jD SHAPIRO is an award winning writer/director and stand-up comedian. Most of those awards are great. One…not so much
jD grew up in a one bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen with his dad, and in a small house with one bathroom in North Jersey with his mom and three sisters. He often had to go to his back yard to pee. The garage become jD’s sanctuary. And his imagination his playing field. As a young child his mom says he would take apart pens to see how they worked, and undressed his sister’s Barbie Dolls to see what was underneath. This lead to a passion for storytelling and women. But not necessarily in that order.
jD has sold over a dozen screenplays to almost every major Hollywood studio including, Warner Brothers, Disney, New Line, Miramax, Paramount & Twentieth Century Fox.
jD has rewritten and punch upped many stupid studio scripts, as well as served as Creative Consult on many great movies. Several of his movies went on to became Hollywood blockbusters; his movies earning well over a billion dollars. jD’s television deals include Fox, Big Ticket and Spelling Entertainment. Although jD writes in several genres, Mel Brooks called jD, “One of the greatest comic minds I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”
jD is developing a movie in Spain called Mi Nombre Es… It’s based on the true story about a woman in 1824 who disguised herself as a man so she could attend Madrid University (Women weren’t allowed) It will be shot in Spanish and English. Elisabeth Fernandez Lorena is interested in playing the lead. San Martin Producciones Cinematográficas are funding the development and production.
jD wrote the screenplay for Four Days’ in April. It’s based on the true story of a Norwegian woman living in Sweden during WW2, who ends up changing the course of the war and helping defeat the nazis. It’s Inspired by the historical novel, "Fyra Dagar I April" by renown Swedish novelist Magnus Alkarp. The development was funded by Swedish Film Fund Productions. Also in development with SFFP is Spring’s Eternal Youth, which also takes place during WW2 and is female driven. Once the screenplay for Spring’s Eternal Youth is complete, Swedish movie star Alicia Vikande wants to read it to see if she wants to play the lead, Asse Lee Dahl.
jD is writing two movies for Andrew Erin Entertianment; Under the Surface and The Hunger. Both are horror/thrillers. jD would be a producer on both.
jD just finished his first book, “The Cat in The Hat”. He liked it so much he decided to write one of his own. Think Like a Man: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need was published by Austin Macauley Publishers in June, 2019. Think Like A Man: It’s on many “Must Read ” lists. It’s available in most book stores, including Barnes & Nobel. It can also be bought on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and is available on Kindle. It’s shows women how men think, thus giving them the tools to use that knowledge and this secretes to get a man in a way a man will love (No gimmicks like so many other books on this subject). Also, it’s funny. The comment’s jD gets the most is the book is “Empowering”.
jD wrote & directed the short movie, Un Viaje. Shot in LA, Malibu, NYC, Madrid, Marbella, Lisbon and Venice, almost entirely on an iPhone, it was accepted into Competition at several festival and got “Honorable Mention” at “The Madrid Art Festival, 2017” were it competed against several very big budgets shorts. jD just finished post production on Eva’s Comet, the story of two very different women who change eats other lives. It was just picked up by the number two distributor in all of Europe.
From 2002 to 2016 jD was partners, creating new comic book content with comic book legend Stan Lee.
jD is very proud that Stan called him his “Protégé.” Stan became like a grandfather to jD and talk to him about lots of things he didn’t discuss with many people and are not public knowledge. jD is creating a new comic book that he is going to launch on Indiegogo in June, 2020. It’s about zombies, using the virus C19 as part of the reason why they become zombies. Done like Zombieland and Shawn of the Dead it will have a lot of comedy and an extreme amount of gore, because according to jD’s sisters, he has the sense of humor of a 9 year old boy.
jD caught the eye of Sir George Lucas after his directorial debut, We Married Margo won the Audience Award for Best Film at The HBO Comedy Festival. Lucas invited jD to Skywalker Ranch for a free sound mix and great advice Because the job of God was already taken, jD wrote, directed & starred in WMM. Besides the HBO Festival, WMM was in completion at several other prestigious festivals include; Slamdance, NY Film Festival, and The LA Comedy Festival, and the Pi Phan Film Festival. WMM won many awards for the movie, the writing, the directing and one for jD’s acting. New Line acquired Margo for release.
We Married Margo
jD was the original writer of the infamous Battlefield Earth. Yep. That movie. His draft got John Travolta attached to play Johnny Goodbye Tyler. jD left the project due to creative differences with the studio, MGM. Travolta went on to play the Terl and BE went on to win the infamous, “Razzie Award: Worst Movie of the Decade.”
To find out how Battlefield Earth became a mess read jD’s humorous NY Post piece:
To see the speech jD gave at the 2010 Razzie Awards:
After being asked to leave from some of the finest universities on the east coast, jD wrote, on spec, Robin Hood: Men In Tights. MIT sold to Mel Brooks & Twentieth Century Fox. jD was heavily involved in the pre-production, producing & casting. He found Dave Chappelle after the actor Mel wanted asked for too much money. jD wrote all the lyrics to all the music in MIT
jD was accepted into HB Studios and studied with legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen, becoming one of her favorite students to yell at (Considered a badge of honor. Supposedly)
jD overcame his fear of public speaking and mixing up sentences due to being Dyslexic and now performs stand-up all across the United States and parts of Europe.
