Jacob "Jake" Kasdan (born October 28, 1974) is an American film and television director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known for directing Bad Teacher (2011), Sex Tape (2014), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).

Jake Kasdan
Jake Kasdan.jpg
Kasdan at Paleyfest 2012
Jacob Kasdan

(1974-10-28) October 28, 1974 (age 45)
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Inara George
Parent(s)Lawrence Kasdan
RelativesJonathan Kasdan (brother)

Early lifeEdit

Kasdan was born and raised in a secular Jewish family[1] in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Meg (née Goldman), a writer, and writer-director Lawrence Kasdan.[2] His younger brother, Jon Kasdan, also works in the film and television industry as an actor and writer.


Kasdan has directed seven theatrical films: Zero Effect (1998), Orange County (2002), The TV Set (2006), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Bad Teacher (2011), Sex Tape (2014), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019). He has also worked in television, most notably with Judd Apatow, as a consulting producer and director on Freaks and Geeks and as a director on Undeclared. He has also directed numerous stage productions. He is attached to direct John Grisham novel Calico Joe to a family film adaptation.

In 2006, Kasdan received his first Golden Globe nomination for Walk Hard in the Best Original Song category (shared with John C. Reilly, Judd Apatow, and Marshall Crenshaw), but lost to "Guaranteed" from Into the Wild (written by Eddie Vedder).

As a child, he made several appearances in his father's movies such as The Big Chill and Silverado (in the former he is an autograph seeker at a funeral and in the latter a stable boy).

In February 2015, Fox announced it had greenlit a pilot for the comedy The Grinder to be directed by Kasdan and starring Rob Lowe.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Kasdan is married to singer-songwriter Inara George of The Bird and the Bee. They have three children: Otis, and twins Beau and Lorelei.[4]



Filmmaking creditsEdit

Title Year Director Producer Writer
Zero Effect 1998 Yes Yes Yes
Orange County 2002 Yes No No
The TV Set 2006 Yes Yes Yes
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story 2007 Yes Yes Yes
Shades of Ray 2008 No Executive No
Bad Teacher 2011 Yes Executive No
Friends with Kids 2011 No Yes No
Sex Tape 2014 Yes Executive No
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 2017 Yes Executive No
Jumanji: The Next Level 2019 Yes Yes Yes

Acting creditsEdit

Title Year Role
The Big Chill 1983 Autograph Seeker
Silverado 1985 Stable Boy
The Accidental Tourist 1988 Scott Canfield
Zero Effect 1998 Bank Teller (voice)
Shades of Ray 2008 Director # 3

Soundtrack creditsEdit

Song written Film
Let's Run Off and Get Married Zero Effect
Cold and Dark in My Heart
Walk Hard Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Take My Hand
(Mama) You Got To Love Your Negro Man
Cut My Brother in Half Blues
There's a Change a'Happening (I Can Feel It)
(You Make Me So) Hard

Other creditsEdit

Title Year Credited as
Grand Canyon 1991 Production assistant
Wyatt Earp 1994 Archivist


Title Year(s) Director Producer Writer Notes
Freaks and Geeks 1999-2000 Yes Consulting No Director (5 episodes) / Producer (15 episodes)
Grosse Pointe 2000 Yes No No 2 episodes
Undeclared 2001 Yes No No Episode "Prototype"
Zero Effect 2002 Yes Co-Executive Yes Unsold pilot
Cracking Up 2006 Yes No No Episode "The Fixer"
Californication 2008 Yes No No Episode "In a Lonely Place"
Spring/Fall 2011 Yes No No Television film
New Girl 2011-2018 Yes Executive No Director (7 episodes) / Producer (146 episodes)
Ben and Kate 2012-2013 Yes Executive No Director (2 episodes) / Producer (12 episodes)
Weird Loners 2015 Yes Executive No Director (2 episodes) / Producer (6 episodes)
The Grinder 2015-2016 Yes Executive No Director (2 episodes) / Producer (22 episodes)
Fresh off the Boat 2015-2019 Yes Executive No Director (episode "The Shunning") / Producer (108 episodes)
Speechless 2016-2019 No Executive No 63 episodes
Jalen Vs. Everybody 2017 No Executive No Television film
Bless This Mess 2019 No Executive No 8 episodes
Heart of Life 2019 No Executive No Television film

Music videoEdit


Year Award Category Film Result Notes
2007 Sierra Award Best Song Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Won Shared with Judd Apatow,
Marshall Crenshaw and John C. Reilly
2008 Golden Globe Best Original Song Nominated
2009 Grammy Best Song Written for Motion Picture
Television or Other Visual Media
2012 Emmy Award Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding
Directing for a Comedy Series
New Girl Nominated Pilot


  1. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "What's a Nice Jewish Boy Like Jake Kasdan Doing Making a 'Sex Tape?'" by Curt Schleier July 18, 2014
  2. ^ Lawrence Kasdan Biography (1949–)
  3. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth. "Fox Orders Rob Lowe Comedy 'The Grinder' To Pilot". Variety.
  4. ^ Audio commentary to Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

External linksEdit