Craig Mazin
Born (1971-04-08) April 8, 1971 (age 51)
EducationPrinceton University
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1997–present
Notable work
Chernobyl

Craig Mazin (born April 8, 1971) is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known for creating the five-part HBO miniseries Chernobyl, based on the nuclear disaster of the same name in 1986. His work earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special and Outstanding Limited Series. Mazin is also known for his work on the parody film genre, namely Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, and Superhero Movie.

Biography

Mazin was born in Brooklyn, New York, to an Ashkenazi Jewish family.[1][2] He was raised on Staten Island, New York. He moved to Marlboro Township, New Jersey when he was a teen and attended Freehold High School which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2010.[3]

Mazin graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology from Princeton University in 1992. His freshman-year roommate at Princeton was Ted Cruz, now the junior U.S. senator from Texas and a former Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election year.[4][5] He openly despises Cruz on a personal level and frequently disparages him on Twitter, calling the U.S. senator "a huge asshole".[6]

Mazin is married with two children.[7] He supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[8][9]

Career

Mazin began his entertainment career as a marketing executive with Walt Disney Pictures in the mid-1990s, where he was responsible for writing and producing campaigns for studio films.[3]

He made his screenwriting debut with 1997's sci-fi comedy RocketMan, co-written with then-writing partner Greg Erb.[10] He has since written movies such as Senseless, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4 and Identity Thief.

Mazin has directed two films: 2000's low-budget superhero film The Specials, which he also produced, and the 2008 superhero spoof Superhero Movie, which he also wrote (he also made a cameo appearance in this movie as a janitor).

Since 2006, Mazin has collaborated with director Todd Phillips on several occasions. Mazin co-wrote both Hangover sequels, parts II and III, and executive produced School for Scoundrels.

In 2004, Mazin was elected to the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, West. He did not seek re-election, and his term expired in September 2006.

Along with fellow former WGA board member Ted Elliott, Mazin ran a website called The Artful Writer, which focused on issues relevant to working screenwriters. It closed in 2011, after seven years.

In 2011, Mazin and fellow screenwriter John August began Scriptnotes, a weekly podcast on the craft of screenwriting and the film industry.[11]

In July 2017, HBO and Sky Television announced Chernobyl, a five-part miniseries from Mazin about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. The series was filmed in Lithuania and Ukraine.[12] Mazin said that the "lesson of Chernobyl isn’t that modern nuclear power is dangerous. The lesson is that lying, arrogance, and suppression of criticism are dangerous."[13]

In an interview with Decider, Mazin said: "If I came to HBO and said ‘I want to do another season of Chernobyl, except it’s gonna be about another terrible tragedy,’ whether it's Bhopal or Fukushima or something like that, I would imagine they at least would give me polite interest."[14]

In October of 2019 Disney hired Craig Mazin for writing the screenplay of Pirates of the Caribbean 6 with Ted Elliott that now is currently in development.

Mazin was named as the current scriptwriter for the Lionsgate film adaption of the Borderlands video game series in February 2020,[15] as well as co-writer and co-executive producer for a television series adaption of the video game The Last of Us for HBO in March 2020.[16] The Last of Us adaptation was greenlit by HBO in November 2020.[17] More recently, Mazin signed an overall deal with HBO.[18]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Director Writer Producer
1997 RocketMan No Yes No
1998 Senseless No Yes No
2000 The Specials Yes No Co-Producer
2003 Scary Movie 3 No Yes No
2006 Scary Movie 4 No Yes Yes
School for Scoundrels No No Executive
2008 Superhero Movie Yes Yes Yes
2011 The Hangover Part II No Yes No
2013 Identity Thief No Yes No
The Hangover Part III No Yes No
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War No Yes No
TBA Borderlands No Yes No
Pirates of the Caribbean 6 No Yes No

Special thanks

Television

Year Title Writer Creator Executive
producer
Notes
2019 Chernobyl Yes Yes Yes TV miniseries;
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special
2020–present Mythic Quest Yes No No Episode: "Backstory!"
Also consulting producer
2023[19] The Last of Us[20] Yes Yes Yes Co-created the show with Neil Druckmann

Acting credits

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Scary Movie 4 Billy Voice role
2008 Superhero Movie Janitor Cameo
2020 Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Lou

References

  1. ^ "How 'Chernobyl' Creator Craig Mazin Morphed from Comedy Screenwriter to Emmy-Contending HBO Showrunner". 21 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Ted Cruz's Jewish College Roomie Remembers when — with Acid Tongue".
  3. ^ a b Celano, Clare Marie. "Freehold Hall of Fame inductees to be feted", News Transcript, March 3, 2010. Accessed February 5, 2011. "Screenwriter and author Craig Mazin, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., was 13 when he moved to Marlboro."
  4. ^ "Fuckin' Craig Mazin: An Appreciation of Ted Cruz's College Roommate".
  5. ^ Patricia Murphy. "Ted Cruz at Princeton: Creepy, Sometimes Well Liked, and Exactly the Same"
  6. ^ Nolan, Emma (June 15, 2020). "Ted Cruz's College Roommate Says Texas Senator Has Been 'Pathetic Since 1988'". Newsweek. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  7. ^ Piasecki, Joe (June 8, 2011). "Writer's art doesn't reflect his life". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  8. ^ "The Creator of Chernobyl on Viewers Taking Away the Wrong Lessons". Slate. June 3, 2019.
  9. ^ "Chernobyl: The Show Russiagate Wrote". Jacobin. July 7, 2019.
  10. ^ "Interview (Part 1): Craig Mazin – Go Into The Story". Go Into The Story. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  11. ^ Scriptnotes on iTunes
  12. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2017-07-26). "HBO Sets 'Chernobyl' Miniseries to Star Jared Harris". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  13. ^ Towhey, Jessica (June 23, 2019). "Will HBO's 'Chernobyl' Miniseries Impact Perceptions of Nuclear Power?". Inside Sources. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  14. ^ "People are asking the writer of Chernobyl to do a similar show and he has some thoughts". Joe. June 6, 2019.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (February 20, 2020). "Eli Roth to Direct 'Borderlands' Movie for Lionsgate". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 5, 2020). "'The Last of Us' Series in Development at HBO From 'Chernobyl' Creator". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  17. ^ White, Peter (2020-11-20). "'The Last Of Us': HBO Hands Series Order To Video Game Adaptation From Craig Mazin & Neil Druckmann". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  18. ^ "'Last of Us' EP Craig Mazin Extends HBO Overall Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. 2021-01-25. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 16, 2022). "'The Last Of Us': HBO Chief Gives Premiere Date Update On Video Game Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  20. ^ "'The Last of Us' Series in the Works at HBO From 'Chernobyl' Creator Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. March 5, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.