Craig Pearce | Creator, Executive Producer, Writer | Pistol on FX
Creator / Executive Producer / Writer
Craig Pearce studied acting at Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art. As an actor, he was part of Baz Luhrmann's theater ensemble team Six Years Old. There, he collaborated with Luhrmann and other company members to develop an extended version of Strictly Ballroom. This acclaimed stage production became the catalyst for the 1992 film version, which Pearce co-wrote with Luhrmann.
Strictly Ballroom won eight Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Screenplay. It was nominated for five BAFTAs®, including Best Screenplay, won the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Best Screenplay and the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival.
Pearce and Luhrmann then adapted William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, broke box office records for Shakespeare worldwide. Among its many nominations and awards, it won four BAFTAs, including Best Screenplay, and the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Pearce and Luhrmann also co-wrote the screenplay for Moulin Rouge. The film was the opening night in-competition movie at the Cannes Film Festival. Its many accolades include winning two National Board of Review Awards (Best Film), nine Golden Satellite Awards (nomination for Best Screenplay), three Golden Globes® (Best Film Musical or Comedy), GRAMMY®, Los Angeles Film Festival Award for Movie of the Year, five Australian Film Institute Awards, two American Film Institute Awards and numerous others. Moulin Rouge was also nominated for eleven BAFTAs, including Best Screenplay, eight Academy Awards®, notably Best Picture; and the 54th Annual Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
In 2010, Pearce’s screen adaptation of Charlie St. Cloud, starring Zac Efron, was released worldwide by Universal Studios. He then co-wrote with Luhrmann a screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which was a worldwide box office and critical success, going on to win two Oscars®, two BAFTAs and 13 AACTA Awards, including Best Screenplay. It also had the honor of opening the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2016, Pearce was honored with the Australian Writer's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, he completed his first major television project, serving as writer, executive producer and showrunner for TNT's Will, a 10-hour episodic drama about the lost years of William Shakespeare. Pearce then collaborated again with Luhrmann on Strictly Ballroom: The Musical for London’s West End. He recently co-wrote with Luhrmann on Elvis (starring Tom Hanks, Austin Butler and Olivia DeJonge).
A keen surfer, Pearce divides his time between Sydney, London and Costa Rica.