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Brian Helgeland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brian Helgeland
Helgeland in 2013
Brian Thomas Helgeland

(1961-01-17) January 17, 1961 (age 63)
Alma materUniversity of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Loyola Marymount University
Occupation(s)director, producer, screenwriter
Years active1988–present
Notable workL.A. Confidential
Mystic River
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
L.A. Confidential (1997)

Brian Thomas Helgeland (born January 17, 1961)[1] is an American screenwriter, film producer, and director. He is best known for writing the screenplays for the films L.A. Confidential and Mystic River.[2] He also wrote and directed the films 42, a biopic of Jackie Robinson, and Legend, about the rise and fall of the infamous London gangsters the Kray twins. His work on L.A. Confidential earned him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Brian Helgeland | BAFTA Screenwriters' Lecture Series
  • 42 Movie Premiere - Director/Writer Brian Helgeland (screenplay) at TCL Chinese Theater
  • Finestkind | A Writer-Director Who Lived The Story | Paramount+
  • Top 5 Writer Movies
  • Brian Helgeland on Hank Aaron's reaction to 42 and his inspiration for writing the film


Early life

Helgeland was born in Providence, Rhode Island, to Norwegian-born parents Aud-Karin and Thomas Helgeland, and was raised in nearby New Bedford, Massachusetts. He majored in English at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth before following his father's work fishing scallop.

One cold winter day in 1985 made Helgeland consider another job, after finding a book about film schools.

Helgeland eventually settled on a career in film, considering his love for movies. He applied for the film school at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, as it was the only one which could accept him in the middle of the semester.[3][4][5][6]


Helgeland's agent arranged him a meeting with Rhet Topham, who had an idea for a horror comedy film but was having difficulty writing it. The resulting film was 976-EVIL, which the duo managed to sell for $12,000.[6] 976-EVIL marked the directorial debut of Freddy Krueger portrayer Robert Englund, who went on to recommend Helgeland as New Line Cinema wanted to do a new A Nightmare on Elm Street film. Helgeland was paid $70,000 to do what would become A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Both films were released in 1988, with The Dream Master hitting theaters earlier. Another script, Highway to Hell, earned Helgeland $275,000 and got a film release in 1992.[7] In 1990, Helgeland and Manny Coto sold a script, The Ticking Man, for $1 million, but the film was never made.[8]

In 1998, Helgeland won both an Academy Award (for Best Adapted Screenplay with L.A. Confidential) and a Razzie (for The Postman) the same year. Only one person had previously achieved the dubious feat (Alan Menken in 1993), and only one other (Sandra Bullock in 2010) has achieved it since. He accepted the Razzie and became only the fourth person in its history to be personally presented with the statuette. He keeps the statues of both the Oscar and the Razzie on his mantle as "a reminder of Hollywood's idealistic nature and unrealistic expectations."[6][9]

Helgeland wrote and directed the films Payback (1999), A Knight's Tale (2001), The Order (2003), 42 (2013) and Legend (2015). He has worked with director Clint Eastwood twice, in 2002 on Blood Work, and in 2003 on Mystic River, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and has written an as yet unproduced adaptation of Moby-Dick.

In 2004, Helgeland co-wrote the screenplay for the major motion picture The Bourne Supremacy, for which he was uncredited.[10] In early 2008, he was attached to shape the script of the thriller Green Zone[11] after screenwriter Tom Stoppard had to drop out,[12] again collaborating with director Paul Greengrass, whom he worked with on The Bourne Supremacy, as well as reuniting with actor Matt Damon, who played Jason Bourne/David Webb. Helgeland wrote the screenplay for the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, replacing screenwriter David Koepp. The film was released on June 12, 2009.[13]

On May 4, 2017, HBO announced that Helgeland is one of four writers working on a potential pilot for a Game of Thrones spin-off. In addition to Helgeland, Carly Wray, Max Borenstein, and Jane Goldman are also working on potential pilots.[14] Helgeland has been working and communicating with George R. R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of novels upon which the original series is based.[15] Former Game of Thrones showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff would also be executive producers for whichever project is picked up by HBO.[15][16]

Personal life

Helgeland and his wife Nancy have two sons.[17]



Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1988 A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master No Yes No
976-EVIL No Yes No
1992 Highway to Hell No Yes Yes
1995 Assassins No Yes No
1997 L.A. Confidential No Yes No Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Conspiracy Theory No Yes No
The Postman No Yes No Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
1999 Payback Yes Yes No
2001 A Knight's Tale Yes Yes Yes
2002 Blood Work No Yes No
2003 Mystic River No Yes No Nominated - Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
The Order Yes Yes Yes
2004 Man on Fire No Yes No
2009 The Taking of Pelham 123 No Yes No
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant No Yes No
2010 Green Zone No Yes No
Robin Hood No Yes No
2013 42 Yes Yes No
2015 Legend Yes Yes No
2020 Spenser Confidential No Yes No
2023 Finestkind Yes Yes No


Year Title Director Writer Notes
1989-1990 Friday the 13th: The Series No Yes Episodes: "Crippled Inside", "Mightier Than the Sword"
1996 Tales from the Crypt Yes Yes Episode: "A Slight Case of Murder"

Additional Awards

Year Title Award Result
1997 L.A. Confidential Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Won
Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Screenplay Won
London Critics Circle Film Award for Screenwriter of the Year Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Won
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay Won
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Screenplay Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
USC Scripter Award Won
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
1999 Payback Cognac Festival du Film Policier Audience Award Won
2003 Mystic River National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay Won
PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Screenplay Won
Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
USC Scripter Award Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Won
American Screenwriters Association Award Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay Nominated
Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay Nominated
London Critics Circle Film Award for Screenwriter of the Year Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2013 42 Hochi Film Award for Best Foreign Language Film Won
Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture Nominated
2023 Finestkind Writers Guild of America Award for Best TV & New Media Motion Pictures Nominated


  1. ^ Rose, Mike (January 17, 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 17, 2023 includes celebrities James Earl Jones, Jim Carrey". Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  2. ^ Helgeland profile, The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "Film-makers on film: Brian Helgeland talks to Mark Monahan about Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke (1967)". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. September 6, 2003. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Helgeland profile, Retrieved April 11, 2014
  5. ^ Profile Archived April 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved April 11, 2014
  6. ^ a b c "Screenwriters' Lecture: Brian Helgeland". October 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Million Dollar Babies, New York
  8. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (May 28, 1995). "Megabucks Turn to Megabusts". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Gray, Iain (January 23, 2007). "The booby prize that beats the Oscars". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on January 28, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  10. ^ The Bourne Supremacy (2004) profile, IMDb. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  11. ^ Michael Fleming (January 9, 2008). "Amy Ryan set for Greengrass thriller". Variety. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  12. ^ Richard Brooks (August 12, 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum – Biteback". The Sunday Times.
  13. ^ "Richard Donner And Mr. Beaks Talk INSIDE MOVES!". Aint It Cool News. February 19, 2009.
  14. ^ Holloway, Daniel (May 4, 2017). "'Game of Thrones' Spinoffs in the Works at HBO". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (May 4, 2017). "'Game of Thrones': HBO Exploring Four Different Follow-Up Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Blistein, Jon (May 4, 2017). "HBO Preps 'Game of Thrones' Spin-Off Series With George R.R. Martin". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  17. ^ "Brian Helgeland - Biography". IMDb.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 May 2024, at 04:37
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