Steven Zaillian

Having established himself as one of the top screenwriters working in Hollywood, Steven Zaillian made the successful transition to directing with the critically acclaimed drama, "Searching for Bobby Fisher" (1993). Though not a box office hit, the film was hailed for turning the world of competitive chess into fertile ground for compelling drama. Prior to his directing debut, Zaillian penned several notable films, including his first produced credit "The Falcon and the Snowman" (1985) and Penny Marshall's tear-jerking drama "Awakenings" (1990). But it was his script work on Steven Spielberg's stark Holocaust drama "Schindler's List" (1993) that earned him his first Academy Award. From there, he wrote a number of high-profile projects like "Clear and Present Danger" (1994) and "Mission: Impossible" (1996), while doing uncredited script doctoring on major blockbuster releases. He returned to the director's chair for the notable courtroom thriller, "A Civil Action" (1998), and collaborated with directors such as Ridley Scott on "Hannibal" (2001) and "Black Hawk Down" (2001), and Martin Scorsese on "Gangs of New York" (2002). After an unsuccessful third stab at directing with the critically maligned "All the King's Men" (2006), Zaillian returned to critical acclaim by penning "Moneyball" (2011) and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (2011), proving that he was one of the best screenwriters working in the business.