The talented, prolific, and in-demand screenwriter David Koepp was the mind behind many of the late-'90s and early-2000s biggest pictures. Writing for directors such as Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Ron Howard, and Brian De Palma, Koepp was responsible for penning some of the highest-grossing films of all time. Comfortable working within any genre, Koepp takes pride in creating both character-driven pieces, like De Palma's Carlito's Way (1993) and his own Stir of Echoes (1999), and unforgettable action sequences like the T-Rex/jeep chase in Spielberg's Jurassic Park and Tom Cruise's aerial infiltration of the CIA in De Palma's Mission: Impossible (1996).
Raised in the Midwest, Koepp began writing short stories in grade school. He eventually enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied playwriting and acting (his uncle was actor Claude Akins). More impressed with Koepp's writing than his acting, a professor convinced him to move out West and take up screenwriting. Koepp transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles, and began studying screenwriting techniques and film history. After graduating in 1986, he accepted a full-time position with a film distributor that allowed him time to write at night. Then, while working as a script reader, he met actor/director Martin Donovan who asked Koepp to collaborate on what would become his first feature film.