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Peter Berg      

Writer, Director, Producer and Actor, FILM 45

Peter Berg is a successful writer, director, producer and actor, making his feature film directorial debut (from his own original screenplay) on the cult favorite 'Very Bad Things', before going on to direct 'Friday Night Lights', 'The Rundown', 'The Kingdom', 'Battleship' and 'Lone Survivor'. Most recently Peter helmed critically acclaimed films 'Deep Water Horizon' and 'Patriots Day'. In addition to features, Peter’s credits include the series 'Friday Night Lights' and HBO’s current series 'The Leftovers' and 'Ballers'. Peter’s unscripted work includes '30 for 30: Kings Ransom', the HBO series 'ON Freddie Roach' and 'State of Play', as well as History’s 'The Warfighters'.

Berg was born in New York City, New York. He is the son of Sally and Laurence "Larry" Berg. Berg's father was Jewish and his mother Christian. He is the cousin of writer H. G. Bissinger, whose book Friday Night Lights provides the basis for the film and TV series of the same name.

His mother co-founded a youth group named Catalog for Giving and worked at a psychiatric hospital when Berg was growing up.

He has a younger sister, Mary. After graduating from The Taft School in 1980, Berg attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he majored in theater arts and theater history. He graduated in 1984, and in 1985 moved to Los Angeles to pursue his film career.

Berg put his acting aspirations on hold when he first arrived in Los Angeles, choosing instead to learn about the film business as a production assistant. In 1992, Berg gained recognition for playing a World War II soldier in the film A Midnight Clear. In 1998, Berg made his feature directorial debut with Very Bad Things, a black comedy starring Jon Favreau, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, Daniel Stern, and Leland Orser.

The film, which was shown at the Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals, received mixed critical reception. In 2000, he created Wonderland, an edgy dramatic television series set in an asylum. While the ABC show received rave reviews and garnered a cult following, it failed to deliver ratings and was quickly canceled.

Berg in 2003 directed The Rundown. Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott, the Berg-helmed action comedy received mixed reviews from critics and disappointed at the box office, only grossing 80 million of its reported 85 million budget. In 2004, Berg began work on his third directorial effort, Friday Night Lights, a football film based on the New York Times bestseller written by Buzz Bissinger.

In 2006, Berg developed and became executive producer of NBC’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning drama Friday Night Lights, based on the novel and film of the same name.

Berg followed up in 2007 with The Kingdom, a Michael Mann-produced political thriller set in Saudi Arabia, starring Academy Award winners Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper, also with Jennifer Garner whom Berg met when he appeared in a two-part episode of Alias where he played Garner's ex-boyfriend. Berg’s film Hancock, starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman, was one of the biggest grossing films of 2008.

Berg directed the Hulu.com commercial featuring Alec Baldwin, which both The New York Times and Time magazine named best spot of Super Bowl XLIII.

In 2009, Berg directed a two-hour pilot movie for a Fox television series Virtuality. Even though the show was not picked up for a full season, the pilot was released on DVD exclusively through Best Buy. Berg also directed the ESPN documentary "Kings Ransom" in 2009. Berg also wrote the 2010 film The Losers.

Berg also directed the 2012 science-fiction/action film Battleship, and is developing a sequel to Hancock, the film adaptation of Marcus Lutrell's book Lone Survivor, and a live-action version of the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

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