Academy Award nominee Drew Goddard of Los Alamos with his wife Caroline Williams Goddard at a recent awards gala in California. Courtesy photo
- Academy Award Nominee Drew Goddard Of Los Alamos Prepares For Big Night
The world learned at 5:30 a.m., Jan. 18 that Drew Goddard of Los Alamos is nominated for an Academy Award.
His parents Dr. Laurence and Colleen Goddard were live streaming the show announcing the nominees at their home in Los Alamos.
“I just remember starting to scream and then we talked to Drew … he and his wife and daughters were all up watching the announcement in California … we were all feeling breathless,” Colleen said.
Drew is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Martian.
During an interview Saturday morning with the Los Alamos Daily Post, Colleen spoke about first noticing creative tendencies in her son when he was very young. He kept a tiny spiral notebook in his pocket, she said. Anytime he heard a word he didn’t know, saw interesting words on a sign or heard a song lyric or someone say something funny, Drew would pull out that notebook and jot it down.
“In the first grade he wrote a report on snakes,” Colleen said. “It started out as research but then he added his own comments to the report and I asked him if he was sure he was following the assignment. He said it was okay because he wanted to add to the report to make it more interesting.”
Drew, 40, wrote his first short story in second grade. It was about Spiderman. Colleen kept that story all these years and sent it to him about six years ago. His wife had it framed and it hangs in his office.
Drew met his wife Caroline Williams Goddard at a Writers Guild meeting. She was writing for the television show The Office at the time. The couple lives in the Los Angeles area with their daughters Harlowe, 5, and Tess, 2.
“Caroline is mainly a comedy writer and she and Drew enjoy collaborating and I think it’s really great that they each have their own genres,” Colleen said.
Drew graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1993. He enrolled in the University of Colorado at Boulder where he earned three degrees: English, Creative Writing and Film.
“He moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue his career. He started working as a production assistant,” Colleen said. “He would be getting coffee and running errands for people and all the time he would be writing and writing and writing.”
Drew wrote Six Feet Under, which was picked up and that really started his writing career, she said. He went on to write Cloverfield, the ending for World War Z, and together with John Sweden, Cabin in the Woods, which he also directed. He was a writer on television shows including Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias.
Colleen is a reading and writing teacher at Los Alamos Middle School. She visits Drew and his family in California at least every two months, she said, adding that he comes home to Los Alamos each Christmas and usually another time or two annually.
He has many friends in Los Alamos who, like him, are creative writers. During middle school Drew and a group of his friends including Nick Hoffman and Chris Grimes wrote a book of poetry called Monkey Tales from a Turkish Prison, Colleen said, adding that it was a very far out kind of creative anthology of poems they wrote together.
“Every year Drew, Nick and Chris would write our Christmas letter,” Colleen said. “They were just completely off the wall letters … many of the stories were not even true about family members. People began to really look forward to those letters.”
Colleen commends teachers at Los Alamos High School for the encouragement they gave her son in his writing. “Nancy Schick and Beth West were two of many teachers who really encouraged Drew,” she said. “Boulder also is a very good school for students interested in writing careers.”
Colleen and her husband attended UNM. During summers she helped her father who owned the Los Alamos Inn on Trinity Drive. Following graduation, she and Laurence moved to Houston where he attended medical school. Their sons Drew and Grant were born there. Grant, 39, owns Bikini Atoll Music Productions in Nashville.
Laurence graduated from medical school and the family moved to Los Alamos where their daughter Kelly was born. Kelly, 36, works in environmental policy for British Petroleum and lives in Baku Azerbaijam along the Caspian Sea.
One thing is certain, Colleen said, Drew’s entire family, all his friends and many former teachers will be glued to their television sets Sunday watching the Oscars.
Drew Goddard is an American film and television screenwriter, director and producer. He made his feature film directorial debut with the 2012 dark comedy horror-thriller The Cabin in the Woods. In 2015, he penned the film adaption of Andy Weir’s book The Martian, for which he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Goddard started his career as a staff writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, receiving a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for the former. In 2005, he joined J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot team, where he wrote for both Alias and Lost, winning—along with the Lost writing staff—the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Dramatic Series. In 2006, during its third season, Goddard became the co-executive producer of Lost.
Goddard wrote his first feature in 2008, Cloverfield, directed by Matt Reeves and produced by J.J. Abrams. Cloverfield made $168 million on a $25 million budget. Empire named it the fifth best film of 2008 and the film went on to win the year’s Saturn Award for “Best Science Fiction Film”.
Next came Goddard’s directorial debut, The Cabin in the Woods, which he co-wrote with Joss Whedon. The Cabin in the Woods was featured on Metacritic’s best films of 2012 list, in addition to earning a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film would eventually go on to win the year’s Saturn Award for “Best Horror or Thriller Film”, as well as garnering Goddard Saturn’s “Filmmaker Showcase Award”.
In 2013, Goddard—in addition to Matthew Michael Carnahan and Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof—wrote the screenplay for the film World War Z starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster. The film has grossed $540 million on a $190 million budget. As a result, in June 2013, Paramount announced that it was moving ahead with a sequel.
Goddard wrote the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s debut novel The Martian, initially with a view to directing it himself for 20th Century Fox, but was forced to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. The film was instead directed by Ridley Scott, and Goddard received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for The Martian.
In December 2013, Marvel officially announced that Goddard will be the executive producer and showrunner for a Daredevil TV series that will be produced by Marvel Television and broadcast on Netflix in 2015, while Sony Pictures also announced that Goddard will write and direct a Sinister Six film.
In May 2014, Goddard withdrew from showrunning duties on the Daredevil TV series. In February 2015, after the deal between Marvel and Sony to share the rights to Spider-Man was announced, it was reported that Goddard was in talks with Sony to helm the new Spider-Man reboot film set for release July 28, 2017. In May 2015, Goddard published an e-book novelization of the Daredevil TV series entitled “Daredevil – The Man Without Fear”.