Unless they’ve been living under a rock, every aspiring screenwriter should recognize Paul Haggis’ name.
He is the first person in the history of the Academy Awards to have scripted two back-to-back Best Picture winners: Crash (which he also directed) and Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby. Born in Ontario, Canada, Haggis relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 22 and quickly found work writing for some of the most popular television series of the ’70s and ‘80s, including The Love Boat, Different Strokes and Who’s the Boss. While Haggis found success in TV, particularly as the creator of the improbably popular Walker: Texas Ranger series, the big screen is where Haggis’ talent has truly shone.
Over the next several months, Haggis has a slew of impressive projects lined up, from Flags of Our Fathers (his second collaboration with Clint Eastwood) to The Last Kiss, which opens on September 15. An American recasting of the 2001 Italian film L’ultimo bacio, The Last Kiss stars Zach Braff as a young man who begins to question his relationship with a long-term girlfriend when he is faced with the reality of embracing adulthood. Several of Haggis’ other upcoming high-profile flicks include Honeymoon with Harry (which he is also slated to direct) and the new Bond episode, Casino Royale, which tells the story of the secret agent’s (Daniel Craig) first 007 mission.
In a few short years Haggis has risen from the small screen to become a king of the big one, and it doesn’t seem that his star will be fading any time soon. MM