June 24, 1959
Santa Monica, California, United States
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Screenwriter Dan Gilroy worked steadily in the film industry for nearly two decades, amassing credits on features like "Real Steel" and "The Bourne Legacy" (2012), before scoring his first major hit with the thriller "Nightcrawler" (2014), which also marked his debut as director. The son of playwright and screenwriter Frank D. Gilroy, he initially followed a career in journalism before parlaying his interest in film into a career as a scriptwriter. Gilroy's first produced feature, "Freejack" (1992), was followed by a host of minor efforts, including "Chasers" (1994) and "Two for the Money" (2005) before scoring two substantive hits as story co-writer on "Real Steel" (2011) and co-writer on "The Bourne Legacy" with his brother, fellow screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy. Two years later, Gilroy followed in his sibling's footsteps by writing, directing and raising most of the funds for "Nightcrawler," a lean and suspenseful thriller about a seemingly sociopathic cameraman that earned writing nominations from most of the major award ceremonies, including the Oscars. The critical and box office success of "Nightcrawler" served as proof positive that Dan Gilroy was a multi-hyphenate filmmaker on the rise.Born June 24, 1959 in Santa Monica, California, Daniel Christopher Gilroy came from a family of writers and film professionals. His father was Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Frank D. Gilroy ("The Subject Was Roses," 1964), while his mother was writer and sculptor Ruth Dorothy Gaydos. His elder brother, Tony Gilroy, was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker ("Michael Clayton," 2007), while his fraternal twin brother, John Gilroy, served as film editor on "Clayton" and "Pacific Rim" (2013), among many other films. Dan Gilroy was raised in Washingtonville, New York, and after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1981, worked as a reporter and reviewer in Variety's New York office. He soon found that his true interest lay in writing movies, and toiled for the next half-decade on a variety of scripts before selling his first project. Gilroy's first produced project was the science fiction drama "Freejack" (1992), for which he shared screenwriting credit with "Alien" (1979) co-writer Ron Shusett and Steven Pressfield. It was followed by the script for "Chasers" (1994), a little-seen comedy directed by Dennis Hopper. Gilroy worked on a variety of unproduced films, including the famously ill-fated "Superman Lives" for producer Jon Peters in 1998, before director D.J. Caruso brought his gambling drama, "Two for the Money" (2005), to the screen with Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey and Gilroy's spouse, actress Rene Russo, in the leads. He worked sporadically over the next decade, co-writing the 2006 fantasy "The Fall" for director Tarsem Singh and contributing the original script for the science fiction/action drama "Real Steel" (2011), for which he ultimately received a story co-writing credit. The following year, Gilroy scored his first bona fide blockbuster by penning "The Bourne Legacy" (2012), the fourth installment in the popular espionage series, with his brother Tony. That same year, he began work on a drama inspired in part by the sensationalist tone of Los Angeles news casts, as well as stories he had heard about rogue cameramen who patrolled the city in search of grisly footage to sell to news stations. Two years later, he had raised most of the funds necessary to bring the project before cameras, with Gilroy himself making his debut as director. "Nightcrawler," with Jake Gyllenhaal as a charismatic but seemingly unhinged videographer, received near-universal praise for Gilroy's script and direction, as well as Best Original Screenplay nominations from the Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Writers Guild of America.