Los Angeles—Olatunde Osunsanmi has always had a penchant for the paranormal. His directorial debut in 2009, The Fourth Kind, starring Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), was a Universal Pictures theatrical release based on his original screenplay about the alien abduction phenomenon. A cult classic, the film’s success established him as a true industry prodigy and a rising young director. Osunsanmi has since quietly built a list of horror movie and science fiction credits that denote some of the genre’s best work. His skill for being able to juxtapose emotion, existential angst, special effects and aliens has garnered him esteemed recognition amongst his sci-fi peers as one of Hollywood’s top science fiction directors. He is also one of the youngest!
The sci-fi director just recently completed tenure on the set of Falling Skies, a TNT series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, about a group of renegade citizens on a dramatic, action packed sojourn fighting an alien invasion in a post-apocalyptic world. A career coup, Osunsanmi was asked to co-executive produce the fifth and final season, as well as direct singular episodes including the series opener and the finale, after directing two complex episodes during season four. Osunsanmi’s passion for his work was on display weekly as the battle between humans and enemy aliens was waged for ten consecutive episodes on the small screen!
Osunsanmi has a trail of top TV science fiction credits to his claim. He has served as an episodic director for CBS’ Extant, starring Halle Berry and the CBS series Under the Dome based on the best-selling Stephen King novel of the same name. Additional productions with the Osunsanmi touch include an episode of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, and TNT’s The Last Ship, a “post-apocalyptic” series, based on the 1988 novel of the same name by William Brinkley. He has also directed an episode of the new hit Fox show, Minority Report, a sequel to the Steven Spielberg-directed movie, now starring Meagan Good.
The rising star has also been tapped to direct a feature film titled The Twisted, a thriller from Scott Free Productions’ new movie division, Ridley Scott Presents. Ridley Scott, whose credits include classic films Alien, Blade Runner, and Hannibal, will produce “The Twisted” alongside Giannina Scott and Colet Abedi. The Twisted is set in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, where strange things are happening to the children at an isolated orphanage.
Before directing The Fourth Kind, Osunsanmi started out as a production assistant and then went on to write Smokin’ Aces II for Universal Home Video. He is currently in development on his original idea Eden, a script he wrote to direct, which reunites him with the producer team behind The Fourth Kind. Eden is a modern day science fiction spin on the Underground Railroad legend, however instead of humans oppressing humans, it’s aliens oppressing humanity. He is also in development on Planet X with Cota Films and Vertigo produced by Michael Costigan and Roy Lee. Another film he has written to direct, Planet X chronicles three astronauts in a secret space program as they journey to investigate a previously unknown planet at the edge of our solar system.
Olatunde Osunsanmi is a first generation American of Nigerian descent. His parents traveled from Nigeria 43 years ago to live the American dream and his accomplishments are a part of that dream come true. Osunsanmi’s grandfather was the designated photographer for several various Nigerian presidents and dictators. The family believes that Osunsanmi’s love for the camera stems from him.
Osunsanmi wants the world to consider a life where aliens are no longer a secret. “One of the greatest mysteries of our time is whether or not we are alone,” explains Osunsanmi. “I can’t help but also ask the question that if we are being visited, who made the visitors?”
As sci-fi director Olatunde Osunsanmi continues to tackle the science behind the fiction with great bodies of work, perhaps we will all secure some answers.
Connect with director Olatunde Osunsanmi’s on Twitter @centerwillhold.