Animal Kingdom S4 Production Bios

Production Bios

John Wells
Executive Producer

John Wells is one of the most prolific writers, directors and producers in television, film and for the stage. Over the past three decades, Wells has been a creative force behind some of primetime's biggest hit series, including ER, The West Wing and Third Watch. He currently serves as executive producer on the TNT drama series Animal Kingdom, starring Ellen Barkin, which premieres its fourth season in the Summer of 2019, and on Showtime's Emmy®-nominated Shameless, which completed production of its ninth season this October. He previously served as Executive Producer on the critically acclaimed Southland for TNT, the Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning Mildred Pierce for HBO and the Emmy® and Golden-Globe® winning China Beach.

Shows produced by John Wells have received over 300 Emmy nominations with 65 Emmy wins and six Peabody Awards. During its 15-year run, ER earned 124 Emmy nominations, the most in television history. A seven-time Writers Guild Award nominee, in 2007, Wells received the WGA's prestigious Paddy Chayefsky Television Laurel Award, given to writers who have advanced the literature of television and made outstanding contributions to the profession of television writers. In 2005, Wells was awarded the David Susskind Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America.

Wells also served as president of the Writers Guild of America, West from 2009-2011. He previously served as its president from 1999-2001 and was vital to the success of the 2001 MBA contract negotiations.

Previously, he directed Burnt featuring Bradley Cooper, and helmed the acclaimed August: Osage County, based on Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The film featured an all-star ensemble cast led by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and was nominated for two Academy Awards®. Wells also wrote and directed The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, which was his feature directorial debut. Previous feature production credits include: Carroll Ballard's acclaimed drama Duma; Peter Kominsky's White Oleander; Neil Jordan's The Good Thief; Andrzej Bartkowiak's Doom; and Michael Mayer's A Home at the End of the World. Additionally, Wells executive produced Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven and I'm Not There, Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo, Todd Graff's Camp, Fenton Bailey's Party Monster, Robert Altman's The Company, John Waters' A Dirty Shame, Mary Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page, Phyllis Nagy's Mrs. Harris, Tom Kalin's Savage Grace, Douglas McGrath's Infamous and Jordan Scott's Cracks.

Born in Alexandria, Virginia, and raised in Denver, Colorado, Wells graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He later earned a master’s degree in film and television at the University of Southern California, where he also serves on the school's Television Executive Advisory Council.

Eliza Clark 
Executive Producer

Eliza Clark has written and produced TNT’s Animal Kingdom (executive producer), CBS’s Extant, AMC’s The Killing and AMC’s Rubicon. She is a playwright whose work has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Orange County, among others. Her play, Quack, premiered at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, produced by Center Theater Group in the fall of 2018, and is currently running at The Alley in Houston, TX. Her play, Edgewise, was co-produced by Page 73 and The Play Company in 2010 and her play, Recall, was produced by Colt Coeur at The Wild Project in 2012. Her play, Future Thinking, was featured on The Kilroy’s List and was commissioned and produced by South Coast Repertory in spring 2016. Edgewise, Recall and Future Thinking are published by Samuel French.

David Michôd
Executive Producer

David Michôd is an Australian film director and screenwriter known for his films Animal KingdomThe Rover and War Machine

He is currently working on The King, starring Timothée Chalamet and Joel Edgerton for Netflix. Michôd is also co-writer and executive producer on Catch-22 which George Clooney and Grant Heslov will executive produce and direct for Hulu.

War Machine is a political satire based on Michael Hastings book The Operators and starred Brad Pitt. Netflix launched the film in 2017, making it was one of the company’s biggest productions to date.

Michôd wrote and directed The Rover, which stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. It premiered out of competition in the Midnight Screening section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. A24 released it in the U.S.

In January 2010, Michôd's debut feature film Animal Kingdom was awarded the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. The film won 10 Australian Film Institute awards from record-setting 18 nominations and was named Best First Film by the New York Film Critics Circle. It has also earned Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominations for supporting actress Jacki Weaver, as well as winning Best Supporting Actress awards from the Los Angeles and San Francisco film critics associations and the National Board of Review.

Michôd co-wrote (with director Spencer Susser) the feature film Hesher, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman which screened in Sundance 2010's U.S. competition.

The documentary Solo that Michôd co-directed with Jen Peedom, chronicles Andrew McAuley's ill-fated attempt to kayak from Australia to New Zealand. It received best documentary awards from the Australian Film Institute in 2009 and the Film Critics Circle of Australia and Australian Directors Guild in 2010.

He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and Victorian College of the Arts School of Film & Television. He was the editor of Australia's Inside Film magazine between 2003 and 2006. 

Liz Watts
Executive Producer

Liz Watts is an independent producer and founding partner of Porchlight Films, based in Sydney. 

Watts is currently producing with David Michôd for his feature The King, partnering with Plan B producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, written by David Michôd and Joel Edgerton, starring Timothée Chalamet for Netflix. Watts is also producing Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang, based on Peter Carey’s book of the same name and adapted by Shaun Grant, which stars George MacKay, Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam and Russell Crowe. 

Watts' recent work includes producing the feature film Mary Magdalene, with See-Saw’s Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, directed by Garth Davis, starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim for Universal International Pictures. Watts produced a six-part comedy series with creator Nakkiah Lui, Kiki and Kitty (2017) for ABC TV, which won two awards at 2018 Series Mania.  

In addition to the U.S. television adaptation of Animal Kingdom for TNT, Watts also executive produced The Kettering Incident (2015), an eight-part TV series for Foxtel; the feature film Jasper Jones (2017) directed by Rachel Perkins, The Hunter (2011, Daniel Nettheim, starring Willem Defoe), Lou (2010 Belinda Chayko, starring John Hurt) and Prime Mover (2009 David Caesar).

Watts' feature credits as producer include the feature film Animal Kingdom (2010, Directed by David Michôd, nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe in 2011), The Home Song Stories (2007, Directed by Tony Ayres), Little Fish (2005, Directed by Rowan Woods), Cannes and Sundance selected Jewboy (2005, Directed by Tony Krawitz) and Walking on Water, (2002 Directed by Tony Ayres).  Watts produced The Rover with writer/director David Michôd, which premiered as an Official Selection of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The film starred Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson and sold extensively worldwide.

Watts also produced German/Australian co-production Lore, directed by Cate Shortland, and Dead Europe, directed by Tony Krawitz, with Emile Sherman and Iain Canning. Both films premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.  Watts' other credits include two seasons of comedy series Laid (ABC TV, created by Marieke Hardy & Kirsty Fisher), Martha's New Coat (2003, SBS, directed by Rachel Ward), Delivery Day (2001, SBS, directed by Jane Manning); documentaries including Buried Country (2000, SBS); The Pitch (1998, ABC) and Island Style (1999, SBS). 

Watts's industry work includes serving on the board for the Sydney Film Festival (2005-2008) and as vice president of the MetroScreen board (2005-2011). She most recently served on the Board for the South Australian Film Corporation (2013-2018). Watts was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011 and has served with various industry awards and juries, including the Berlin Film Festival 2016 Generation Jury and the Sydney Film Festival 2015 International Competition Jury.