Dwayne Johnson-Cochran

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Dwayne Johnson-Cochran
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  • Screenwriter
  • Film producer
  • Director

Dwayne Johnson-Cochran is an American screenwriter, film producer, and director. Active since the early 1990s, Johnson-Cochran’s work includes the 2023 Showtime film Heist 88 (Writer, Executive Producer), Love and Action in Chicago, (1999, Director, Producer, Writer), and the NBC television series Minor Adjustments (Created By), in which comedian Rondell Sheridan starred and co-created.

Born and raised in Chicago, Johnson-Cochran attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, before beginning his career writing and producing news documentaries at Chicago’s WTTW-TV[1]. There, Johnson-Cochran covered the 1988 heist/embezzlement, by Chicago swindler Armond Moore, of a then-record $70 Million from the Bank of Chicago. These events inspired Johnson-Cochran’s Heist 88, starring Courtney B. Vance as a character loosely based on Moore.[2][1]

Johnson-Cochran has prominently featured Chicago in his work, including the 1995 unproduced screenplay "My Tribe Is Lost"; Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG purchased the screenplay as one of the then-new studio’s first acquisitions.[3] The Chicago Tribune said of Johnson-Cochran’s 2014 documentary feature on Chicago jazz artist Kahil El’Zabar: “Be Known belongs to the small category of films that not only respect jazz but illuminate it.”[4]

In addition to filmmaking and producing, Johnson has taught screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, including "Advanced Screenwriting: Style, Techniques and Survival in the Screenwriting Trade.” He has also taught screenwriting in Nairobi, Kenya [5]; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Perm, Russia; and Freetown, Sierra Leone.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Chicago Filmmaker Dwayne Johnson-Cochran on New Movie, 'Heist 88'". October 13, 2023.
  2. ""Heist 88": New movie revisits infamous '88 Chicago bank heist - Axios Chicago".
  3. Harris, Erich Leon (1996). African-American Screen-Writers Now: Conversations With Hollywood's Black Pack. Los Angeles: Silman-James Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-1409005216.
  4. Howard Reich (January 21, 2014). "A daring jazz documentary zooms in on Kahil El'Zabar". Chicago Tribune.
  5. "'Slum Film Festival' Showcases Urban Stories". Voice of America. August 21, 2012.

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