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Gregory Widen

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Gregory Widen


Saddleback College

TV shows
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The Prophecy: The Screenplay, Backdraft: The Screenplay, Blood Makes Noise

The Prophecy, Highlander, Backdraft, The Prophecy II, Highlander II: The Quickening

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Gregory widen on the kurgan and clancy brown

Gregory Widen is an American screenwriter and film director. He is the creator of the Highlander film and television franchise.



A native of Laguna Beach, California, Gregory Widen is a former firefighter, NPR station host, and mountain-rescue team member.


While a film student at UCLA, he sold his script for Highlander (1986) while still an undergraduate. The film stars Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. Its tagline, "There can be only one" has gained popular culture infamy. The original movie became a cult classic, spawning four sequels and Highlander: The Series, tie-in novels and video games.


Widen worked as a firefighter for three years while still an undergraduate at UCLA. He witnessed a person being killed by an explosive backdraft, which became the basis for the screenplay he wrote for the movie Backdraft, directed by Ron Howard and starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Robert De Niro. Released in 1991, Backdraft (film) grossed $77,868,585 in the US (ranking 14th in box-office for 1991), and $74,500,000 in foreign markets. Backdraft received three Academy Award Nominations.

Backdraft (attraction) was created into a ride for Universal Studios Hollywood (opened 1992, closed 2010) and Universal Studios Japan where it is still active.

The Prophecy

In 1995, Widen wrote and directed the supernatural thriller The Prophecy starring Christopher Walken, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, and Viggo Mortensen. The film spawned four sequels: The Prophecy II (1998), The Ascent (2000), Uprising (2005) and Forsaken (2005).


His television writing includes scripts for Tales from the Crypt and Rescue 77.

Novel Blood Makes Noise

In 2013 he wrote the novel Blood Makes Noise.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Rooted in fact, this impressive first novel from screenwriter Widen (Highlander; Backdraft) charts the astonishing journey of the corpse of Eva “Evita” Perón (1919–1952). Early in the morning of November 23, 1955, Michael Suslov, a junior CIA officer attached to the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires, is summoned by Hector Cabanillas, Argentine éminence grise and government representative, to witness the removal of Evita’s body from the capital and into hiding. Less than a year later, Hector asks Michael to take the body out of Argentina to prevent Perónists from using it as a rallying point. After some personal misfortune, Michael manages to ship the corpse to Milan, where it’s laid to rest under a false name, but then Michael’s life swiftly unravels. Only when Hector reappears more than a decade later and asks Michael to return Evita to Argentina does Michael sense a chance of redemption. Widen’s atmospheric thriller, full of broken men in a broken country, succeeds in capturing the hold that Evita had over so many, even in death.

A committed traveler, his explorations have taken him to war-torn Somalia, Uzbekistan, Namibia, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the arctic island of Svalbard, Indonesia, and Argentina. He lives in Los Angeles and was married in 2016 in Spain.


  • Highlander (1986) writer
  • Also given credit for "characters" in various sequels
  • Weekend War (1988) teleplay writer, co-producer
  • Backdraft (1991) writer, cameo as "Engine Lieutenant"
  • Space Rangers (1993) writer
  • Tales from the Crypt: "Half-Way Horrible" (1993) teleplay writer, director
  • The Prophecy (1995) writer, director
  • The Prophecy II (1998) executive producer
  • Also given credit for "characters" in various sequels
  • Rescue 77 (1999) creator, writer, executive producer
  • Green Sails (2000) writer, co-executive producer
  • Blood Makes Noise (2013) novel
  • OtherLife (2017) writer
  • References

    Gregory Widen Wikipedia

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