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David S. Goyer
Goyer at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Goyer at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Born David Samuel Goyer
(1965-12-22) December 22, 1965 (age 58)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American
Genre Screenwriter; comic books
Spouse Marina Black

David Samuel Goyer (born December 22, 1965) is an American filmmaker, novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for writing the screenplays for several superhero films, including Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998), the Blade trilogy (1998–2004), Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy (2005–2012), Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). He has also directed four films: Zig Zag (2002), Blade: Trinity (2004), The Invisible (2007) and The Unborn (2009). He is the creator of the science fiction television series Foundation which is loosely based upon the Foundation series written by Isaac Asimov.

Goyer was co-writer of the video games Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. He won a Saturn Award for Best Writing for Batman Begins (2005) and received another nomination for Dark City, and has been nominated for four Hugo Awards.

Early life

Goyer and his brother Jeff were born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and were raised by their mother. He is Jewish on his mother's side, and attended Hebrew school. Goyer is an alumnus of Huron High School and the University of Southern California, graduating from the School of Cinema-Television in 1988.

Goyer was a student of screenwriter Nelson Gidding at USC and frequently returned to Gidding's class as a guest speaker. He graduated in 1988 and sold his first screenplay for Death Warrant in 1989, which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme. With his first paycheck, he bought a Isuzu Trooper, which was stolen the first night he drove it home.


A professed comic book fanatic who often wrote to letter columns, Goyer has written or co-written several screenplays based on comic book characters and series, including Batman, Superman, Ghost Rider and Blade. Had written a script treatment for a film adaptation of Venom, which was rejected. Goyer wrote a title based around the Justice Society of America for DC Comics titled JSA, which debuted in August 1999. For the first five issues, he collaborated with James Robinson and, until his departure following issue 51, with Geoff Johns, who would take over as solo writer. Alongside Brannon Braga, Goyer co-created FlashForward, a science-fiction TV series that premiered on ABC in 2009. The series was based on the novel by Robert J. Sawyer. He stepped in as show runner in October 2009 after the series struggled out of the gate. On February 5, 2010, Goyer announced he would be stepping down as FlashForward showrunner to focus on feature films and directing.

Goyer's comicbook films explore the consequences of becoming a symbolic figure, a topic he has long been interested in. In 2011, Goyer wrote a short story titled "The Incident" in which Superman renounces his United States citizenship. Goyer worked with Legendary Pictures on three of their projects. He co-wrote the scripts for The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Man of Steel (2013). In addition, he did a one-step 4-week rewrite for Legendary Pictures' Godzilla reboot. During the same year, Goyer published his first novel, Heaven's Shadow, the first in a trilogy co-written by Michael Cassutt for Ace/Penguin. The novel received generally positive reviews. Goyer subsequently sold the film rights to Warner Bros. and is adapting the first novel for the big screen.

In late October 2011, cable channel Starz and BBC Worldwide greenlit his TV project, Da Vinci's Demons, which followed the life of a 25-year-old Leonardo da Vinci. "This will be a show about secret histories, genius, madness and all things profane," according to Goyer. The show ran for three seasons and received generally favorable reviews, including an 81% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. In March 2013, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Goyer would be directing a film adaptation of the novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

In June 2013, he was announced to work on both Justice League and a sequel to Man of Steel. In September 2013, Goyer delivered a screenwriting lecture as part of the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture Series. Goyer produced the horror film The Forest, directed by Jason Zada. Focus Features has the North American distribution rights to the film, which was Zada's feature film directorial debut.

By 2014, having already earned a reputation as a veteran of the superhero genre, Goyer shifted his focus to the independent production genre, hiring producer Kevin Turen to run his company. Explaining his thinking, Goyer said: "Everybody talks about how it seems like studios increasingly are relying on these big tentpoles and some micro-budget horror films, and that's the majority of the slate," Goyer said. "I've been a benefactor of that movement, but there are a ton of films out there I've really admired over the last few years that studios aren't making, and I wanted to see if I could help get more of them made." In 2015, soon after embracing independent producing, Goyer won a competitive situation to produce the feature version of Miles. Furthermore, he executive-produced Nate Parker's feature The Birth of a Nation, which sold for a record $17.5 million at the Sundance Film Festival, before sweeping the festival's awards.

In addition to producing, Goyer continues to write. In 2014, he was tapped to write and produce the feature Fantastic Voyage, based on the 1966 original, for James Cameron. Breaking the news, The Hollywood Reporter announced: "The project has been quiet since 2011, but Goyer's involvement kick-starts and will re-engineer what the studio and producers hope to be an event-sized tentpole. It is also now placing the project on the fast track" In January 2016, acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro signed on to direct the feature. Goyer co-wrote Warner Bros.' blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), with Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio. In July 2016, it was announced that Goyer will write and direct an upcoming interactive virtual reality film about Darth Vader. Goyer stated that he found creating VR content very different from other media, but said "it's surprising how much you feel and how emotional [the VR experience] is [...] there is stuff that makes you tear up and cry, and it's really phenomenal."

