Will Production Bios

Production Bios

Craig Pearce
Executive Producer/Showrunner

Craig Pearce studied acting at Australia's premier theatre school, the National Institute of Dramatic Art. As an actor he was part of Baz Luhrmann's theatre ensemble Six Years Old, established under the auspices of the Sydney Theatre Company. There, he collaborated with Luhrmann and other company members to develop an extended version of Strictly Ballroom. The production was acclaimed by critics and audiences and became the catalyst for the 1992 film version, which Pearce co-wrote with Luhrmann.

The film of Strictly Ballroom won eight Australian Film Institute awards, including Best Screenplay. It was also nominated for five BAFTAS, including Best Screenplay, and won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival and the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Best Screenplay.

Pearce and Luhrmann then adapted William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for the screen. The film, starring Leonard DiCaprio, broke box office records for Shakespeare worldwide. Among its many nominations and awards, it won the Alfred Bauer Award, the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and four BAFTAs, including Best Screenplay.

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, including best film; nine Golden Satellite awards, including a nomination for Best Screenplay; three Golden Globes®, including Best Film Musical or Comedy; a Grammy; the Los Angeles Film Festival award for Movie of the Year; five Australian Film Institute awards; two American Film Institute awards; and numerous other honors throughout the world. It was also nominated for eleven BAFTAs, including Best Screenplay; eight Academy Awards®, including Best Picture; and the 54th Annual WGA 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 The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton, which was a worldwide box office and critical success going on to win two Oscars®, two BAFTA's and 13 AFI awards, including Best Screenplay. It also had the honor of opening the 2013 Cannes film festival.

Pearce's latest collaboration with Luhrmann, Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, was his first musical theatre production. After a successful launch in Sydney in 2014, it went on to have seasons in Melbourne and Brisbane. It has since played in England and Canada and is slated to return to the UK for its West End debut in 2018.

In 2016, Pearce was honored with the Australian Writer's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is currently serving as writer, executive producer and showrunner for TNT's Will, about the lost years of young William Shakespeare.


Shekhar Kapur
Executive Producer/Director

Shekhar Kapur is an Indian film director, producer and storyteller. His directorial debut with cult Bollywood film Masoom won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie of the year, while Mr. India was declared one of the "100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time" on the centenary of Indian cinema. He has also made several documentaries and short films.

Kapur gained global recognition with the film Bandit Queen, a biopic of Indian bandit and politician Phoolan Devi, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie and Best Direction for that year. Premiering in the Directors' Fortnight section of the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, the film caused a furor, catapulting Kapur into international success.

Kapur introduced Cate Blanchett to the world in his two historical biopics of Queen Elizabeth – Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age – which were nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, winning two. It also won five BAFTA Awards, including Best Film.

Kapur co-created the hit West End show Bombay Dreams with Andrew Lloyd Webber and has been the recipient of the Indian National Film Award, the BAFTA Award, the National Board of Review Award and three Filmfare Awards.

Aside from his professional work in film, Kapur is one of India's foremost activists on environmental and water sustainability issues. He is also a digital media entrepreneur, founding Qyuki, one of India's most successful online platforms for young Indian creators.

Kapur is now directing and producing TNT's Will, a captivating series exploring the trials and tribulations, temptations and brilliance of the young genius Will Shakespeare.


Alison Owen
Executive Producer

Alison Owen, one of the U.K.'s leading film and television producers, earned an Academy Award® nomination and a BAFTA Award (Best Film) in 1998 for Shekhar Kapur's historical drama Elizabeth, which collected a total of seven Oscar® nominations and 12 BAFTA nominations. She worked closely with co-producer Debra Hayward, formerly head of film at Working Title Films, with whom she launched a new production outfit, Monumental Pictures, in late 2014. ITV Studios Global Entertainment recently acquired a minority stake in the company's television sector, exclusively distributing all of the company's television content.

Under her previous banner, Ruby Film and Television, Owen executive-produced Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing on the Edge, an original series for the BBC and Starz, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jacqueline Bisset, who won a Golden Globe® for the show. Owen also executive-produced the first series of Case Histories for the BBC and Masterpiece, starring Jason Isaacs. Other credits include the Emmy®-winning Temple Grandin, HBO's inspiring true-life drama that picked up seven Emmys®, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Outstanding Lead Actress and Outstanding Directing; Toast, a single film for the BBC that premiered internationally at the Berlin Film Festival; and Small Island, a period drama made for the BBC and Masterpiece, for which she picked up an International Emmy®. In addition to TNT's Will, Monumental Pictures is currently in production on Harlots, an eight-part returning series for ITV Encore and Hulu starring Samantha Morton.

