Sam Esmail (born September 17, 1977) is an American screenwriter, film and television director, and television producer. He is best known as the creator of the television series Mr. Robot (2015–present).
Esmail was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is of Egyptian descent. His family is Muslim.
While attending New York University, he worked in its computer lab before being put on academic probation for an incident there. After graduating from that college’s Tisch School of the Arts, he went on to a Master of Fine Arts degree from the AFI Conservatory.
In 2008, Esmail’s first feature film screenplay, Sequels, Remakes & Adaptations, landed on the Black List, a yearly survey of over 600 production companies and film executives of the “most liked” motion picture screenplays not yet produced. In 2014, his feature length directorial debut, Comet was released by IFC.
He is the creator, executive producer and head writer of the technological thriller television series Mr. Robot, which premiered on USA Network on June 24, 2015. Esmail originally envisioned the project as a feature film.
In a BBC interview, Esmail explained the influence of his heritage on his work, “I tend to write about alienated figures who can’t connect with others and who are kind of distant from American culture. It’s not something I am consciously doing but it’s something that happens to be infused inside me because of my experience growing up in America.”
His younger brother, Samer Esmail, works with him as a post production assistant.
2014: Comet Directorial debut
2014: Mockingbird Story by, with Bryan Bertino
2015–present: Mr. Robot Creator; writer (10 episodes), director (15 episodes)
|2014||Los Angeles Film Festival||Best Narrative Feature||Comet||Nominated|
|2015||2015 SXSW Film Audience Award||Audience Award for Best Episodic||Mr. Robot||Won|
|25th Gotham Independent Film Awards||Breakthrough Series – Long Form||Won|
|2015 American Film Institute Awards||Television Programs of the Year||Won|
|2016||20th Satellite Awards||Best Drama Series||Nominated|
|2016 Writers Guild Awards||Best Drama Series||Nominated|
|Best New Series||Won|
|73rd Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Drama||Won|
|6th Critics’ Choice Television Awards||Best Drama Series||Won|
|68th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Drama Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Nominated|