, Dave. "Character-Driven Films (but Keep the Kaboom)". The New York Times . Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  6. 1 2 Pomerantz, Dorothy (May 18, 2011). "Roberto Orci And Alex Kurtzman: Hollywood's Secret Weapons". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  7. "Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Splitting Up on Bigscreen (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. April 22, 2014. Archived from the original on April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  8. "'Star Trek: Discovery' Renewed For Season 3 At CBS All Access, Michelle Paradise Joins Alex Kurtzman As Co-Showrunner". Deadline. February 27, 2019. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  9. "Alex Kurtzman To Shepherd 'Star Trek' Franchise Expansion Under New 5-Year Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios". Deadline. June 19, 2018. Archived from the original on November 21, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  10. Andreeva, Nellie (August 1, 2021). "Alex Kurtzman Inks Mega New Overall Deal With CBS Studios". Deadline Hollywood .
  11. Hubler, Shawn (June 27, 2007). "Reel life was his real love". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. Roberto Orci (August 10, 2008). "The All New "Hey Roberto" Thread". Don Murphy. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
  13. Fleming, Mike (April 24, 2012). "Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Re-Writing Sequel To 'Amazing Spider-Man'". Deadline Hollywood . Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2012.