The Los Angeles Times profiles writer-director and Brooklyn Heights native Akiva Goldsman today. Goldsman, who grew up on State Street, was the writer behind landmark Hollywood flops Lost in Space and Batman and Robin. What a difference a decade makes for this former neighbor: he’s now riding a wave of success that began with A Beautiful Mind.
Los Angeles Times: He recently directed the season premiere of the Fox series “Fringe” and is now lining up his feature-film directorial debut. And despite having written what is perhaps the most reviled comic-book movie adaptation of all time, he’s aggressively pursuing his childhood love of superheroes as the producer of five movies based on Marvel or DC comic books.
On closer inspection, comic-book fantasy and dark psychology are the touchstone themes of Goldsman’s career. It’s a tandem that might make a therapist smirk or reach for their notepad, and the same goes for the 47-year-old’s memories of his childhood. The writer is the son of child psychologists Mira Rothenberg and S. Tev Goldsman, and the nature of his youth was a key reason that Grazer used the writer for “A Beautiful Mind.”
“I grew up, essentially, in one of the very first group homes for what was then termed as ’emotionally disturbed children’ — these were days when, unimaginably, childhood schizophrenia and autism were lumped together in the same population,” Goldsman said. “My parents founded this home, and I grew up there in this brownstone in Brooklyn Heights and my peers were, um, crazy. My definition of sanity is very labile; it’s flexible and open.”