Michael Almereyda

Though his startlingly original work has remained largely unseen, the Kansas-born writer-director Michael Almereyda has consistently elicited complex, arresting performances from name actors and non-actors alike in a series of films where narrative has remained secondary to emotional and visual impact. After dropping out of Harvard, he moved to NYC and began writing screenplays, quickly securing an agent and soon after his first Hollywood job rewriting the unproduced "Mandrake the Magician" for Embassy Pictures. Almereyda provided the tongue-in-cheek screenplay for Steve de Jarnette's sci-fi action feature "Cherry 2000" (1988), starring Melanie Griffith as a female mercenary hired to bust into a 21st-century robot warehouse operated by psychos in what used to be the American Southwest. He then escaped the trouble surrounding his yet-to-be filmed first feature as director, "Twister" (1989), to go to Australia and collaborate with director Bruce Beresford on an early draft of what would eventually become "Total Recall" (1990).