Alex Kurtzman

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Alex Kurtzman
Alex Kurtzman (34027425083).jpg
Kurtzman in May 2017
Alexander Hilary Kurtzman

(1973-09-07) September 7, 1973 (age 46)
OccupationWriter, producer, director
Years active1996–present
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 executive producing the Star Trek franchise since 2009, co-writing the scripts to Transformers, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with his writing and producing partner Roberto Orci, and directing and co-writing The Mummy.

Early life[edit]

Alexander Kurtzman was born and raised to a secular Jewish family[1][2][3] in Los Angeles, California,[4] where he met his high school best friend and longtime screenwriting partner Roberto Orci. He attended Wesleyan University.[5]


Kurtzman first teamed with Orci on television 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 $162 million at the worldwide box office, on a budget of $126 million, which was enough of a success that they were brought 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 collaborated 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 and Star Trek: Picard.[9]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Kurtzman married Samantha Counter, the daughter of lawyer Nick Counter.[10]


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
2005 The Island No Yes No Co-wrote with Roberto Orci and Caspian Tredwell-Owen
The Legend of Zorro No Yes No Co-wrote with Roberto Orci, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
2006 Mission: Impossible III No Yes No Co-wrote with J. J. Abrams and Roberto Orci
2007 Transformers No Yes No Co-wrote with Roberto Orci and John Rogers
2008 Eagle Eye No No Yes
2009 Watchmen No Yes No uncredited script polish[11]
Star Trek No Yes executive Co-wrote with Roberto Orci
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen No Yes No Co-wrote with Ehren Kruger and Roberto Orci
The Proposal No No executive
2011 Cowboys & Aliens No Yes Yes Co-wrote with Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof, Steve Oedekerk, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby
2012 People Like Us Yes Yes executive Directorial debut; co-wrote with Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness No Yes Yes Co-wrote with Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof
Now You See Me No No Yes
Ender's Game No No Yes
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 No Yes executive[12] Co-wrote with Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, and James Vanderbilt
2016 Now You See Me 2 No No Yes
2017 The Mummy Yes Yes Yes Wrote the story; co-wrote with Jon Spaihts, Jenny Lumet, David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman

Television credits[edit]

Year TV Series Credit Notes
1997–1999 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Co-executive producer, writer
1999–2000 Xena: Warrior Princess
2000 Jack of All Trades Executive producer, writer
2001–2003 Alias Supervising producer, co-executive producer, executive producer, writer
2004 The Secret Service Co-creator, executive producer, co-writer Pilot
2008–2013 Fringe Co-creator, executive producer, consulting producer, writer
2010–2013 Transformers Prime Executive producer
2010–present Hawaii Five-0 Co-developer, executive producer, writer
2011 Exit Strategy Co-creator, executive producer, co-writer Pilot
Locke & Key Co-developer, executive producer, co-writer
2013–2017 Sleepy Hollow Co-creator, co-writer, executive producer
2014 Matador Executive producer
2014–2018 Scorpion
2015 Limitless
2017–present Star Trek: Discovery Executive producer, co-creator; writer (story): "The Vulcan Hello"; director: "Brother"
2017–2018 Salvation Executive producer
2018–2019 Instinct Executive producer
2018–present Star Trek: Short Treks Executive producer, creator; co-writer: "Runaway" and "Children of Mars"
2020–present Star Trek: Picard Executive producer, co-creator; writer (story): "Remembrance"


  1. ^ Jewish Journal: "Screenwriter Alex Kurtzman ‘Transforms’ filmdom’s giant robot genre" by Adam Wills Archived 2016-09-20 at the Wayback Machine July 5, 2007
  2. ^ a b Variety Magazine: "Abrams keeps it all in the fan family - J.J. and his collaborators conquer Hollywood" By Cynthia Littleton Archived 2018-12-11 at the Wayback Machine October 16, 2009 |"We’re all self-deprecating short Jews, with the exception of Bob Orci”
  3. ^ Jewish Journal: "Jews Get Geek on at Comic-Con" by Adam Wills Archived 2018-07-08 at the Wayback Machine July 22, 2009
  4. ^ "Alex Kurtzman Biography". IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave. "Character-Driven Films (but Keep the Kaboom)". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  6. ^ a b 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 2014-04-22.
  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 2020-02-07.
  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 2020-02-07.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Roberto Orci (2008-08-10). "The All New "Hey Roberto" Thread". Don Murphy. Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  12. ^ 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 2012-04-24.

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