For the big screen, Owen has served as executive producer on such films as Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep, and the adaptation of Jo Jo Moyes' bestseller Me Before You, starring Emelia Clarke and Sam Claflin. She is also executive-producing writer Tom Stoppard and director Justin Chadwick's adaptation of Deborah Moggach's bestselling historical romance Tulip Fever, due for release later in 2017, with Christoph Waltz, Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan and Judi Dench starring.

Owen's extensive credits also include Phillip Noyce's The Giver, with Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites and Meryl Streep; Disney's Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell; the award-winning Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell and Judi Dench; Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe (Official Selection, Cannes 2010); Sylvia, dired starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig; Proof, directed by John Madden and starring Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins and Jake Gyllenhaal; The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana; Brick Lane, starring Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik and Christopher Simpson; Edgar Wright's acclaimed zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, a major critical and commercial success; The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor; Steve Barron's Rat, starring Pete Postlethwaite; Menhaj Huda's Is Harry on the Boat?; and Philippa Collie-Cousins' Happy Now?

Earlier producer credits include the Working Title Film productions of Paul Weiland's Roseanna's Grave, Danny Cannon's The Young Americans, David Anspaugh's Moonlight and Valentino and her first feature, Peter Chelsom's Irish comedy Hear My Song, which earned Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and was chosen Best Comedy Film at the 1991 UK Comedy Awards. The film also earned Owen a nomination as Most Promising New Producer from the Producers Guild of America.

Monumental Pictures is set to produce a slew of commercial, high-profile projects including How to Build a Girl, based on the best selling novel by Caitlin Moran, and Frog Music, by Academy Award-nominated writer Emma Donoghue.


Debra Hayward
Executive Producer

Debra Hayward launched Monumental Pictures with long-time friend and producing partner Alison Owen in September 2014. Prior to that, as head of film at Working Title Films, Hayward served as an executive producer for many of the company's successful feature films. Monumental Pictures has recently moved into television production, with Hayward serving as executive producer on TNT's Will and ITV's Harlots. In addition, she recently executive-produced on the third installment of the Bridget Jones franchise, Bridget Jones's Baby.

In 2012, Hayward won the Golden Globe® for Best Picture: Musical or Comedy for Les Misérables, which also earned her an Oscar® nomination for Best Picture. Hayward's extensive credits include such acclaimed films as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Senna, Frost/Nixon, Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Atonement, United 93, Nanny McPhee, Pride & Prejudice, Wimbledon, Love Actually, Ned Kelly, About a Boy, Bridget Jones' Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and The Borrowers. 

Amongst other projects, Hayward is currently working on a feature adaptation of Caitlin Moran's How To Build a Girl, as well as a film version of the musical Cats, which will reunite her with Les Misérables director Tom Hooper. Monumental Pictures also recently announced Anne, the eight-part television adaptation of Anne of Green Gables from Breaking Bad alum Moira Walley Becket.


Vince Gerardis
Executive Producer

Vince Gerardis formed a management-production banner designed to represent, package and sell authors' properties into film, TV and ancillary or derivative exploitation. 

In 2004, Gerardis signed a two-year first-look producing deal with Dreamworks. Under his production banner Startling, he is co-exec producer on the renowned Game of Thrones, HBO's most successful series of all time, based on the series by George R.R. Martin. Gerardis also packaged Flash Forward, based on the book by Robert J. Sawyer, written and directed by David Goyer and co-written by Brannon Braga.

Howard Braunstein
Executive Producer

Howard Braunstein from Howard Braunstein Films, Ltd., is a two-time Emmy® nominee. He has produced more than 120 television films and six miniseries for television. His first feature film credit is The Informant!, starring Matt Damon and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. Recent projects on which he has been involved include the forthcoming television series Will for TNT, about the early life of William Shakespeare; the one-hour series The Client List, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, for Lifetime Television; Certain Prey, based on the bestselling series of crime novels by author John Sandford and starring Mark Harmon for USA Network; Aaliyah: Princess of R&B and The Memory Keeper's Daughter, both for Lifetime Television, the latter earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Movie Made for Television; the multiple Emmy-nominated Elvis, a CBS Television miniseries event starring Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the title role of the legendary King of Rock & Roll; First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep for ABC Television; and two movies for A&E, The Rosa Parks Story, a winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Television Movie, featuring Angela Bassett in the title role, and The Brooke Ellison Story, directed by the late Christopher Reeve.


Louise Rosager
Executive Producer

Louise Rosager is an executive producer and writer of scripted television. She is also an expert in the life and times of William Shakespeare, and speaks at conferences on the subject internationally. She recently co-founded Warriors for Peace Theatre, a non-profit organization helping war veterans find catharsis and support through studying and performing Shakespeare's works.