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October 13, 1947
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
|Notable work(s)||King of California (2007)
The Expendables (2010)
Life and career
Avi Lerner was born in Haifa, in 1947, and grew up on Hatzionut Boulevard. He joined the army in 1966 and served in the Six-Day War and in the Paratroopers Brigade. In an interview with Pnai Plus Lerner said he took part in the battle for the town of Rafah before penetrating as far as the Suez Canal.:68 He served in the 1973 Yom Kippur War as a reservist.
Lerner originally worked in movie theaters in Tel Aviv:66 but later relocated to South Africa, where he produced several films and also owned a chain of movie theaters until relocating once again to Los Angeles in the early 1990s. In 1991, he served as President of the independent production/distribution company, Global Pictures.
Lerner founded two production companies, Nu Image and Millennium Films, with Trevor Short, Danny Dimbort and Danny Lerner. The companies have a varied output, though the vast majority are action films. Most of the action films Avi produces are filmed in Bulgaria, where he owns Nu Boyana Film.
Until his success with The Expendables (2010), Lerner's reputation was of a B movie producer. Lerner has complained that Israel is the only country where his work is criticized, and he avoids giving interviews to Israeli reporters.:65
Lerner describes his approach to the film industry as purely business-oriented: unlike Hollywood's larger film studios, which invest much larger sums of money to cover production expenses but also lose money from time to time, Lerner's team carefully calculates the potential revenue of a given film and tailors the production costs accordingly.:66
The bulk of Lerner's films featured action stars who were at their peak in the late 1980s–1990s: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, and Chuck Norris, usually released as direct-to-video. Lerner produced Rambo starring Sylvester Stallone, and Righteous Kill starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino for Millennium Films and Emmett Furla Films. He produced The Expendables, directed by Stallone.
Other features Lerner has had a hand in include: End Game, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Woods; Edison, starring Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, and Justin Timberlake, 16 Blocks, The Black Dahlia, The Wicker Man, and even Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nicolas Cage. He is also listed as a producer in the thriller Trespass.
- The Expendables 2 (2012) – Producer
- Olympus Has Fallen (2013) – Producer
- Homefront (2013) – Producer
- Good People (2014) – Producer
- Before I Go to Sleep (2014) – Producer
- "Avi Lerner – IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Frankel, Guy (April 5, 2012). "בלתי מנוצח" [Undefeated]. In Nofech-Mozes, Miriam. Pnai Plus (in Hebrew) (ניצן בע"מ) (1181): 64–70. "לרנר לא אוהב להתראיין, במיוחד לא כאן, בישראל, המדינה שבה גדל והתחיל את הקריירה שלו. הוא מרגיש שכאן תמיד מותחים עליו ביקורת." "לרנר נולד בחיפה ב-1947 (בן 64 כיום), גדל בשדרות הציונות, וב-1966 התגייס לצנחנים, 'ציוני אמיתי, פטריוט', הוא מגדיר את עצמו, ומספר שרצה 'לתת למדינה'. 'אחרי מלחמת ששת הימים, שעבורי היתה מלחמת שלושת הימים, השתתפתי בקרב על רפיח ותוך שלושה ימים הגענו לתעלה'." "'מראשית דרכי, הקטע האהוב והמספק ביותר מבחינתי היה להוריד את התריס הקטן של קופת מוכר הכרטיסים בקולנוע בן יהודה (שבו עבד בצעירותו – ג.פ.), זה היה הסימן שכל הכרטיסים נמכרו'."
- Galloway, Stephen (July 17, 2011). "Producer Avi Lerner: The Most Unlikely Movie Mogul". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "De Niro, Pacino Team for Indie Movie".