John Lee Hancock, Director in The Founder

Director, writer and producer JOHN LEE HANCOCK (Director) has established himself as a distinctive voice in filmmaking with his ability to tell extraordinary stories on screen.  Most recently, Hancock directed “Saving Mr. Banks,” which tells the story of the relationship between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers, and Disney’s desire to adapt Travers’ “Mary Poppins” into a film.  The film includes Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, BJ Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Giamatti and Bradley Whitford.

Hancock’s other recent directorial project was Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment’s “The Blind Side,” which he both wrote and directed.  The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and garnered Sandra Bullock the Best Actress statuette for her portrayal of Leanne Tuohy.  The film, based on the 2006 book by Michael Lewis, told the life story of Baltimore Ravens left tackle, Michael Oher.

Born and raised in Longview, Texas, John Lee was surrounded by sports growing up.  His father played college football for Baylor and had a brief run with the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL.  Brothers Joe and Kevin played college football (at Vanderbilt and Baylor, respectively), with Kevin playing professionally for the Indianapolis Colts.  When it was time for John Lee to go to college, he focused on his studies entirely.  He graduated from Baylor with an English degree, as well as a law degree from Baylor’s school of Law.  Hancock practiced law for four years before he found himself drawn to the world of films.

In 1991, Hancock made his film debut with “Hard Time Romance,” a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of a rodeo, which he both wrote and directed.  In 1993 he wrote the screenplay for “A Perfect World,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner.  Some years later, Clint Eastwood asked Hancock to adapt the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”  The film came out in 1997, was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred Kevin Spacey and John Cusack.

In 2002, Hancock found himself back in the director’s chair for “The Rookie.”  The film told the true story of fellow Texan Jim Morris, who at age 35 made his Major League baseball debut as a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  The critically acclaimed film starred Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths and Brian Cox, and established Hancock as a director who knows how to translate a story from page to screen.

Hancock’s other credits include:  “Snow White and the Huntstman”, which he co-wrote with Evan Daugherty and Hossein Amini; “The Alamo,” which he directed and co-wrote with Les Bohem and Stephen Gaghan; and “My Dog Skip” for which he served as a producer.