Paul Weitz (filmmaker)

Paul John Weitz (born November 19, 1965) is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter, playwright, and actor. He is the older brother of filmmaker Chris Weitz. Together they worked on the comedy films American Pie and About a Boy; for the latter, they were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.[1] Weitz is also a writer, executive producer, and director of the Amazon Prime Video web series Mozart in the Jungle.

Paul Weitz
Paul Weitz at 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Paul Weitz at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Paul John Weitz

(1965-11-19) November 19, 1965 (age 56)
EducationAllen-Stevenson School
Collegiate School
Alma materWesleyan University
OccupationFilm director
Years active1998–present
Notable work
American Pie
About a Boy
Patricia Brown
(m. 2001)
Parent(s)Susan Kohner
John Weitz
RelativesChris Weitz (brother)
Lupita Tovar (grandmother)
Paul Kohner (grandfather)

Early lifeEdit

Weitz was born in New York City, the son of actress Susan Kohner and Berlin-born novelist/menswear designer John Weitz.[2] His brother is filmmaker Chris Weitz. Weitz is the grandson of Czech-born agent and producer Paul Kohner and actress Lupita Tovar on his maternal side.[3][4] Tovar, who was from Oaxaca, Mexico,[5] starred in Santa, Mexico's first talkie, in 1932, as well as a Mexican version of Drácula.[6] Weitz' paternal grandparents escaped Nazi Germany, where his grandfather had been a successful textile manufacturer, and family intimates of Christopher Isherwood and Marlene Dietrich.[4]

Weitz's father and maternal grandfather were Jewish,[7][8][9][10] and his maternal grandmother was Catholic. He was raised in a nonreligious household.[11][12]

Weitz attended the Allen-Stevenson School with his brother and Collegiate. In 1988, he graduated from Wesleyan University.[13] While at Wesleyan, Weitz studied under film instructor Jeanine Basinger.[14]


Early careerEdit

Weitz' early career involved many collaborations with his brother.[15][16][17] Some of the work they have done as screenwriters has been both credited and uncredited.[18]

Weitz began his film career as a co-writer on the 1998 animated film Antz. He followed this with work on various sitcoms such as Off Centre and the 1998 revival of the 1977 series Fantasy Island. In 1999, he and Chris directed and produced American Pie, which was written by Adam Herz, and became a major box office success. Weitz returned as executive producer on the film's two theatrical sequels.

In 2002, the Weitz brothers co-wrote and co-directed About a Boy, the Hugh Grant film based on the book by Nick Hornby.[19][20] The film was originally set up at New Line Cinema with Robert De Niro producing, and the main character as an American. The brothers felt that it was important that the character is British. Inspiration came from the film The Apartment (1960). They were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.[6]

Weitz has written and directed the well-received romantic comedy In Good Company and the political satire American Dreamz, which faced mixed reviews. Additional writing credits include the television show Cracking Up.

He has also directed an adaptation of Darren Shan's young adult novel Cirque du Freak called The Vampire's Assistant. He directed the film Little Fockers (2010), the sequel to Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.

Subsequently he wrote and directed Being Flynn, an adaptation of Nick Flynn's memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, starring Robert De Niro.[16] Weitz said he worked collaboratively with Flynn to translate the dense original source material into its film adaptation.[17]

Weitz also directed the movie Admission, starring Tina Fey.


In 2015, Weitz directed the film, Grandma, which starred Lily Tomlin.[21][22][23] The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 30, as the closing night film.[24] The film was Tomlin's first leading role in 27 years, after co-starring with Bette Midler in the comedy film Big Business (1988). It is the second collaboration between Tomlin and Weitz, who previously directed her in his film Admission (2013).[23] The film was released on August 21, 2015, by Sony Pictures Classics.[25]

Weitz had the story idea for many years, but it never fully formed until he met and worked with Tomlin on Admission,[21] saying that "After meeting Lily, the voice and the character really clicked, I had thought about it for years, so I had a lot of it worked out in my head, and then I just went to a coffee shop and wrote it longhand."[23]

Weitz said the film cost under $600,000 to make.[26] It was well received.[27][28][29]

In developmentEdit

Weitz has a production company with his brother Chris Weitz and producer Andrew Miano called Depth of Field. In March 2016, Weitz and his brother signed a two-year first look deal with Amazon Studios.[30]

  • A live-action adaptation Michael Moorcock's Elric saga, which his brother Chris said he enjoyed as a child. Weitz's Depth of Field production company was meant to create the films as a potential trilogy for Universal Pictures. In a May 2007 interview with Empire magazine Weitz's brother announced that he had met with Moorcock, who trusted him with the films, and described his wish for Paul to direct the film.[31]
  • Shield of Straw – producing an English remake of the 2013 Japanese action thriller, Shield of Straw[32][33]
  • Ghost Train – producing a remake of the 2006 Japanese horror film, Soul Reviver[32]
  • Birthright – producing a remake of the 2010 Japanese thriller[32][34]
  • Sinatoro – producing TV series with Grant Morrison for Universal Television[35]


While in college at Wesleyan, Weitz wrote the play Mango Tea, which was performed Off-Broadway.

