Gale Anne Hurd will receive the 2015 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures from the Producers Guild. The honor will be presented during the 26th annual PGA Awards on January 24 in LA.
The producer behind iconic sci-fi movies like Aliens and The Terminator is also at the helm of the top-rated TV show on the air right now: AMC’s The Walking Dead. Now she joins previous recipients like Steven Spielberg, Scott Rudin, Jerry Bruckheimer, Laura Ziskn and Saul Zaentz.
“I am humbled to be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary producer David O. Selznick, and to receive an award in his name is truly an honor in and of itself,” said Hurd.
Hurd has been at the forefront of genre pics since making Terminator and Aliens with James Cameron, facing and overcoming being a woman producer early on in male-dominated game. “One of the hardest things was working in England in a place that was not receptive to a female producer,” Cameron said during a recent panel with Hurd celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Terminator. “It was horrific for me and it was twice as bad for Gale,” who was asked, ‘How can a little girl produce a big movie like this?’
More than 30 features as producer or executive producer followed including Alien Nation, The Abyss, Terminator 2, Armageddon, two Hulks, and two Punisher comic book movies. In 2010 she launched Walking Dead with Frank Darabont, where she’s staying with a spinoff on its way.
“People didn’t think horror would be anything more than a niche that would never break out to appeal to wide audiences (on television),” she told Deadline. “The Walking Dead was a gamechanger. But the message hasn’t necessarily gotten through to people who program at networks, which is that it’s not the zombies that people are following, it’s the characters.”