Gale Anne Hurd, known as the “First Lady of Sci-Fi,” is a producer of Academy Award-winning films and Emmy-winning programs that shatter box office and ratings records.
Climbing the ladder from Roger Corman’s executive assistant at New World Pictures to head of marketing for the company, Hurd’s producing career launched when she produced and co-wrote The Terminator in 1984. Recognized by the Library of Congress, which features The Terminator in its esteemed National Film Registry, the film received worldwide critical and commercial acclaim. The Terminator has since spawned four film sequels as well as a television series.
This success was quickly followed by Aliens, which received seven nominations and two Academy Awards, and the Oscar winning films The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and The Ghost and the Darkness. In their years of release, Terminator 2 (1991) and Armageddon (1998) were the world’s top grossing films. Hurd’s additional feature credits include The Incredible Hulk, Tremors, Dante’s Peak, Æon Flux, The Punisher, Dick, The Hulk and The Waterdance, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and Best Screenplay, as well as the Audience and Screenplay Awards at the Sundance Film Festival.
Hurd led Valhalla’s first foray into serial television by developing and producing AMC’s hit drama, The Walking Dead, which is the first series in history to reign as the most watched television drama in the 18 – 49 year old demographic for six consecutive years. The Walking Dead has earned many awards and nominations, including two Emmys for Prosthetic Makeup, Best Sound Editing from the MPSE, nineteen Saturn Awards, including ‘Best Cable Series’ and ‘Best Presentation on Television’, two American Film Institute ‘TV Program of the Year’ awards, an Eddie from the American Cinema Editors, Critics’ Choice Award for ‘Most Bingeworthy Show’ and ‘Best Guest Performer’, an MTV Movie & TV Award for ‘Best Villain’, six People’s Choice Awards and the WGA’s New Media Writing Award. The Walking Dead is currently airing its ninth season.
Hurd also serves as an Executive Producer of AMC’s companion series, Fear the Walking Dead, which received a two season order prior to its debut and set a new ratings record for a cable premiere with 13.3 million viewers. The series won the 2015 distinction ‘Show You’re Most Excited to See’ from E! Online. Fear the Walking Dead is currently in production in Austin on its fifth season. In addition, Gale Anne Hurd serves as a Consulting Producer on AMC’s top-rated talk show, Talking Dead, which is the second highest rated basic cable show on Sunday nights, behind only The Walking Dead.
Hurd’s company, Valhalla Entertainment, has an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop new television and digital programs. Valhalla’s newest series, Lore, based on Aaron Mahnke’s ‘Best of 2016’ podcast of the same name, is currently streaming its second season on Amazon. The company is actively developing a number of projects set up at various networks, including NBC and EPIX. Valhalla also produces exceptional television movies, such as The Wronged Man, starring Oscar winner Mahersahla Ali, Julia Ormond and Chandler Riggs, and Last Man Standing, starring Catherine Bell, Mekhi Phifer, and Anthony Michael Hall.
Valhalla Entertainment has also produced three PBS documentaries, including True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers and Choctaw Code Talkers.
Valhalla’s latest Native American documentary, MANKILLER, which examines the life of the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller, aired nationally on PBS for Women’s History Month. MANKILLER has screened in over 30 film festivals around the world, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, DOC NYC, Mill Valley, Austin Film Festival, imagineNATIVE in Canada, Winda Film Festival in Australia, and Northern Wave in Iceland. It also won ‘Best of the Fest’ at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, ‘Best Editing’ at the United Nations Association Film Festival, the ‘Spirit Award’ at Bozeman International, and ‘Best Documentary Feature’ at Maoriland in New Zealand, Rome International and Tulsa American.
On their film slate, Gale Anne Hurd and Valhalla Motion Pictures recently released new horror feature, Hell Fest, with CBS Films. The film was directed by Gregory Plotkin, who also directed Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and was the editor on Oscar-nominated Get Out and Happy Death Day. The cast includes Amy Forsyth (The Path, Rise), Reign Edwards (MacGyver, Snowfall) and Bex Taylor-Klaus (Scream). Hell Fest premiered through Lionsgate on September 28, 2018.
To add to their diverse portfolio, Hurd and Valhalla created a six-issue mini-series comic book, The Scourge, for Aspen Comics, written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Eric Battle, as well as a four-issue comic book mini-series ANTI for 12 Gauge Comics written by Peter Calloway and drawn by Brian Stelfreeze. Dead Man’s Run, created for Aspen Comics by Greg Pak, one of the world’s leading comic creators, rounds out Valhalla’s comic publications.