1953 – Born on the 30th of January in Fresno, California, USA,
1975 - Graduated from San Francicso State University with a degree in Cinema. He began his career as an editor of “Breaker! Breaker!” “Kingdom of the Spiders,” “Starhops,” “Below the Belt,” and other films.
1986 – He created the The Falcon and the Snowman and it hit the public’s interest.
1990 – He created Awakenings which was based on the renown Oliver Sacks book. This activity was nominated in 1991 both for an Oscar (Best Screenplay Adaptation) and for a WGA Award, and won a U.S.C. Scripter Award.
1993 - Zaillian created the screenplay for Jack the Bear, based on Dan McCall's novel, and for Searching for Bobby Fischer (aka Innocent Moves), which marked Zaillian's directorial debut. Fischer, based on a book by Fred Waitzkin, 1994.
1994 – He won the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival and an MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker.
- He was one of the co-writers who modified the TV show “Mission Impossible”.
1998 – He saw the making of “A Civil Action”, in which he served in the multiple roles of director, executive producer, and screenwriter. The fine cast included John Travolta and Robert Duvall. Because of this film, he earned a 1999 U.S.C. “Scripter Award.
- Zaillian also provided uncredited re-writes for Crimson Tide, Primal Fear, and Amistad.
2001 – He got nominated in Oscars in doing scripts for Hannibal (2001) and Gangs of New York (2002).
- His name appeared on the script for Sydney Pollack's political thriller “The Interpreter”.
- He directed and scripted an adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize award winning political novel “All the King's Men”.
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