Gerson (right) with his frequent collaborator Robert L. Baird (left)
Mondays are sucky enough, but this news sucks even harder.
As reported by multiple sources, Big Hero 6 co-writer Daniel Gerson has died. According to his family, he passed away this Saturday at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with brain cancer. He was 49.
You may not have heard of him before, but you may have seen the films he worked on.
Gerson was raised as a third-generation New Yorker on the Upper West Side. He attended Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, and then went to Cornell University. He would eventually receive his Masters degree from NYU film school.
After he began his career writing for shows like ABC’s Something So Right and YTV/ABC Family’s Big Wolf on Campus, he entered the world of animation as a co-writer on Monsters Inc. with Andrew Stanton. While not exactly credited for the screenplays, he—and his future screenwriting partner Robert L. Baird, who he met in 1998—would contribute material as assistants to a number of other films like Chicken Little, Cars, Curious George (2006), Open Season, Meet the Robinsons, and Up.
Gerson and Baird would later make their first screenwriting collaboration (with Dan Scanlon) on Monsters University. Then of course, the duo would later write Big Hero 6 with Jordan Roberts. On top of all that, he also did a few voice roles. He voiced minor characters in both Monsters films, and he was the desk sergeant in Big Hero 6.
Gerson, a BAFTA winner and three-time Annie Award nominee, had this to say about the challenges of writing a prequel in a 2013 interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“We had never written a prequel, and when we looked at the prequels out there, there weren’t that many, and the ones that were out there weren’t great. The challenge was, how do we get people to come along on this journey even though they know where we’re ending up? … If we’ve done our job, the audience will get so invested it’s still going to be somewhat of a surprise.”
His final work was on Inside Out, where he contributed material with Baird. He was co-writing the screenplay for Cars 3 at the time of his death.
He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Beau Stacom; their children Claire and Asher; his parents Mary-Joan and Charles; his sister Jessica and her children Daisy and Henry.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family at this time.
What was your favorite film that Daniel Gerson worked on?
Edited by: Kelly Conley