For over twenty-five years, Chris Columbus has written, directed and produced some of the most successful box-office hits, which have established him as a major force in contemporary Hollywood filmmaking.
Currently, Columbus is working on an adaptation of the Norwegian thriller, Troll Hunter, and recently signed a multi-project television deal with CBS. Other upcoming projects for Columbus’ 1492 production company include the screen adaptation of Michael Koryta’s The Cypress House, which Columbus will write, as well as a remake of the Korean film Hello Ghost and Temple Stay with director JK Youn, all set to be released in 2013. He is also currently producing and co-writing the screenplay of the film Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, based on the novel by Julie Kenner. Additionally, Columbus is producing the film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, the sequel to the hit film, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which was based on the bestselling children’s book series. The film will be released in the fall of 2013.
In 2011, Columbus released his latest blockbuster hit, The Help, starring Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Chastain and Viola Davis under his 1492 Pictures banner. The drama takes a look at what happens when a southern town’s unspoken code of rules and behavior is shattered by three courageous women who strike up an unlikely friendship. At the 84th Academy Awards®, The Help garnered four nominations, including two for Best Supporting Actress and one for Best Picture. Viola Davis won the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the character “Aibileen Clark,” one of the three main heroines in the film. To date, the film has grossed over $212 million worldwide.
Columbus is the masterful filmmaker behind one of the most revered and successful literary adaptations of the Harry Potter series, as the director and producer of the first three blockbuster films. As the director of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film based on J.K. Rowling’s monumentally successful book series, Columbus delivered a film that was equally satiating to both readers and fans, while capturing the essence of the beloved characters. He cast newcomers Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in the leading roles, demonstrating his facility for nurturing and cultivating young talent. The film triumphed at the box office and Columbus followed the film as director and producer of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002, and as producer of the third film of the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2005. All three films went on to collectively gross over $2.6 billion worldwide.
Columbus produced the highly successful family/adventure comedy, Night at the Museum and its sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Other film credits include: the 2005 screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical, RENT; Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon; Nine Months with Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore; Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams and Sally Field; Only the Lonely based on his original screenplay; as well as the hits Home Alone, and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.
In Hollywood, Columbus first gained prominence by writing several original scripts produced by Steven Spielberg including the back-to-back hits Gremlins and The Goonies which became decade-defining films that intertwined high notes of offbeat, edgy, often outrageous humor against more classic adventure-thriller backdrops. These screenwriting achievements led Columbus to directing his first feature, Adventures in Babysitting, starring Elisabeth Shue.
Growing up outside Youngstown, Ohio, Columbus originally aspired to be a commercial artist—spending years studying art and interested in drawing for comics. He eventually made the connection between comic books and movie storyboards and graduated from NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts where he sold his first script, Jocks.