Gary Ross (director), four-time Academy Award nominee, is currently directing “Oceans Eight,” an extension of the Warner Bros. “Oceans” franchise starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina. Ross wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay with Olivia Milch.
Previously, Ross developed, co-wrote and directed the record-setting box office hit “The Hunger Games,” which spawned a hugely successful four-part franchise based on Suzanne Collins’s dystopian trilogy. His latest film, “The Free State of Jones,” was the product of years of research including a two-year fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied the Civil War era and Reconstruction.
Ross launched his career as co-writer of the hit film “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Next, he drew on his experience in—and love of—the American political process for his screenplay of the Capra-esque comedy hit “Dave,” for which he received his second Academy Award nomination and won the esteemed Writers Guild Paul Selvin Award.
In 1998, Ross marked his directorial debut with the ambitious and critically acclaimed “Pleasantville.” In 2003, he wrote and directed the much-celebrated epic feature “Seabiscuit,” starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper. The film received seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best screenplay for Ross. He also received DGA and WGA award nominations, the USC Scripter Award and numerous other guild and critical awards.
Ross’s first book, “Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind,” was published in fall 2013 by Candlewick Press. A children’s fantasy, the illustrated book is written completely in verse.
Ross is active in civic and charitable work. During his tenure as president of the Los Angeles Library, he established mentoring programs for inner-city youth and expanded teenage and youth-at-risk services throughout the Los Angeles library system. He has served on numerous boards and charitable organizations, including his current service on the LA River Revitalization Corps, working with architect Frank Gehry to transform the LA River into one of the largest urban parks in the nation.