Weitz has written a number of plays, including Roulette, Privilege, Show People and Trust, all of which have been produced Off-Broadway in New York City.[36] Trust starred Zach Braff, Bobby Cannavale, Sutton Foster, and Ari Graynor, and was directed by Peter DuBois at Second Stage Theatre. It will be produced in Brazil, Germany and Greece in 2013[when?]. Second Stage previously produced Privilege and Show People and produced Lonely, I'm Not, starring Topher Grace and Olivia Thirlby a new comedy by Weitz in 2012. Lonely, I'm Not was a New York Times critics pick.

As a writer, Weitz has discussed semi-jokingly the fact that he avoids the discomfort in his life by turning to the act of writing.[16] He sees a good play structure as being very different from a good film structure, and thinks that it is rare for plays as source material to be easily adapted into film.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2001, Weitz married novelist Patricia Brown, with whom he has three children.



Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1992 Ribs No Yes No Short film
1998 Antz No Yes No
1999 American Pie Yes No Yes Co-director with his brother, Chris Weitz
2000 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps No Yes No
2001 American Pie 2 No No Executive
Down to Earth Yes No No Co-director with his brother, Chris Weitz
2002 About a Boy Yes Yes No Co-director with his brother, Chris Weitz;
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Dylan's Run No No Executive Documentary film
2003 American Wedding No No Executive
2004 See This Movie No No Executive
In Good Company Yes Yes Yes
2006 Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas No No Yes
American Dreamz Yes Yes Yes
2007 The Golden Compass No No Executive
2008 Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist No No Yes
2009 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Yes Yes Yes
2010 Little Fockers Yes No No
2012 Being Flynn Yes Yes Yes
American Reunion No No Executive
2013 Admission Yes No Yes
2015 Grandma Yes Yes Yes
2016 Good Kids No No Yes
2017 A Happening of Monumental Proportions No No Yes
2018 Bel Canto Yes Yes Yes
2021 Fatherhood Yes Yes Yes


Year Title Director Writer Executive
1998–1999 Fantasy Island No Yes Yes 3 episodes
2000–2001 Off Centre No Yes Yes Also creator
2004–2006 Cracking Up Yes No Yes Pilot episode; also consultant (2 episodes)
2010 Lone Star No No Yes 2 episodes
2014–2018 Mozart in the Jungle Yes Yes Yes Also developer

As actorEdit

Year Title Role
2000 Chuck & Buck Sam
The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy Assistant Director
2004 See This Movie Filmmaker Who Isn't Wim Wenders
2014 Life After Beth Mr. Levin
2016 Joshy Private Investigator
2017 The Little Hours Lucro

