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Brian William Koppelman (born April 27, 1966) is an American filmmaker, essayist, podcaster, TV series creator, former music business executive and record producer. Koppelman is the co-writer of Ocean's Thirteen and Rounders, the producer for films including The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones, the director for films including Solitary Man and the documentary This Is What They Want for ESPN as part of their 30 for 30 series, and the co-creator, showrunner, and executive producer of Showtime's Billions.[2][3][4][5]

Brian Koppelman
Brian William Koppelman

(1966-04-27) April 27, 1966 (age 53)
OccupationScreenwriter, director, filmmaker, record producer, essayist, podcaster, former music business executive
Spouse(s)Amy Levine
Parent(s)Brenda "Bunny" Koppelman
Charles Koppelman


Early life and educationEdit

Koppelman was born on April 27, 1966 in Roslyn Harbor,[6] New York to a Jewish family, the son of Brenda "Bunny" Koppelman and Charles Koppelman.[7][8] His father was a producer and media executive. Koppelman holds degrees from Tufts University and Fordham University School of Law.[9][10]


He first started managing local Long Island bands as a teenager.[11] He would also book bands at a local nightclub. Through booking acts, he came into contact with Eddie Murphy and helped arrange Murphy's first record deal.[11] As a student at Tufts University, he discovered singer songwriter Tracy Chapman and executive-produced her first album.[11] He was later brought to Giant Records by president Irving Azoff.[12][13] During his career, Koppelman was an A&R representative for music labels Elektra Records, Giant Records, SBK Records and EMI Records.[13]


In 1997, Koppelman wrote the original screenplay for Rounders with his writing partner, David Levien. Koppelman has described his approach to writing as a team as having only one rule: no video games in the office.[4] In 2001, Koppelman wrote, produced, and directed his first film, Knockaround Guys, which film critic Roger Ebert gave 3 out of 4 stars.[14] Since then, Koppelman has worked on a dozen films, including having written Ocean’s Thirteen and directed an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, This Is What They Want.[4]

In 2009, Koppelman co-directed Solitary Man starring Michael Douglas. The film was included in both A. O. Scott's The New York Times "Year End Best" list, Roger Ebert's "Year End Best" list, and holds a "Fresh" rating of 81% at the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.[15]

Other writings and podcastsEdit

Koppelman was a contributor and essayist at, a website that was dedicated to sports and pop culture.[16] Additionally, since March 2014, Koppelman has hosted a weekly podcast, "The Moment", on ESPN Radio.[17] In October, 2013, Koppelman received significant media attention for releasing a series of videos on the platform Vine in which he gives screenwriting advice in six seconds or less called "Six Second Screenwriting Lessons".[18] His "Screenwriting, in Six Seconds or Less" Vine from July 31, 2014, generated over 15 million loops in less than nine days.[19] He has also written a short story, "Wednesday is Viktor's", for the anthology Dark City Lights: New York Stories (Have a NYC), published in 2015.[20]


Showtime's drama Billions, created by Koppelman with The New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and writing partner David Levien, and starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, premiered to strong reviews in 2016.[21][22]

Awards and recognitionEdit

In 2013, Tufts University awarded Koppelman their P.T. Barnum Award for success in Media/Arts.[23] In 2014, Koppelman won an Emmy Award for his 30 for 30 documentary.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1992, Koppelman married novelist Amy Levine at the Central Synagogue in Manhattan.[25] His sister is Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, who hosts a Sirius Satellite Radio show called Just Jenny.[26] Regarding religion, Koppelman describes himself as culturally Jewish, but from a philosophical standpoint he identifies himself as an atheist.[27] Koppelman is a fan of the Knicks, Jets, and Yankees.[1]

Of his five-year practice of Transcendental Meditation Koppelman said in 2016: "For me it was a way to control anxiety, and I found that the physical manifestations of anxiety just dissipated by about 85 or 90 percent ... So that was a gigantic life change, to not feel a fluttering stomach, to not get a stress headache and things like that."[28]





