Simon Kinberg received his BA from Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude. He received an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program, where he was the recipient of the Zaki Gordon Fellowship for Screenwriting.
His final thesis project for the Film Program was the original script Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The movie was released in 2005, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, directed by Doug Liman. The film went on to become one of the 100 most successful films of all time. It also garnered an MTV Movie Award, and several People’s Choice Awards.
In 2005, Simon was named by Premiere magazine as “New Power” Screenwriter of the Year. He was also given Movieline magazine’s “Breakthrough Award” for screenwriting.
In 2006, he wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, which opened on Memorial Day to box office records, and became the most successful film in the franchise. Most recently, Simon wrote and produced Doug Liman’s film Jumper for 20th Century Fox.
Kinberg’s film Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the world-famous detective and directed by Guy Ritchie, will be released in December, 2009, and his script Date Night is in production with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. He is currently writing an original script for Nicole Kidman; Spy vs. Spy for director David Dobkin; and adapting Robert Ludlum’s novel Osterman Weekend, which he will direct.
In addition, Kinberg is producing X-Men: First Class, and Luna, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Doug Liman. In television, he has a blind deal with Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Brothers TV.
"Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a writer. But it wasn’t until I came to Columbia University School of the Arts that I learned what it meant to be a writer. My years in the Film Program there taught me the craft of screenwriting, as well as the business of making movies. In so many ways, Columbia was the perfect combination of arts: conservatory and trade school, a place where I could read Aristotle and Eisenstein on narrative theory, and analyze budgets and box office like a science. It was a safe, protected place, but it was never precious.
Screenwriter and Film Program alumnus Simon Kinberg ('01SOA) accepted the Columbia University Film Festival's 2010 Andrew Sarris Award at Screenwriting Night at McGraw-Hill Theater May 4. Kinberg's writing credits include Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), which began as his thesis at the School of the Arts; X-Men: The Last Stand (2006); and Sherlock Holmes (2009).