Works and publicationsEdit


  1. ^ Holson, Laura M. (August 6, 2015). "The Weitz Brothers Help Each Other Through Hollywood Hits and Misses". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  2. ^ Kelley, Tina (4 October 2002). "John Weitz, 79, Fashion Designer Turned Historian, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  3. ^ Horn, John (21 June 2011). "Chris Weitz's 'Better Life' shines light on illegal immigrant issues". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b Horyn, Cathy (20 February 2000). "Legacy; Growing up Weitz". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  5. ^ Cieply, Michael (1 June 2010). "Another Los Angeles in 'Gardener'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  6. ^ a b Gross, Terry (5 June 2002). "Directors Chris and Paul Weitz". Fresh Air. NPR. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  7. ^ Pauley, Gay (January 4, 1983). "Many facets of John Weitz". United Press International. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Chin, Paula (October 26, 1992). "John Weitz". People Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (June 1, 2011). "An Immigrant Struggles for a 'Better Life' for His Son". Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (March 5, 2012). "Paul Weitz on dads, De Niro and "Being Flynn"". Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (13 March 2003). "About Two Boys: Late fashion designer John Weitz inspires his Academy Award-nominated sons, Paul and Chris". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  12. ^ Bloom, Nate (1 September 2009). "Interfaith Celebrities: Inglourious Basterds' Surprises and Connections". Interfaith Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Notable Alumni - Paul Weitz '88". Wesleyan University. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  14. ^ Weir, William (30 December 2002). "'Wesleyan Mafia' Racks Up Credits". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  15. ^ Weitz, Chris; Weitz, Paul (12 July 2011). "The WGAW Latino Writers Committee present Chris & Paul Weitz: Chris & Paul Weitz on their career choices and how they got started - 1 of 3". WGA West. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  16. ^ a b c Weitz, Chris; Weitz, Paul (12 July 2011). "The WGAW Latino Writers Committee present Chris & Paul Weitz: Chris & Paul Weitz on Twilight, A Better Life and Suck City - 2 of 3". WGA West. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  17. ^ a b c Weitz, Chris; Weitz, Paul (12 July 2011). "The WGAW Latino Writers Committee present Chris & Paul Weitz: Chris & Paul Weitz offer advice for surviving the film industry - 3 of 3". WGA West. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  18. ^ Tobias, Scott (15 May 2002). "The Weitz Brothers". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  19. ^ Malanowski, Jamie (19 May 2002). "Film; Filmmaking as a Family Affair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  20. ^ Leibowitz, Ed (May 2002). "Book Fellows: In the Stacks with Filmmakers Chris and Paul Weitz". Los Angeles. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  21. ^ a b Murphy, Mekado (19 August 2015). "'Grandma' (With Movie Trailer): Paul Weitz Narrates a Scene". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  22. ^ Scott, A. O. (19 August 2015). "Review: In 'Grandma,' Lily Tomlin Energizes an Intergenerational Road Trip". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Olsen, Mark (January 28, 2015). "Sundance 2015: Lily Tomlin has an easy ride steering 'Grandma'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  24. ^ Patten, Dominic (January 22, 2015). "Paul Weitz's 'Grandma' With Lily Tomlin – Hot Sundance Clip". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  25. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 27, 2015). "Sony Pictures Classics Acquires 'Grandma' At Sundance – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  26. ^ Rose, Charlie (16 August 2015). "Grandma: A look at the film "Grandma" with director Paul Weitz and actor Lily Tomlin". Charlie Rose. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  27. ^ Rooney, David (January 26, 2015). "'Grandma': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  28. ^ Moylan, Brian (January 27, 2015). "Sundance 2015 review: Grandma - Lily Tomlin cranks it up to the max as a ranting poet on the road". The Guardian. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  29. ^ Foundas, Scott (January 27, 2015). "Sundance Film Review: 'Grandma'". Variety. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  30. ^ Nakamura, Reid (29 March 2016). "Paul and Chris Weitz Sign First-Look Deal With Amazon Studios TV". TheWrap. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  31. ^ "Exclusive: Weitz Brothers Making Elric - Paul to direct fantasy adaptation?". Empire. 29 May 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  32. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (25 August 2015). "'Shield of Straw' English-Language Remake in the Works With Chris Weitz". Variety. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  33. ^ Hipes, Patrick (25 August 2015). "Takashi Miike's Cannes Pic 'Shield Of Straw' Getting English-Language Redo". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  34. ^ Schilling, Mark (12 December 2014). "Chris and Paul Weitz to Remake Japan's 'Birthright' with ANEW". Variety. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (22 July 2016). "Comic-Con: Chris and Paul Weitz Team With Grant Morrison for 'Sinatoro' TV Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  36. ^ "Paul Weitz - Playwrigtht". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  37. ^ "Roulette - Ensemble Studio Theatre". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2015-09-26. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  38. ^ Ryzik, Melena Z. (29 February 2004). "Theater; An American Pie With Different Fruit". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  39. ^ "Past Shows - Season 27, 2005-2006. Show People By Paul Weitz". Second Stage Theatre. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  40. ^ "Privilege - Second Stage Theatre". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  41. ^ "Past Shows - Season 26, 2004-2005. Privilege By Paul Weitz". Second Stage Theatre. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  42. ^ "Show People - Second Stage Theatre". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2014-05-19. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  43. ^ "Past Shows - Season 31, 2009-2010. Trust By Paul Weitz". Second Stage Theatre. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  44. ^ "Trust - Second Stage Theatre". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  45. ^ "Past Shows - Season 33, 2011-2012. Lonely, I'm Not By Paul Weitz". Second Stage Theatre. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  46. ^ "Lonely I'm Not - Second Stage Theatre". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 28 August 2015.

External linksEdit