James Wong is a Cantonese-American television series and film writer, producer, and director. His chance encounter with Glen Morgan in high school led to the formation of a historical duo that authored and produced a number of television episodes and films. He changed his degree from engineering to movies after seeing ‘Apocalypse Now.’ After college, he went straight into screenwriting. His collaboration with Morgan paid off handsomely, as the two embarked on a series of television writing, story editing, producing, and directing projects. The duo’s collaboration with American writer-producer-director Chris Carter resulted in one of their most successful ventures to date: the science fiction/supernatural TV series ‘The X-Files,’ for which they wrote several episodes in seasons one, two, and four. An $8 million agreement with 20th Century Fox Television, as part of which they conceived and produced the short-lived science fiction series ‘Space: Above and Beyond’ and supernatural drama series ‘Millennium,’ boosted their already-successful career. Aside from television, he has made a few successful pictures in Hollywood, including ‘Final Destination,’ ‘The One,’ ‘Final Destination 3’, ‘Dragonball Evolution,’ and ‘Black Christmas.’
Childhood and Adolescence
James ‘Jim’ Wong was born in Hong Kong on April 20, 1959. When he was ten years old, his family immigrated to the United States and resided in San Diego, California. He graduated from El Cajon Valley High School, where he met and became friends with Glen Morgan, who later became his writing partner. He was a part of the comedic improvisational theatre group at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After being inspired by ‘Apocalypse Now,’ he shifted his major to film after enrolling in an engineering degree.
Career of James Wong
He began working as an assistant to Sandy Howard, creating screenplays alongside Morgan, after graduating.
He began his writing career in 1985, when he and Morgan co-produced the screenplay for ‘The Boys Next Door.’
In 1988, he collaborated with Morgan as a story editor for the ABC network’s crime thriller ‘Knightwatch,’ which aired for three months.
Morgan and Wong began working for Stephen J. Cannell Productions a year later, on films such as ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Booker,’ where they served as story editors and staff writers. Along with Morgan, he moved on to work as a supervising producer on the fourth season of ‘Wiseguy’ and the first two seasons of ‘The Commish’ in 1990 and 1991, respectively.
The Wong-Morgan team collaborated on ‘The 100 Lives of Black Jack Salvage,’ a short-lived fantasy adventure TV movie produced by Walt Disney Television, in 1991. Chris Carter’s science fiction horror drama television series, ‘The X-Files,’ premiered on FOX channel in 1993, and the producer-writer duo became linked with him as executive producers and staff writers.
He co-wrote the opening episode of the second season of ‘The X-Files,’ ‘Little Green Men,’ with Carter. In addition, in 1995, he co-wrote his final episode, titled ‘Die Hand Die Verletzt.’ In 1995, he signed a four-year contract with 20th Century Fox Television for $8 million, where he worked on the sci-fi series ‘Space: Above and Beyond,’ which Morgan co-wrote, created, and produced.
In the fourth season of ‘The X-Files,’ the duo wrote and produced two episodes: ‘Home’ and ‘The Field Where I Died.’
Morgan’s ‘Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man’ was his first foray into television. Carter hired him and Morgan as writers and producers for his American TV series ‘Millennium,’ which ran on the FOX network from 1997 to 1999.
He served as executive producer for the 13-episode paranormal series ‘The Others,’ which aired on NBC in 2000, alongside Morgan.
In 2000, he made his directorial debut with the film ‘Final Destination,’ which he co-authored with Morgan, and followed it up with the science fiction martial arts action picture ‘The One,’ which he wrote, directed, and produced in 2001, starring Jet Li.
During his career, he filmed a few documentary films, including ‘The One,’ ‘About Face,’ ‘The Perfect Soufflé: Testing ‘Final Destination,’ and ‘The Year of the Rat.’ He proceeded to make horror films with his writing partner Morgan, such as ‘Willard’ (2003) and ‘Final Destination 3’, the third entry of the Final Destination trilogy (2006).
In 2006, he produced ‘Black Christmas,’ a remake of the 1974 film of the same name, which he co-wrote with Morgan and directed by Morgan on his own. With the 2009 adventure film ‘Dragonball Evolution,’ based on the Japanese Dragon Ball manga franchise, he returned to directing. He also wrote the film’s script.
Major Projects of James Wong
He and his colleague Morgan are credited with having a key role in marketing and popularizing Fox TV’s ‘The X-Files’ series, which was extensively watched throughout the world.
Personal History and Legacy
Teena Wong, his wife, is his life partner. The couple is the parents of three children, two of whom are twins. The family currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Estimated Net Worth
James Wong is one of the wealthiest screenwriters and one of the most well-known. James Wong’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.