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David Franzoni
Born (1947-03-04) March 4, 1947 (age 76)
Alma materUniversity of Vermont
Occupation(s)Screenwriter, producer
Years active1980–present
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Picture
Gladiator (2000)
BAFTA Award for Best Film
Gladiator (2000)

David Harold Franzoni (born March 4, 1947) is an American screenwriter and film producer. He conceived the story for, co-wrote and co-produced the 2000 film Gladiator,[1][2] for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and won the Academy Award for Best Picture.[2][3][4][5] His other screenplays include King Arthur (2004),[6][7][8][3][4] Amistad (1997),[9] and Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986).[10]


Franzoni's script for Gladiator was a revival of the sword-and-sandal genre,[11] using characters very different from the original and drawing upon available historic and archaeological sources.[12] He started to write the story in the 1970s, after reading the 1958 non-fiction book Those About to Die by Daniel P. Mannix, which detailed the Roman gladiatorial games.[13]

For Amistad, Franzoni decided not to use a standard narrative, explaining, "the typical slant in this sort of film is to have the poor, chained black man arrive in the presence of the white guy, who has a good soul and fights the good faith to liberate the black man."[14] Franzoni was also the one who convinced Steven Spielberg to direct the film.[11]

Franzoni stated that the screenplay of King Arthur "aims more for history than myth,"[15] and again relied upon archaeological evidence in an attempt to create a more realistic human and political interpretation of the character.[16][17]


Year Title Writer Producer Director(s) Notes
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Yes No Penny Marshall co-written with Charles Shyer, Nancy Meyers and Chris Thompson
1992 Citizen Cohn Yes No Frank Pierson television film
1997 Amistad Yes No Steven Spielberg
2000 Gladiator Yes Yes Ridley Scott co-written with John Logan and William Nicholson
2004 King Arthur Yes No Antoine Fuqua
2018 Black and White Stripes: The Juventus Story No Executive La Villa Brothers documentary film
TBA JSA Yes No Himself directorial debut
Gladiator 2[citation needed] No Yes Ridley Scott


  1. ^ Ortega Giménez, Alfonso (17 December 2013). "Derecho romano". Cine y derecho en 21 películas (in Spanish). Editorial Club Universitario. p. 191. ISBN 9788415941729.
  2. ^ a b Marks, Dara (23 February 2009). "Filmography". Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc. A&C Black. p. 337. ISBN 9781408109427.
  3. ^ a b Indick 2004, p. 250, "Conclusion".
  4. ^ a b Santas et al. 2014, p. 230, G.
  5. ^ Scott, Ridley (2005). "Filmography". In Knapp, Laurence F.; Kulas, Andrea F. (eds.). Ridley Scott: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 27. ISBN 9781578067268.
  6. ^ Santas et al. 2014, p. 309, K.
  7. ^ Shaheen, Kareem (6 June 2016). "Rumi film will challenge Muslim stereotypes, says Gladiator writer". The Guardian. Istanbul. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  8. ^ Indick 2004, p. 145, "Part Four".
  9. ^ Godawa 2011, p. 202, Christianity.
  10. ^ Sun, Rebecca (16 June 2014). "Oscar-winning Producer David Franzoni Signs With Paradigm". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  11. ^ a b Alberich, Enric (2009). Películas clave del cine histórico (in Spanish). Ediciones Robinbook. p. 188. ISBN 9788496924741.
  12. ^ Caparrós Lera, José María; José Martín, Jerónimo (2001). "Gladiator de Ridley Scott". El cine de fin de milenio (1999-2000) (in Spanish). Ediciones Rialp. p. 128. ISBN 9788432133442.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Solomon, John (2004). "Gladiator from Screenplay to Screen." In Winkler, Martin M. (Ed.), Gladiator: Film and History, pp. 1–15. Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 1-4051-1042-2
  14. ^ Hixson, Walter L. (2003). "Steven Spielberg American Dream". The American Experience in World War II: The United States and the road to war in Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 253. ISBN 9780415940290.
  15. ^ Soriano, John. "'s Exclusive Interview with David Franzoni" (PDF). WGAW. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  16. ^ Godawa 2011, p. 76, Story Telling in the Movies.
  17. ^ Matthews, John (2004). "An interview with David Franzoni". Arthuriana. 14 (3): 116. doi:10.1353/art.2004.0054. S2CID 162155578.