Robert Mark Kamen

Robert Mark Kamen
Born The Bronx, New York, United States
Occupation Screenwriter
Years active 1981–present

Robert Mark Kamen is an American screenwriter best known as creator and co-creator of The Karate Kid, Transporter and Taken franchises.

Background and education

Kamen grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City.[1] He received a B.A. from New York University and a Ph.D in American Studies from The University of Pennsylvania.

Collaboration with Luc Besson

Kamen is a frequent collaborator of French writer, director and producer Luc Besson—his co-creator on The Fifth Element, The Transporter, and Taken. The two first worked together on the Natalie Portman and Jean Reno thriller The Professional. After the success of The Fifth Element, Besson invited Kamen to join him in his goal of creating a "mini-studio" in Europe, making "movies that would travel, international movies, you know, action movies."[2]


Kamen lives in New York, owns a vineyard in Sonoma, and commutes to work in Paris at Besson’s headquarters.[3]

Kamen is a Goju-Ryu karate practitioner.



  1. Peter Hartlaub, "Robert Mark Kamen established his roots in Hollywood. But his heart is in the hills of Sonoma, where he tends to his vineyard," San Francisco Chronicle, March 11, 2004.
  2. Shira Gotshalk, "The Script Assassin", Writers Guild of America, February, 2009.
  3. Shira Gotshalk, "The Script Assassin," Writers Guild of America, February, 2009.
  4. Maslin, Janet (1984-06-22). "SCREEN 'KARATE KID,' BANE OF BULLIES". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  5. Degen Pener, "Dealing with the Devil," Entertainment Weekly, April 11, 1997. (Co-star Brad Pitt told the magazine, "Kamen came in and with all of us basically wrote it"; Kamen explained, "I would write dialogue in the trailer and an hour later hear the actors saying the lines.")

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