(written from a Production point of view)
Akiva Goldsman (born 7 July 1962; age 59) is an American screenwriter, producer, and director who worked as executive producer on the first season, and as consulting producer on the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, as well as executive producer on Star Trek: Short Treks and Star Trek: Picard. He wil also serve as executive producer on the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Goldsman is friends with Star Trek producer and director J.J. Abrams. In 2001, Goldsman made a cameo in an episode of Abrams' first series, Felicity. More recently, Goldsman wrote or co-wrote three episodes of Abrams' series, Fringe, which was co-created by Star Trek writers and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Goldsman's work for Fringe was his first foray into episodic television. He also made his directorial debut on the first episode he wrote, entitled "Bad Dreams".
Writing and directing career
One of Goldsman's first screenwriting project was the 1994 film adaptation of John Grisham's novel, The Client. That film's director, Joel Schumacher, later called upon Goldsman to adapt another Grisham novel, this time A Time to Kill. Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Ashley Judd was ultimately cast in the latter film. Judd incidentally, also appeared in all three outings of the Divergent-trilogy, for whose second outing, Insurgent (2015), Goldman had also co-written the screenplay.
Goldsman also wrote the screenplays for the two Batman films directed by Schumacher, Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997). Both of these films ended up featuring Star Trek alumni; Rene Auberjonois and Ed Begley, Jr. appeared in Batman Forever, while John Glover was seen in Batman & Robin.
More recently, Goldsman has collaborated primarily with director Ron Howard. He wrote the screenplay for Howard's A Beautiful Mind, which earned Goldsman not only an Academy Award, but a Golden Globe and a Writers Guild of America Award, as well. Christopher Plummer and Anthony Rapp had major supporting roles in A Beautiful Mind, and the film was scored by James Horner.
Goldsman next worked with Howard on the 2005 Depression-era drama Cinderella Man, which featured Bruce McGill. Their collaboration continued with the 2006 blockbuster adaptation of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and its 2009 sequel, Angels & Demons. In addition, Goldsman has written two hit films starring Will Smith: 2004's I, Robot (which also featured James Cromwell and Bruce Greenwood) and 2007's I Am Legend (co-starring Salli Elise Richardson).
Goldsman recently made Winter's Tale, his first feature film as director. Previously he helmed four episodes of Fringe and one episode of King.
The first movie Goldsman produced was the 1998 science fiction adventure Lost in Space, which he also wrote. He then produced the 1999 action thriller Deep Blue Sea, which featured Ronny Cox.
Since then, Goldsman has produced such films as Starsky & Hutch (co-starring Fred Williamson, Rachael Harris, and featuring a cameo by David Soul), Mindhunters (starring Clifton Collins, Jr. and Christian Slater), Constantine (featuring Larry Cedar), and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (featuring Jennifer Morrison). More recently, he produced the Will Smith blockbusters I Am Legend (the screenplay for which he wrote) and Hancock.
Goldsman has worked on several other films including Jonah Hex, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. He also produced The Losers, which is also based on a DC Comics book. This latter film starred Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoë Saldana.