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A native of Laguna Beach, California, Gregory Widen holds a master's degree from UCLA and once worked full-time as a city firefighter.



While still an undergrad film student at UCLA, he sold his script for Highlander (1986).[1] The film stars Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. Its tagline, "There can be only one" has gained pop culture infamy.[2] The original movie became a cult classic, spawning five sequels and Highlander: The Series, tie-in novels and video games.


Widen worked as a firefighter for three years while still an undergraduate at UCLA. He witnessed a person being killed by an explosive backdraft, which became the basis for the screenplay he wrote for the movie Backdraft, directed by Ron Howard and starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Robert De Niro. Released in 1991, Backdraft received three Academy Award Nominations.

Backdraft (attraction) was turned into a ride for Universal Studios Hollywood (opened 1992, closed 2010) and Universal Studios Japan where it is still active.

A sequel ("Backdraft II") began production in April, 2018.

The ProphecyEdit

In 1995, Widen wrote and directed the supernatural thriller The Prophecy starring Christopher Walken, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, and Viggo Mortensen. The film spawned four sequels: The Prophecy II (1998), The Ascent (2000), Uprising (2005) and Forsaken (2005).


In 2017, original script was written by Gregory Widen for Lionsgate. Currently in Development.

"Lionsgate has commenced Highlander creator Gregory Widen to script Black Samurai, an action drama grounded in the historical tale of Yasuke, reputed to be the first black-skinned samurai to serve a warlord in Japan. Mike De Luca and Stephen L’Heureux are producing, and the film is a co-production between Solipsist Films and De Luca Productions." [3] "Yasuke (believed to have lived during the 1500s) was a samurai of black African origin who served under the Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581 and 1582." [4]


Widen was the creator, writer and executive producer of the series Rescue 77 and wrote for Tales from the Crypt.

Blood Makes NoiseEdit

In 2013 he released his debut novel, Blood Makes Noise published by Thomas & Mercer.[5] The book received critical praise, including a starred review from Publisher's Weekly [6] and Booklist. [7]




Academy Awards, USA 1992Edit

Nominee Oscar Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing

Gary Rydstrom Richard Hymns

Best Effects, Visual Effects

Mikael Salomon Allen Hall Clay Pinney Scott Farrar

Best Sound

Gary Summers Randy Thom Gary Rydstrom Glenn Williams

BAFTA Awards 1992Edit

NomineeBAFTA Film Award Best Special Visual Effects

Allen Hall Scott Farrar Clay Pinney Mikael Salomon

BMI Film & TV Awards 1992Edit

WinnerBMI Film Music Award Hans Zimmer

MTV Movie + TV Awards 1992Edit

NomineeMTV Movie Award Best Movie
Best Action Sequence

For the final scene in the burning building and the escape through the old tunel.

The Prophecy [9]Edit

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA 1996Edit

NomineeSaturn Award Best Horror Film
Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Walken


  1. ^ a b Power, Ed (2016-06-16). "There can be only one: why Highlander will live forever". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  2. ^ "TIME Magazine Cover: There Can Only Be One - May 5, 2008". Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  3. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (2017-03-23). "Lionsgate Taps 'Highlander' Creator Gregory Widen To Script Film On First Black Samurai". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  4. ^ "Lionsgate Is Developing an Action-Drama Film on Yasuke - The First Black Samurai". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  5. ^ results, search; Vries, David de (2013-04-30). Blood Makes Noise (Unabridged ed.). Grand Haven, Mich.: Brilliance Audio. ISBN 9781469289335.
  6. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Blood Makes Noise by Gregory Widen. Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, $14.95 trade paper (458p) ISBN 978-1-61109899-0". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  7. ^ "Blood Makes Noise, by Gregory Widen | Booklist Online". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  8. ^ Backdraft, retrieved 2018-08-23
  9. ^ The Prophecy, retrieved 2018-08-23

External linksEdit