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Virgil Williams

co-writer Mudbound;

MUDBOUND marks Virgil Williams’ first feature film as screenwriter. Williams has an extensive resume in television, having served as writer and producer on such acclaimed shows as ER, THE CHICAGO CODE and 24. Most recently, Williams wrote and executive produced for six seasons of the long running hit CBS show CRIMINAL MINDS. Earlier this year, he signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television to develop new series for broadcast, cable and streaming services. Williams was born and raised in Chicago, and often applies his experiences growing up as a bi-racial kid in a city with a notoriously long history of racial tension to his scripts. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Virgil Williams was born and raised in Chicago, and credits the “City of the Big Shoulders” with teaching him the grit and tenacity he’s used to create a career in Hollywood. Chicago’s a notoriously segregated city, with a long history of racial tension and Virgil learned early about the complexities of existing as bi-racial. A mix of Latino and black, Virgil attended private schools, which means he grew up with mostly wealthy, white kids. So, suffice it to say, his entire life has been about crossing color and class lines -- fitting in everywhere while fitting in nowhere.

Virgil began his career as a child actor working in commercials and on the legitimate stage. But when he was cast as an orphan in the feature film, THE BLUES BROTHERS he was bitten by the Hollywood-bug and his life was forever changed. After graduating from the prestigious Latin School of Chicago, Virgil went on to attend the University of Southern California with hopes of joining their film school, but a rejection from that program was his first taste of Hollywood reality. So while Virgil pursued a communications degree instead, he went out and got internships at both New Line Cinema and Orion Pictures and it was these experiences that really exposed him to the art and business of screenwriting.

After college, Virgil got a job as a Writer’s PA on Warner Bros. TV’s LOIS & CLARK THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, eventually landing his first pro writing gig on season one of the hit Fox show 24 where he was on staff and wrote episodes for the first three seasons. He then went on to write and produce on the final four seasons of legendary medical ensemble drama ER, as well as the critically acclaimed Fox drama, THE CHICAGO CODE. Between staffing seasons Virgil developed a TV series for Fox with producer Todd Black (Escape Artists) and Executive Producer Denzel Washington. While the series was never shot, working with the Oscar® winner and Hollywood icon only strengthened Virgil’s resolve.

Virgil just entered into a two-year overall deal with NBCUniversal. For the past six seasons, Virgil has been a writer and Co-Executive Producer of the long running CBS hit, CRIMINAL MINDS. But he recently left the show to pursue his own endeavors and just entered into a two- year overall deal with NBC/Universal TV.

My Panelists Sessions

Sunday, October 29
 

11:30am