Alex Kurtzman

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Alex Kurtzman
Alexander Hilary Kurtzman

(1973-09-07) September 7, 1973 (age 50)
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
  • director
Years active1996–present
Known forCo-founder of K/O Paper Products, founder of Secret Hideout
Samantha Counter
(m. 2002)

Alexander Hilary Kurtzman (born September 7, 1973) is an American filmmaker. He is best known for his work on the Star Trek franchise since 2009, co-writing the scripts to Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) with his writing and producing partner Roberto Orci, and directing and co-writing The Mummy (2017). He made his directorial debut with People Like Us (2012), co-written by him, Orci, and Jody Lambert from a story by him.

Kurtzman is known, alongside Orci, for frequently collaborating with Michael Bay and J.J. Abrams, as well as co-creating the more recent Star Trek shows, including Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Early life, family and education[edit]

Kurtzman was born into a Jewish family[1][2][3] and raised in Los Angeles, California.[4] His longtime screenwriting partner Roberto Orci was his best friend in high school.

Kurtzman attended Wesleyan University.[5]


Kurtzman first teamed with Orci on the syndicated series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, for the television unit of Pacific Renaissance Pictures, then operating out of Universal International. After they produced several storylines to cope with the absence of lead actor Kevin Sorbo following a stroke that Sorbo had suffered during the fourth season, Kurtzman and Orci, both aged 24, were placed in charge of the show. They moved into films after they were asked to rewrite Michael Bay's The Island. The film earned nearly $163 million at the worldwide box office, on a budget of $126 million, which was enough of a success that they were brought in to write Bay's Transformers, which earned $710 million. Though The Island, Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were not particularly well received by critics, the three films earned a combined $1.7 billion. They co-created the Fox TV series Fringe in 2008 along with J. J. Abrams. After the pilot, Kurtzman served as consulting producer on the show for the remainder of its run.[6] They then co-wrote the 2009 film Star Trek.

In 2011, Forbes magazine described Orci and Kurtzman as "Hollywood's Secret Weapons" as, over the course of the previous six years, their films had grossed a combined total of over $3 billion at the box office. The partnership also wrote People Like Us, originally known as Welcome to People, which was Kurtzman's theatrical directorial debut.[6]

Kurtzman has frequently worked with a tight-knit group of film professionals which include J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Adam Horowitz, Roberto Orci, Edward Kitsis, Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Jeff Pinkner, and Bryan Burk.[2] In April 2014, both Orci and Kurtzman confirmed to Variety that they would no longer work together on film projects; they added that they would still work together—but only on television projects.[7]

In 2018, Kurtzman signed a new five-year deal with CBS Television Studios to oversee and expand the Star Trek franchise on television, including serving as executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery (which he also co-showruns with Michelle Paradise[8]), Star Trek: Short Treks, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Lower Decks.[9]

In August 2021, Kurtzman and his production company Secret Hideout extended their overall deal with CBS Studios through 2026.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Kurtzman married Samantha Counter, the daughter of lawyer Nick Counter.[11]



Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2005 The Island No Yes No
The Legend of Zorro No Yes No
2006 Mission: Impossible III No Yes No
2007 Transformers No Yes No
2009 Watchmen No Uncredited No Script polish[12]
Star Trek No Yes Executive
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen No Yes No
2011 Cowboys & Aliens No Yes Yes
2012 People Like Us Yes Yes Executive Directorial debut
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness No Yes Yes
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 No Yes Executive[13]
2017 The Mummy Yes Story Yes

Producer only


Year Title Director Writer Executive
Creator Notes
1997–1999 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys No Yes Yes No
1999–2000 Xena: Warrior Princess No Yes Yes No
2000 Jack of All Trades No Yes Yes No
2001–2003 Alias Yes Yes Yes No Also supervising producer
2004 The Secret Service Yes Yes Yes No Pilot
2008–2013 Fringe Yes Yes Yes Yes Also consulting producer
2010–2020 Hawaii Five-0 Yes Yes Yes No Also developer
2011 Exit Strategy Yes Yes Yes Yes Pilot
Locke & Key Yes Yes Yes Yes
2013–2017 Sleepy Hollow Yes Yes Yes Yes
2015–2016 Limitless No Yes Yes No
2017–present Star Trek: Discovery Yes Yes Yes Yes Episode "Brother"
2018–2020 Star Trek: Short Treks No Yes Yes Yes
2020–2023 Star Trek: Picard No Yes Yes Yes
2021 Clarice No Yes Yes Yes
2022 The Man Who Fell to Earth Yes Yes Yes Yes
2022–present Star Trek: Strange New Worlds No Yes Yes Yes

Executive producer only


  1. ^ Wills, Adam (July 5, 2007). "Screenwriter Alex Kurtzman 'Transforms' filmdom's giant robot genre". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on September 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (October 16, 2009). "Abrams keeps it all in the fan family – J.J. and his collaborators conquer Hollywood". Variety. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. We're all self-deprecating short Jews, with the exception of Bob Orci
  3. ^ Wills, Adam (July 22, 2009). "Jews Get Geek on at Comic-Con". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "Alex Kurtzman Biography". Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (June 24, 2007). "Character-Driven Films (but Keep the Kaboom)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Pomerantz, Dorothy (May 18, 2011). "Roberto Orci And Alex Kurtzman: Hollywood's Secret Weapons". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Splitting Up on Bigscreen (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. April 22, 2014. Archived from the original on April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  8. ^ "'Star Trek: Discovery' Renewed For Season 3 At CBS All Access, Michelle Paradise Joins Alex Kurtzman As Co-Showrunner". Deadline. February 27, 2019. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  9. ^ "Alex Kurtzman To Shepherd 'Star Trek' Franchise Expansion Under New 5-Year Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios". Deadline. June 19, 2018. Archived from the original on November 21, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 1, 2021). "Alex Kurtzman Inks Mega New Overall Deal With CBS Studios". Deadline Hollywood.
  11. ^ Hubler, Shawn (June 27, 2007). "Reel life was his real love". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Roberto Orci (August 10, 2008). "The All New "Hey Roberto" Thread". Don Murphy. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2008.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 24, 2012). "Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Re-Writing Sequel To 'Amazing Spider-Man'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2012.

External links[edit]