John Lee Hancock, Jr. is an American writer, director, and producer who has received critical acclaim for directing the very successful sports movies- "The Rookie" (2002, starring
and Rachel Griffiths) and "
The Blind Side
" (2009, starring
and Tim McGraw).
He has also directed the historical comedy-drama "Saving Mr. Banks" (2013, starring
). While "The Blind Side", based on an ‘extraordinary true story’ has received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, "Saving Mr. Banks" tells the story of Pamela Lyndon Travers’s difficult negotiations with
over the adaptation of her novel "Mary Poppins" into a feature film. Hancock, a native Texan, was born on December 15, 1965 at Longview, Texas.
His father, John Lee Hancock, Sr. had a brief run with the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL. His brothers Kevin and Joe also played college football. Hancock graduated in English and pursued a degree in law from the Baylor University. He then worked as a freelancer for the European Press Association. He also served as a production coordinator, location scout, and assistant director, alongside being a member of the Fountainhead Theatre Company in Los Angeles. His dreams of entering the world of show business came true when he founded the Legal Aliens Theatre Company in Los Angeles, along with
, George Davis, and Bill Allen in 1991.
In the same year, he debuted in feature filmmaking and screenwriting with "Voyage Con Dios", also known "Hard Time Romance.” The year 1993 saw the first of his many collaborations with director Clint Eastwood, for the screenplay of the movie "A Perfect World.” He re-teamed with Eastwood in 1997 to write the on-screen adaptation of the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” In 1998, he created and wrote the story of the CBS drama series "L.A. Doctors", and in 2002, he directed Dennis Quaid in "The Rookie,” a film that brought him instant stardom. His next venture, the American war film “The Alamo" (2004), was highly unsuccessful at the box office and went on to become the second highest box-office bomb in movie history.
Five years later, he bounced back into the limelight with "The Blind Side", which scored highly in the box office and bagged an Oscar nomination. He delved into the fairy-tale genre as well and created "
" (2014). The greatest proponent of the "feel-good" movie, Hancock often weaves sentimental magic on screen and has established himself as a perpetrator of "happy" films. Like all other directors, he has tried to tap into the darker aspects of human consciousness occasionally, but these attempts have been largely unrewarded. Nevertheless, Hancock has a veritable fixture in Hollywood today, especially in the community catering exclusively to family films.