Simon David Kinberg (born August 2, 1973) is a British-born American screenwriter, film producer and television producer. He is best known for his work on the X-Men film franchise, and has also written such films as Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes. He has served as a producer on others including Cinderella and The Martian, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. His production company Kinberg Genre has a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox. Kinberg will make his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, from his own screenplay. The film will be released February 14, 2019.
Kinberg was born in London, England, the son of Monica Menell-Kinberg and Jud Kinberg, a New York City-born writer and producer. From age six, he was raised in Los Angeles, California. He is Jewish. Kinberg graduated from Brentwood High School, and then from Brown University, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude; in 2003 received his MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, where he won the Zaki Gordon Fellowship for Screenwriting.
While still in film school, Kinberg sold a pitch to Warner Brothers, then went on to write scripts for Disney, Sony, and DreamWorks, working with Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer, among others. After finishing school, Kinberg moved to Hollywood, where his first screenwriting credit was a sequel to the hit action film XXX (2002), XXX: State of the Union (2005). His next screenwriting venture was the screenplay for Mr. & Mrs. Smith, directed by Doug Liman and starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The script began as Kinberg's thesis project for film school. Kinberg also wrote the pilot episode for a television adaptation of Mr. & Mrs. Smith for ABC TV. He also appears in the movie, in a scene with Brad Pitt.
Kinberg's next screenwriting job was the sequel to X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), which he co-wrote with Zak Penn. Comic-book writer Chris Claremont wrote the novelization of the film, and made Kinberg a character in the book.
Kinberg reunited with director Doug Liman for the film Jumper (2008). Kinberg wrote and produced the movie, which stars Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, and Diane Lane. The following year, Kinberg was writer of Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. In April 2010, his production company, Genre Films, signed a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox.
Kinberg was the producer of X-Men: First Class (2011), and both writer and producer of This Means War (2012). He was also co-screenwriter and an executive producer of the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in that same year. In 2013, Kinberg produced Elysium.
The following year, Kinberg was the writer and the producer of the film X-Men: Days of Future Past. That same year, he produced Let's Be Cops. In 2015, Kinberg produced the Neill Blomkamp film Chappie and the live-action version of Cinderella at Disney. He also worked on Fantastic Four as writer and producer. His final film of the year was The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott.
He wrote and produced X-Men: Apocalypse, the next film in the X-Men franchise following X-Men: Days of Future Past. Kinberg produced Deadpool (2016), Logan (2017), and Deadpool 2 (2018), and the upcoming New Mutants (2019) and Gambit, all of them X-Men spin-off films. He also produced Murder on the Orient Express, an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.
The Hollywood Reporter initially reported that Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and Kinberg would write and produce Episodes VIII and IX of the new Star Wars films. A week later the publication stated that Kasdan and Kinberg would be working on future Star Wars projects, but not necessarily on Episodes VIII and IX.
In television, he is an executive producer on ABC network's Designated Survivor starring Kiefer Sutherland, and on Legion created by Noah Hawley for FX, and The Gifted on Fox Network. He will executive produce the third revival of the science fiction anthology series, The Twilight Zone.
Kinberg married Mali Heled in a Jewish ceremony on July 26, 2001. They have two sons.
Kinberg received a Golden Globe for Best Picture Musical/Comedy for The Martian. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for the film, as well as multiple other awards including being named to the top ten films of the year by the American Film Institute, and nominated for Best Picture by the Producers Guild of America, National Board of Review, and Broadcast Film Critics Association. His films have won multiple MTV Movie Awards, People's Choice Awards, and Teen Choice Awards. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Saturn Awards in 2016. Kinberg also received a Critic's Choice Award for Best Comedy of 2016 for Deadpool, as well as being nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture Musical/Comedy for the film.
He was named #61 on the list of 100 most powerful people in Hollywood by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. The same year, The Hollywood Reporter named Kinberg as the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood with a record US$16 million for two X-Men scripts, and named him as one of the highest paid producers in Hollywood with US$40 million for Deadpool in their annual Hollywood Salaries issue.