Richard "Rich" Wilkes (born 1966) is an American filmmaker. His work is noted for its rooting in contemporary music and youth culture.
Wilkes' major-studio debut was as screenwriter of the 1994 film Airheads. The story revolves around a group of loser musicians called The Lone Rangers who take a radio station hostage to get their song played on the radio. Airheads was directed by Michael Lehmann and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
This was followed by a co-writer credit (alongside director James Melkonian) for the 1994 comedy The Stoned Age, set in the stoner subculture of Southern California during the 1970s.
The same writing and directing team then collaborated with The Jerky Boys to create the 1995 production The Jerky Boys: The Movie, featuring the eponymous comedians (self-described as "low-lifes from Queens") as New York City youths who get into trouble with the Mafia when one of their prank calls leads them into a money laundering business.
Wilkes is credited as the sole screenwriter for the 2002 action-adventure film XXX and a "based on characters created by" credit as being as the creator of the XXX franchise.
In 1995, Wilkes debuted as a director with Glory Daze, a semi-autobiographical tale based on his experiences as a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Other film work
Wilkes has also appeared as an actor in the majority of his productions, primarily in minor roles. He has also appeared as himself in several documentaries, including the 1998 production Independent's Day, 2003's The Blockbuster Imperative and 2006's Punk Like Me.
Wilkes was born in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended El Camino High School in Oceanside, California.