Kurtzman ’95, Orci Find Respect among Hollywood Executives

Alex Kurtzman '95 and Roberto Orci

Hollywood’s highly successful writing and producing team Alex Kurtzman ’95 and Roberto Orci were recently featured in in an article by Dorothy Pomerantz in Forbes, “Hollywood‘s Secret Weapons.” The duo has worked on a number of films that together have earned $3 billion at the box office in six years, including Transformers I and II, The Proposal, and the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek, and they are able to transform genre pictures into something very special to audiences and studio heads.

This summer they are behind big summer movie, Cowboys & Aliens, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford as 19th-century cowboys battling with space invaders.

According to Pomerantz, “What executives … really like about the pair is that they still think like TV producers—aware of every cent they are writing into their scripts. On Cowboys & Aliens, for example, DreamWorks had secured the rights to the comic book years ago but let them lapse because it couldn’t figure out how to make the movie work. Orci and Kurtzman got the project moving by figuring out how they could produce the film without breaking the bank. For example, instead of an invading army of aliens, there’s a team of alien commandos. Fewer aliens equals a smaller budget.”

The team is currently working on a number of projects, including writing the sequel to Star Trek and the film Welcome to People (which Kurtzman is directing); overseeing Hawaii Five-O on CBS, television pilots, and the Transformers animated series; and tracking the story line for Fringe on Fox.

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: dlow@wesleyan.edu