A look through David Benioff’s career
Television fans will probably have heard of David Benioff, but few will possess detailed information about his background and early career. But with the crazy success that Game of Thrones has experienced, it is inevitable that Benioff will find himself the topic of a lot more conversations.
Born in New York City on September 25, 1970, David Benioff actually started life as David Friedman — the son of Barbara (Benioff) and Stephen Friedman. He decided to change his name to David Benioff to avoid confusion with other writers who had similar names.
After graduating from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, a young Benioff apparently secured a role as a nightclub bouncer in San Francisco. Maybe it was this stereotypically tough job that would later shape his writing and add to the authenticity of the fight scenes in Game of Thrones.
However, Benioff was not destined to remain a bouncer for long and soon made the transition from nightclub to classroom by securing a position as an English teacher at Poly Prep in Brooklyn, New York. At the same time he’s also said to have been a wrestling coach (maybe he missed the nightclub bouncing after all!)
It was while working as a teacher that Benioff would pen his first of many books, The 25th Hour in 2000. He would later write the screenplay of Spike Lee’s adaptation of the book. It starred Edward Norton and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman
In 2004, Benioff wrote a series of short stories: When the Nines Roll Over (And Other Stories). The same year he drafted the screenplay for Troy, a mythological epic directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom.
A year later, Benioff wrote the script for Stay, a psychological thriller which starred Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts and was directed by Marc Foster.
Benioff apparently worked on the script for X-Men Origins: Wolverine for more than three years before its release in 2009. Starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the movie was a spinoff of the original X-Men film.
Benioff put pen to paper once more in 2008 when he wrote City of Thieves — his second novel. It was in 2011, however, that Benioff would start work with Dan Weiss on HBO’s epic Game of Thrones.
Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, Game of Thrones has attracted a huge fan following from around the world. Fans in the UK can find out more about the series by visiting the official Game of Thrones website HBO UK, which contains a wealth of information about the cast and individual episodes.
Fans of the show may not know though, however, that Benioff and his co-writer Weiss actually met many years before they started work on Game of Thrones. The pair, quite oddly met, at Trinity College in Dublin and shared an affinity for playing Dungeons and Dragons.
At the time little did the two know that they’d be co-creating, executive producing and writing almost the entire series of this HBO original.