  1. ^ a b "Episode: The Moment, Hank Steinberg". ESPN. August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  2. ^ Christopher Rosen (October 3, 2013). "Brian Koppelman & David Levien On 'Runner Runner,' Screenwriting & The Status Of 'Rounders 2'". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "This Is What They Want". ESPN. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Bill Simmons (April 9, 2006). "Curious Guy 'Rounders'". ESPN. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Billions Co-Creator Brian Koppelman: The Craziest Thing I Saw at a Billionaire's Home, 2016-01-27, retrieved 2016-12-17
  6. ^ "Charles Koppelman". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  7. ^ The New York Times: "Brenda "Bunny" Koppelman Obituary" July 9, 2008
  8. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths KOPPELMAN, BUNNY". The New York Times. 2008-07-11.
  9. ^ "Tufts Grad Honored At Sarasota Film Festival". Tufts University. April 23, 2007. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  10. ^ "Brian Koppelman". Film Bug. September 4, 2002. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Nancy Harrison (January 20, 1991). "Persuasion Pays Off for a Talent Scout". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Tom Phalen (August 22, 1996). "Making A New Start—Tracy Chapman's Career Went From A 'Fast Car' To A Slow Crawl; Now She's Back With A Whole 'New Beginning'". Seattle Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "100 Best Albums of the Eighties". Rolling Stone.
  14. ^ Roger Ebert (October 11, 2002). "Knockaround Guys". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "Solitary Man (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  16. ^ "Contributors: Brian Koppelman". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  17. ^ "The Moment with Brian Koppelman". ESPN Pod Center. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  18. ^ Rachel Syme (October 10, 2013). "Screenwriting Advice, in Six Seconds or Less". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  19. ^ "Brian Koppelman's Profile – Vine". Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  20. ^ Block, Lawrence, ed. (30 April 2015). Dark City Lights: New York Stories (Have a NYC). Three Rooms Press.
  21. ^ "Critic Reviews for Billions Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  22. ^ Soraya Nadia McDonald (March 14, 2014). "Showtime green-lights pilot from NYT columnist Sorkin". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  23. ^ "From the Hill to Hollywood". Tufts. Archived from the original on 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  24. ^ "NBC Tops Sports Emmys, Extends 'Sunday Night Football' Streak". Chicago Tribune.
  25. ^ "Amy L. Levine Has Wedding". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  26. ^ "Jennifer Koppelman Hutt". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  27. ^ "Episode: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Deaf Frat Guy". November 26, 2013. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  28. ^ "Billions Co-Creator Explains Why the Show's Main Characters Meditate". ABC News. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016. David Levien is my creative partner, he and I both practice Transcendental Meditation … and we have found tremendous benefit in it.
  29. ^ "Knockaround Guys (2001)". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  30. ^ "Interview With An Assassin (2002) Production Credits". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  31. ^ Elvis Mitchell (October 17, 2003). "Runaway Jury (2003) FILM REVIEW; Courtroom Confrontation With Lots of Star Power". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  32. ^ "Walking Tall (2004) Production Credits". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  33. ^ Todd McCarthy (January 26, 2006). "Review: 'The Illusionist'". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  34. ^ Michael Clayton (2007), retrieved 2018-11-02
  35. ^ Manohla Dargis (June 8, 2007). "They Always Come Out Ahead; Bet on It". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  36. ^ Todd McCarthy (September 15, 2008). "Review: 'The Lucky Ones'". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  37. ^ Michael O'Sullivan (June 11, 2010). Bug "Movie review: In 'Solitary Man,' Michael Douglas plays an unappealing charmer" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  38. ^ "Solitary Man". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  39. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 20, 2009). "The Girlfriend Experience". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  40. ^ "Runner Runner Cast". Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  41. ^ Street Lawyer, The (ABC). The Futon Critic.
  42. ^ Mike McDaniel (January 13, 2005). "Michael Madsen, 'Tilt' could put ESPN in the chips". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 8, 2014.

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