Due to jD’s film & TV schedule his availability is limited. He was made a paid regular at The World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles in record time (He’d only been doing standup for about 14 months) jD was also was made a paid regular at StandUp NY in NYC. Prior to most performances, jD can be seen outside the comedy club pacing and sometimes throwing up
jD has had articles published in “The NY Post,” “Written By” magazine and “Artes Españolas Ahora.” He has given lectures & seminars on writing, directing, acting, standup and comic book writing at universities and events throughout the United States and in Spain. jD has been asked to speak at Harvard Business School. jD has judged several film festivals in the United States & Europe
jD is a representative and sits on the board of TheCreators2030 UN SDGs Arts Initiative. It’s a sub initiative of ListenGive partner with the United Nations for Sustainable Development Goals. jD’s main task is to head up the fight on Climate Change and mentor young artists on how they can use their art to create positive change.. jD is a member of Who’s Who in America
SOME OF THE SCRIPTS jD SOLD & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Daddy’s Girl: A comedy about an over protective dad who has to learn to let go of his 18 yr old daughter, who has to learn to grow up. Optioned by NewLine (2005)
Working Class Hero: An action/drama about a cop trying to make up for a past mistake. Co-written w/ Jimmy Cummings. Sold it to Gale Anne Hurd (2004)
Salvage: A post-apocalyptic script set up w/ Gear Head Productions. Dan Myrick (The Blair Witch Project) was set to direct and jD was set to play the co-lead (2004)
Super Cops: The true story of two highly decorated Vietnam vets turned Super cops, and how they became the only two LAPD police officers to face the death penalty. Developed w/ Jimmy
Cummings for Nittolo Entertainment (2000)
Blast Off! Action story about a group of men who take over the space shuttle. An ex astronaut needs to overcome his intense fear of flying-- or not only is the world in peril, but so is his wife, who is the captain of the shuttle. Wrote this on spec and sold to Interscope Films (1997)
Fear: Dark thriller about a man who is looking for the murderer of his wife only to find out it was he. Based on a L. Ron Hubbard Novella and starring John Travolta. Written it for Miramax (1996)
Signed, Sealed & Delivered: Action/comedy about a woman who gets trapped inside a post office when terrorists take it over. She learns she is much more capable than she ever realized. Betty Thomas was attached to direct and Glenn Close interested in playing the lead. It was co-written w/ Aaron William Dozier on spec. Sold to Disney’s Touchstone Pictures (1995)
Solo To Mars: Sci-fi about a man who travels into space and, due to the stress and loneliness, befriends a fly trapped onboard. Starring Corbin Bernsen. Written for Paramount (1994)
The Final Frontier: Sci-fi thriller about an astronaut who finds a way to travel to the most uncharted territory not known-- death. Written on spec and optioned to Warner Brothers (1991)
Toy Soldiers: This Action/comedy was the first script jD ever sold. It’s about a group of kids who have to use their video game skills to save the day when a real life situation arises. Shortly after arriving to LA jD was commissioned to write this by an independent producer whose office was possibly the trunk of his car (1990)
Freakydeak Skylark: jD created, directed and executive produced this animated series for the Internet division of NBC (2007)
IInside/Out: jD developed this TV series w/ Paul Rieser’s Nuance Pictures for jD to star in. A drama/comedy about an attorney who loses it, checks into Bellevue and decides it is saner in there then out in the “real” world (2006)
Cupid’s Turn: jD developed this script about a man who finds out he is Cupid. He set it up at Disney as a producer (1998)
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS- SORT OF
Cristiano Ronaldo Ad: Creative Consultant. One of the most watched ads online ever (2016)
Pucked: jD co-starred in this stinker. The good guy is played by Jon Bon Jovi. Cary Elwes and jD are the bad guys (2005)
jD created the character and played it in a SUNKIST PISTACHIO NUT COMMERCIAL. It went on to win Best Commercial in the commercial section of the Cannes Film Festival (2005)
The Strand Venice: jD played a talent agent in this ensemble web series created, directed and executive produced by Dan Myrick (co-creator & co-director of The Blair Witch Project) (2004)
Women in Film Awards: jD was the first ever MC for the first ever awards ceremony, which took place at The Sundance Film Festival in 2001.
jD was in several Independent movies no one has ever heard of and several theatre productions no one really cares about.
jD has been offered three reality TV series and turned all three down. He was, however, on The Osbournes. But not by choice. (The Annoying Neighbor episode. Yeah, that's jD & his friends) They did not know nor give them permission to use them in the episode. Uber LA Attorney Bert Fields wanted them to sue due to it being a precedent setting case (use of voice) but they let it go.
jD has been interviewed on TV & radio shows, including:
E!, Showtime, Comedy Central, IFC Bravo, MTV, PBS, The Mike & Juliet Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, Bizz Buzz, Movie Talk, MTV, The Bob & Tom Show, The Joey Reynolds Show on WOR