The Info List - Randall Wallace

Randall Wallace is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and songwriter who came to prominence by writing the screenplay for the historical drama film Braveheart (1995). His work on the film earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and a Writers Guild of America Award in the same category. He has since directed films such as The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), We Were Soldiers (2002), Secretariat (2010) and Heaven Is for Real (2014).

Early life

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, he lived in Memphis and Henderson County, Tennessee before moving to Virginia. Wallace began writing stories at the age of seven. He graduated from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia and attended Duke University, where he studied Russian, religion, and literature and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He put himself through a graduate year of seminary by teaching martial arts. Wallace holds a black belt in karate.[1]


After managing an animal show at Nashville’s Opryland, Wallace moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in singing and songwriting. He began writing short stories, novels and scripts for movies. Wallace was taken under the wing of leading television producer Stephen J. Cannell and spent several years writing for television in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He gained recognition and commercial success by penning the screenplay for Braveheart (1995), which was inspired by a trip to Scotland to learn more about his Scottish roots. While there, he discovered the legend of the medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace; he is not, however, related to William Wallace in any way. Braveheart became Wallace’s first screenplay to be produced, after drawing the interest of director and star, Mel Gibson. It ended up as one of the most successful films of 1995, earning the Academy Award for Best Picture and Academy Award for Best Director, with three additional wins. It further garnered another five Academy Award nominations, one Golden Globe Award and four BAFTA Awards.

Wallace made his directorial debut with his own screenplay in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons and Gérard Depardieu. Shortly after, he wrote the screenplay for Pearl Harbor (2001), directed by Michael Bay and starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale.

This was followed by Wallace’s second film as director We Were Soldiers (2002). Moved by its starkly honest account of a singular battle in the Vietnam War, Mel Gibson re-teamed with Wallace to star in the film. Wallace trained with career soldiers at U.S. Army Ranger School in order to understand the motivation of his characters.[citation needed]

Wallace directed Disney’s Secretariat (2010), the true story of the racehorse that won the Triple Crown in 1973. The film chronicled the struggles and courage of owner Penny Chenery-Tweedy, portrayed by Academy Award-nominated actress Diane Lane. Wallace also wrote the end title song, It’s Who You Are, which was released with the Secretariat soundtrack.[2]

Wallace's next directorial project was the religious drama Heaven Is for Real (2014), based on the story of the same name; the film was released on April 16, 2014.

The same year, it was announced that Wallace was developing a movie about the Vikings with Mel Gibson.[3] As of 2018, this project is still in development.[4]

Other work

Wallace is also the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels and the lyricist of the acclaimed hymn "Mansions of the Lord", originally written for We Were Soldiers and performed as the recessional for President Ronald Reagan's national funeral.

In 2008, Wallace wrote several songs with singer/songwriter Richard Marx. One of those songs, "Flame In Your Fire", appears on Marx's album Emotional Remains.

In interviews he has acknowledged a deep commitment to Christianity, which he credits as an influence on his approach to filmmaking.[1][5]

He appeared in the seventh season of HBO’s hit comedy series Entourage as himself.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Wallace is the founder of Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity and the father of two sons. In 1999, he formed his own company, Wheelhouse Entertainment, which is focused on creating entertainment for worldwide audiences based on the classic values of love, courage and honor.

Wallace was the speaker at the Fellowship Foundation National Prayer Breakfast on 3 February 2011.[6]

Wallace also served as the commencement speaker at the Liberty University graduation ceremony on May 14, 2011.[7]


Year Film Director (Executive)
Writer Actor Notes
1995 Braveheart
Won—Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
1996 Dark Angel
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask
2001 Pearl Harbor
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
2002 We Were Soldiers
The Rookie
Texas Oilman
2010 Secretariat
2014 Heaven Is for Real
2020 The Resurrection
Sequel to The Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson


  1. ^ a b Stagg, Elizabeth (Winter 2005). "Seeking the Holy Among the Sacred and Profane". Divinity Online Edition. Four (2). Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  2. ^ Director Randall Wallace on "Secretariat": An in-depth interview, CBN.com.
  3. ^ "Mel Gibson Talks 'Untitled Viking Movie,' 'Machete' Sequel and More at 'Get The Gringo' Premiere". iamROGUE.com. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  4. ^ "With the success of 'Hacksaw Ridge,' is it time for Hollywood to 'get over' Mel Gibson's past?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  5. ^ David, Eric (2006-10-18). "Hero Maker". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  6. ^ Wallace, Randall (2011-02-03). "Fellowship Foundation National Prayer Breakfast". C-Span Video Library. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  7. ^ Wallace, Randall (2011-03-28). "Filmmaker Randall Wallace to speak at Commencement". Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

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