A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema, Richard Outten earned his MFA from USC’s prestigious Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program in 1984. During his twenty-eight years as a writer in the entertainment industry, Outten has scripted projects for every major Hollywood studio, including five screenplays at Warner Bros, three at Paramount Pictures and two each for 20th Century Fox and the Walt Disney Company.
Outten’s most recent writing credit is Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the sequel to the 2008 hit film Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D. Released by Warner Bros. in 2012, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island grossed $335 Million at the box office worldwide during its initial theatrical run. The film stars Michael Caine, Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens and Luis Guzman. Journey 2 originated from an original screenplay written by Outten that was purchased by Walden Media and New Line Cinema to serve as the basis for the Warner Bros. sequel.
Shortly after graduating from film school, Outten was hired by Oscar-winning director Franklin J. Schaffner to work on the script for Lionheart, an historical epic starring Gabriel Byrne and Eric Stoltz. Francis Coppola, who was originally slated to direct the film, served as Executive Producer. Outten then shared screenplay credit (with Chris Columbus) on Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, an award-winning animated film based on the classic comic strip by Winsor McCay.
Early in his career, Outten’s talent as a screenwriter came to the attention of Steven Spielberg, who selected him to work on the script for the Spielberg-produced Gremlins 2, which resulted in an exclusive writing deal at Warner Bros. Among the screenplays he wrote for the studio was a sequel to The Goonies, which remains unproduced. Following his contract at Warner Bros., Outten penned a number of scripts at Paramount, including the sequel to Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Over the years, Outten has worked with a wide range of accomplished producers such as Gale Anne Hurd, Joel Silver, Jon Jashni, Jeffrey Boam, Peter Guber, Doug Wick and Carlton Cuse.
While his primary focus has been motion pictures, Outten has also written for television. He was a writer on the critically-acclaimed and cult favorite Fox TV series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Other TV work includes the made-for-pay-cable movie Last Rites, starring Randy Quaid and Embeth Davidtz, which premiered on Starz/Encore!, a pilot for CBS and scripts for Amazing Stories and Tales From the Crypt.
Outten and Producer Guy Riedel (Wedding Crashers, Super 8) have optioned the rights to Ben Mikaelsen’s acclaimed novel, Petey, to adapt for the screen, which Outten will direct. He is currently collaborating with internationally-renowned underwater explorer and treasure preservationist Barry Clifford on a fictional adventure based on Clifford's real-life experiences.
Richard Outten is a "Lifetime" member of the Writer's Guild of America and a longtime resident of Carmel, California. An avid sailor, he is a past Commodore of the Stillwater Yacht Club in Pebble Beach.