In January 2017, Goyer signed on to co-produce and co-write Green Lantern Corps, an installment in the DC Extended Universe, with Justin Rhodes, based on a story treatment by Goyer and Geoff Johns. By April of the same year, it was announced that he had signed on to write the script for the reboot of Masters of the Universe, intended to be released in 2019. Goyer was later announced as director along with Lindsey Beer writing a new draft of the screenplay in January 2018. Filming was set to begin April 2018. By February of that year, Goyer dropped out as the film's director and writer. According to Carlos Huante, a creature designer hired for the film and who worked on the original cartoon, Sony felt that Goyer's script would be too expensive to bring to life as Goyer intended for the movie to be on the epic scale of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In September 2017, Deadline reported that Goyer and his Green Lantern Corps partner Justin Rhodes, as well as Chris Eglee and Josh Friedman were hired to take part in a writers room in order to write the next Terminator trilogy, under the direction of collaborating team Tim Miller and James Cameron.

In the early 2020s, Goyer produced The Night House, starring Rebecca Hall, as well as the Scott Cooper film Antlers. The Night House premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; Searchlight purchased the rights to the film, and released it to critical acclaim in August 2021. Goyer produced the 2021 film The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt for Skydance and Amazon. He has been signed on as a producer for the sequel.

Goyer executive produces and serves as showrunner for Foundation, which premiered on Apple TV+ on September 24, 2021, and is based on Isaac Asimov's novels of the same name. He wrote the first and last episodes as well as directing the season finale. Goyer co-wrote the pilot and serves as executive producer for The Sandman, which was released on Netflix on August 5, 2022. Goyer had been involved with an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's comic book The Sandman since he had pitched a story idea in December 2013. By February 2014, he was set to produce a feature film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but the film's development stalled and transitioned into a television show.

For the 2022 film Hellraiser, a reimagining of the franchise of the same name, Goyer wrote the story and produced the film under the Phantom Four banner for Spyglass and Hulu. His Phantom Four company had signed a deal with Village Roadshow Pictures.



Year Title Director Writer Producer
1990 Death Warrant No Yes No
1991 Kickboxer 2 No Yes Associate
1992 Demonic Toys No Yes No
1993 Arcade No Yes No
1994 The Puppet Masters No Yes No
1996 The Crow: City of Angels No Yes No
1998 Dark City No Yes No
Blade No Yes No
2002 Zig Zag Yes Yes No
Blade II No Yes Executive
2004 Blade: Trinity Yes Yes Yes
2005 Batman Begins No Yes No
2007 The Invisible Yes No No
2008 Jumper No Yes No
The Dark Knight No Story No
2009 The Unborn Yes Yes No
2011 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance No Yes Executive
2012 The Dark Knight Rises No Story No
2013 Man of Steel No Yes No
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice No Yes Executive
2019 Terminator: Dark Fate No Yes Executive
2022 Hellraiser No Story Yes

Producer only

Year Title Notes
2000 Mission to Mars Co-producer
2007 Ghost Rider Executive producer
2016 The Forest
The Birth of a Nation Executive producer
2018 Assassination Nation
2020 The Night House
2021 The Tomorrow War
2024 The First Omen

Uncredited writing roles

  • Pet Sematary Two (1992)
  • On Deadly Ground (1994)
  • Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
  • Godzilla (2014)


Year Title Director Writer Producer Creator Notes
1993 The Substitute No Yes No No Television film
Credited as Cynthia Verlaine
1996 Enemy No Yes No No Television film
1997 Perversions of Science No Yes No No Wrote "Dream of Doom"
1997 Sleepwalkers No Yes Yes Yes Wrote "Something Is Buried in Bethlehem" and "Counting Sheep"
1998 Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. No Yes No No Television film
2000 FreakyLinks No Yes No Yes Wrote "Subject: Fearsum"
Credited as Ricardo Festiva
2005 Threshold Yes Yes Yes No Directed episode "Trees Made of Glass: Part 1";
Wrote episode "Trees Made of Glass: Part 2"
2006 Blade: The Series No Yes Yes Yes Wrote "Pilot" and "Conclave"
2009–2010 FlashForward Yes Yes Yes Yes Wrote 5 episodes, directed 2 episodes
2012–2015 Da Vinci's Demons Yes Yes Yes Yes Wrote 7 episodes, directed 2 episodes
2014–2015 Constantine No Yes No Yes Wrote "Non Est Asylum" and "The Devil's Vinyl"
2018–2019 Krypton No Yes Yes Yes Wrote "Pilot" and "Light-Years From Home"
2021–present Foundation Yes Yes Yes Yes Wrote 5 episodes, directed 3 episodes
2022–present The Sandman No Yes Executive Yes Wrote "Sleep of the Just"
2022 Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities No Yes No No "The Autopsy"

Video games

Year Title Publisher(s) Series Notes
2010 Call of Duty: Black Ops Activision Call of Duty Story consultant
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II
2018 Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Disney Interactive Studios Star Wars
2019 Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series
2020 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Activision Call of Duty

Narrative podcasts

Year Title Producer Writer Notes
2022 Batman Unburied Yes Yes
2023 The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark Yes Yes


  • Heaven's Shadow (with Michael Cassutt) (2011)
  • Heaven's War (with Michael Cassutt) (2012)
  • Heaven's Fall (with Michael Cassutt) (2013)

See also

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