Gary Ross

Last updated
Gary Ross
Born (1956-11-03) November 3, 1956 (age 63)
OccupationWriter, producer, director
Years active1986–present
Parent(s) Arthur A. Ross [2]

Gary Ross (born November 3, 1956) [3] is an American film director, writer, and producer. He is best known for writing and directing the fantasy comedy-drama film Pleasantville (1998), the sports drama film Seabiscuit (2003), the sci-fi action film The Hunger Games (2012), and Ocean's 8 (2018). [2] He also wrote the screenplay for the fantasy comedy film Big (1988) and the political comedy film Dave (1993). Ross has been nominated for four Academy Awards.


Early life and career

Ross was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Gail and Arthur A. Ross, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter ( Brubaker ). His family is Jewish. [4] He attended (though did not graduate from) the University of Pennsylvania, worked as a fisherman, worked on Ted Kennedy's 1980 Presidential campaign, consulted on both Michael Dukakis's and Bill Clinton's Presidential campaigns, and wrote a novel before being hired to write screenplays for Paramount Pictures. [5]


Big was his first produced screenplay. Co-written with Anne Spielberg (sister of Steven), it led to an Academy Award nomination and a Writers Guild of America Award. He went on to write several other successful films, including Dave in 1993. In 1998, he wrote and directed Pleasantville , and in 2003, he wrote, directed and produced Seabiscuit, based on Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. The film earned seven Academy Award nominations.

Ross took on the high-profile project of co-adapting and directing the film adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. The film was released on March 23, 2012, and earned $672.8 million worldwide. [6] Although the movie was financially and critically successful, Ross opted to not adapt or direct the sequels, citing the rushed production schedule as his main reason.

Ross also wrote and produced the animated feature The Tale of Despereaux , based on the Newbery Medal-winning children's book by Kate DiCamillo. His first book, Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind, was published by Candlewick Press in 2012. A children's book, it is written completely in verse.

His next two films as a director and writer were the period drama Free State of Jones (2016) and the heist film Ocean's 8 (2018).


1988 Big NoYesYes Saturn Award for Best Writing
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated- Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
1992 Mr. Baseball NoYesNo
1993 Dave NoYesNo Paul Selvin Award
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated- Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
1994 Lassie NoYesNo
1997 Trial and Error NoNoYes
1998 Pleasantville YesYesYes Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay
Producers Guild of America for Most Promising Producer
Nominated- Satellite Award for Best Film - Musical or Comedy
Nominated- Satellite Award for Best Director
Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Writing
2003 Seabiscuit YesYesYes USC Scripter Award
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Picture
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated- Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated- Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing
Nominated- Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
Nominated- Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated- Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2008 The Tale of Despereaux NoYesYes
2012 The Hunger Games YesYesNo
2016 Free State of Jones YesYesYes
2018 Ocean's 8 YesYesNo

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  1. "Cheat Sheet: Gary Ross". Bestforfilm. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Interview: Gary Ross breathes his life into 'Pleasantville'". CNN. October 12, 1998.
  3. "Gary Ross Bio". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  4. Bloom, Nate (October 17, 2003). "Celebrity Jews". J. The Jewish News of Northern California .
  5. "Gary Ross Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  6. "Hunger Games". IMDb. Retrieved 2012-09-17.