Brandon Murphy, the screenwriter who co-wrote last year’s action-comedy sequel Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, died January 9 in Los Angeles, friends told Deadline. He was 43. No cause of death was given.
Murphy penned Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with his younger brother, Phillip Murphy, and with Tom O’Connor, who wrote the original 2017 pic. Both starred Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, with Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas joining for the sequel. The latter opened to $17 million domestic on Father’s Day weekend last year and finished at $70 million.
Murphy also wrote and was making his directing debut on horror thriller Snow Valley, which was in postproduction at the time of his death.
The Murphy brothers made the 2011 Black List with their script The Last Drop. The project now is set up at 21 Laps.
Born in Norristown, PA, in 1978, Murphy gained notoriety during a stint in New York City in the mid-2000s as the underground graffiti artist secretly responsible for the ubiquitous, though misspelled, “Rod Stuart Love the Hamptons” tags. During that time, he sold a pitch for his first feature, Pony Bush, to Dimension. Friends tell Deadline that when the money from the script sale came in, he went to Los Angeles, booked a room at Chateau Marmont and proceeded to spend every last nickel of it in short order.
A friend once asked him, “Is it true after Pony Bush you blew 60 grand in two months?” Murphy replied with one of his famous one-liners, “No, it was 80 grand in one month.”
Brandon Murphy also was an abstract artist and fronted the L.A.-based band D.O.L. — short for “Drunk Old Ladies” — and filmed a video for their song “Astro-Time” that starred Chris Messina.
The Murphy brothers, who worked on several films as a writing team, also hosted Camp Goodboy, a weekly podcast on which invited guests joined them for a satirical critique on pop culture and current events. See their Instagram here.