Jeffrey D. Nathanson (born October 12, 1965) is an American screenwriter, director, and producer.

Jeff Nathanson
Jeffrey D. Nathanson

(1965-10-12) October 12, 1965 (age 58)
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
AFI Conservatory
  • Screenwriter
  • director
  • producer
Years active1993–present

Early life and education


Nathanson was born on October 12, 1965, in Los Angeles County, California.[1][2][3][4] He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara as an English major from 1983 to 1985.[5][6] While at UC Santa Barbara, he worked on the school's newspaper, the Daily Nexus, and has stated that the courses he took at UC Santa Barbara led him to want to become a screenwriter.[5][7] He later enrolled in the screenwriting program at the AFI Conservatory for one year.[6][8]



He is best known for his work on the Rush Hour sequels Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, and The Last Shot. He co-wrote a story draft for the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) with George Lucas; the film was directed by Steven Spielberg. He wrote the screenplay for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), on which he also received a story by co-credit, the latter with Terry Rossio.[9][10] He wrote the script for the 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King for Disney, directed by Jon Favreau.[11] He has also been announced to write its upcoming prequel, Mufasa: The Lion King, directed instead by Barry Jenkins.[12]

On October 3, 2017, it was reported that Nathanson would be penning a script for a biographical film directed by Brett Ratner based on the life of the Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who will be portrayed by Academy Award winner Jared Leto,[13] but the biopic was put indefinitely on hold and was confirmed that Leto would not portray the Playboy founder following an emergence of sexual harassment allegations against Ratner on November 2, 2017.[14]

Honors and awards


Nathanson was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for his work on Catch Me If You Can.[15]

Film writer credits

Year Title Director Notes
1995 For Better or Worse Jason Alexander Also executive producer
1997 Speed 2: Cruise Control Jan de Bont
2001 Rush Hour 2 Brett Ratner
2002 Catch Me If You Can Steven Spielberg
2004 The Terminal
The Last Shot Himself
2007 Rush Hour 3 Brett Ratner
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Steven Spielberg Story only, co-written with George Lucas and David Koepp
New York, I Love You Brett Ratner Segment #5
2011 Tower Heist
2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Joachim Rønning
Espen Sandberg
Based on early drafts of Terry Rossio
2019 The Lion King Jon Favreau
2024 Young Woman and the Sea Joachim Rønning
Mufasa: The Lion King Barry Jenkins Filming
2027 Pirates of the Caribbean 6 Joachim Ronning Based on a draft of Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott (screenwriter)


  1. ^ "Jeffrey D Nathanson, 12 Oct 1965". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Gertrude Penner". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  3. ^ " biography". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "Cineplex biography". Retrieved September 1, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Quiambao, Carissa (October 31, 2011). "Former Gaucho Unveils New Film". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Neumer, Chris. "Jeff Nathanson Interview". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  7. ^ Quiambao, Carissa (October 27, 2011). "Renowned Director To Visit Campus". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "AFI ALUMNI". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Trumbore, Dave (January 11, 2013). "Disney Enlists Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5". Collider. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 11, 2013). "Disney hires writer for 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5'". Variety. Los Angeles. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  11. ^ McCabe, Adam (October 13, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Lion King' hires Jeff Nathanson to pen script". Inside the Magic.
  12. ^ Rubin, Rebecca; Lang, Brent (September 29, 2020). "'The Lion King' Follow-Up in the Works With Director Barry Jenkins". Variety. Archived from the original on September 29, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  13. ^ "Jared Leto to star in Hugh Hefner biopic". BBC News. October 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Brett Ratner's Hugh Hefner Biopic is Dead in the Water". Screen rant. November 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "TAKING A LOOK AT CONFIRMED PANELIST JEFF NATHANSON". Retrieved September 1, 2015.[dead link]