His film Good Kill was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
Niccol was born in Paraparaumu, New Zealand, and grew up in Auckland, where he attended Auckland Grammar School beginning in 1973. He left New Zealand at age 21 and began directing TV ads in London, which he did for more than ten years before his directorial debut, Gattaca (1997). Was married to Susan Grace Jennifer Sullivan from 1991 to 2002, with whom he has one child, Mia Grace Ella born in December 2000. During production of S1m0ne, he met model and Actress Rachel Roberts, with whom he has two children, Jack Niccol, (who also played "Young Nicolai" in the film Lord of War (2005) and Ava Niccol.
Niccol has written for all the films that he has directed, including Gattaca (1997), Simone (2002), Lord of War (2005), In Time (2011), The Host (2013), and Good Kill (2014). Out of the films he has written and directed, he has produced S1m0ne (2002), Lord of War (2005), In Time (2011) and Good Kill (2014).
Niccol's breakthrough screenplay was his script for the film The Truman Show (1998), directed by Peter Weir and starring Jim Carrey. He also served as a Producer on the film. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) and a Golden Globes nomination for Best Screenplay in 1999 and won a BAFTA award for Best Screenplay, a Saturn Award for Best Writing or Best Writer, an Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Original Screenplay and Best Motion Picture, a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (shared with Peter Weir), and an Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay.
In 1999, Niccol received the ALFS Award for "Screenwriter of the Year" from the London Critics Circle Film Awards for his screenwriting work on the screenplays of The Truman Show (1998) and Gattaca (1997).
For his film Lord of War (2005), he received a Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.