Michael Tolkin

Michael L. Tolkin (born October 17, 1950) is an American filmmaker and novelist. He has written numerous screenplays, including The Player (1992), which he adapted from his novel of the same name (1988),[2] and for which he received the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay (1993) and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Return of the Player, followed (2006).[3]

Michael Tolkin
Born (1950-10-17) October 17, 1950
New York City, New York, United States
Alma materMiddlebury College (B.A., 1974) [1]
OccupationWriter, film director

In 2018, Tolkin served as co-creator of the miniseries Escape at Dannemora with Brett Johnson.[4] The series was based on the real-life 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape that led to a massive manhunt for two escape convicts in upstate New York.


Tolkin was born to a Romanian and Ukrainian Jewish family[5][6] in New York City, New York, the son of Edith (née Leibovitch), a studio executive and film industry lawyer, and the late comedy writer Mel Tolkin.[7]

He is a 1974 graduate of Middlebury College.[1]

Tolkin lives in Los Angeles with his wife, author Wendy Mogel, and their two daughters, Susanna and Emma.[8]



  • The Player (1988)
  • Among the Dead (1993)
  • Under Radar' (2003)
  • The Return of the Player (2006)[9]
  • NK3 (2017)


  1. "Middlebury College Alumni Honor Roll", Middlebury College website
  2. Tolkin, Michael, "The Player", 1st ed., New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87113-228-1
  3. Tolkin, Michael, The Return of the Player, 1st ed., New York : Grove Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8021-1801-1
  4. Andreeva, Nellie (June 2, 2017). "Paul Dano Joins Benicio del Toro & Patricia Arquette As Ben Stiller's Prison Break Limited Series Gets Showtime Green Light". Deadline. Deadline. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  5. Rosenman, Howard (March 20, 2019). "Hollywood Writer Michael Tolkin on Judaism, Awards and Global Warming". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  6. Tablet Magazine: "Michael Tolkin’s American Midrash" by Michael Lee retrieved June 2, 2017
  7. Filmreference.com
  8. New York Times: "So the Torah Is a Parenting Guide?" by Emily Bazelo October 1, 2006
  9. Allen Barra "Novel: L.A.'s Scariest Product," American Heritage, Nov./Dec. 2006.

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