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Tom Epperson

Tom Epperson

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Malvern, Arkansas, USA Profession: screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In tandem with his boyhood neighbor Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson has written a number of screenplays, both produced and unproduced. The duo first met and befriended one another in Malvern, Arkansas. After earning both an undergraduate and graduate degree in English at the University of Arkansas, Epperson suggested that the pair try their luck in New York. Staying only ten hours in The Big Apple, the twosome headed West to Hollywood where they marked time writing scripts and taking meetings. Thornton quickly developed a reputation as the more volatile member of the team, often storming out on producers.The team had their first taste of fame with the critically-praised "One False Move" (1992). A violent character study-cum-road picture, it was well-directed by Carl Franklin and provided Thornton with a showy role as an ex-con. Critics generally found favor with the writers' delicate handling of interracial matters, but some faulted the script's structure. Despite this success d'estime, it was four years before another of their scripts was produced."A Family Thing" (1996) originated as an idea of actor Robert Duvall: what would happen to a man in his 60s who discovered his mother wasn't what he...

In tandem with his boyhood neighbor Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson has written a number of screenplays, both produced and unproduced. The duo first met and befriended one another in Malvern, Arkansas. After earning both an undergraduate and graduate degree in English at the University of Arkansas, Epperson suggested that the pair try their luck in New York. Staying only ten hours in The Big Apple, the twosome headed West to Hollywood where they marked time writing scripts and taking meetings. Thornton quickly developed a reputation as the more volatile member of the team, often storming out on producers.

The team had their first taste of fame with the critically-praised "One False Move" (1992). A violent character study-cum-road picture, it was well-directed by Carl Franklin and provided Thornton with a showy role as an ex-con. Critics generally found favor with the writers' delicate handling of interracial matters, but some faulted the script's structure. Despite this success d'estime, it was four years before another of their scripts was produced.

"A Family Thing" (1996) originated as an idea of actor Robert Duvall: what would happen to a man in his 60s who discovered his mother wasn't what he thought and that he was part-black. Epperson and Thornton developed the idea and crafted a warm, gentle comedy-drama, helped immensely by the presence of Duvall, James Earl Jones as his long-lost brother and relative unknown Irma P Hall as a wise elderly relative. That same year, the duo also scripted the muddled made-for-cable thriller "Don't Look Back" (HBO, 1996).

Each has also pursued other projects: Thornton won notice for his "Sling Blade" (1996) while Epperson went on to co-produce (with Gary M. Bettman) and co-write (with director Stefani Ames), the noirish "A Gun, a Car, a Blonde" (1997). Together, Epperson and Thornton have several projects in development, including biopics of musicians Merle Haggard and Otis Redding.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Malvern, AR
1963:
Met future screenwriting partner Billy Bob Thornton (date approximate)
:
Attended University of Arkansas, earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in English
1977:
With Thornton, decided to move to NYC; stayed ten hours
1977:
Moved to L.A.
:
Began writing screenplays with Thornton; meeting with producers and making puitches
1992:
Made feature screenwriting debut, "One False Move"; co-wrote with Thornton
1996:
With Thornton, wrote screenplay for "A Family Thing"
1996:
TV writing debut, the made-for-cable film "Don't Look Back"; also served as co-executive producer
1997:
Feature producing debut (as co-producer with Gary M Bettman), "A Gun, a Car, a Blonde"; also co-scripted with director Stefani Ames; shown in competition at the 1997 Slamdance Film Festival
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Education

University of Arkansas: Fayetteville , Arkansas -
University of Arkansas: Fayetteville , Arkansas -

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