|Born||Michael Breckenridge Eisner
December 24, 1970
|Spouse(s)||Georgia Leigh Irwin (m. 2006)|
Eisner was born Michael Breckenridge Eisner in California, the son of Jane Breckenridge, a business advisor and computer programmer, and Michael Eisner, the former Walt Disney Company chief executive. To avoid confusion with his father, he uses a short version of his middle name which incidentally is his mother's maiden name and the traditional middle name of first-born sons in her family. His mother is a Unitarian of Scottish and Swedish descent while his father is Jewish.
Eisner attended Harvard High School (now Harvard-Westlake School), Georgetown University, majoring in both English and Theatre, and the University of Southern California's film school where he received a Master's degree in directing.
For a directing project at Georgetown, he filmed a contemporary riff on Alice in Wonderland, shooting scenes in the vast empty attic of Healy Hall on the campus, as well as in an abandoned circular trolley-car tunnel under Dupont Circle in Northwest, Washington, D.C.. He also directed Shakespeare plays on the campus.
His MFA thesis film, Recon, a tech noir co-written and co-produced by Steven Cantor, stars Peter Gabriel, Elizabeth Peña and Charles Durning. Set in Los Angeles in 2007, Gabriel plays a weary detective who in order to catch a serial killer uses a new experimental technology, Recon, which allows him to see the last living minutes of the killer's victims through their eyes. Gabriel agreed to appear in the film after having been asked to by Cantor who had served with him on a media advisory board. Peña came on board because she wanted to work with Gabriel while Durning had the same agent as Peña. The film, made for a budget of $21,000, was shot in 1994 but completion took until 1996. It screened at the 53rd Venice International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival, among others.
Eisner had used some of Digital Domain's processors to render images for his film, and the company suggested he meet with some commercial production houses. Thus began his career as a director of commercials, and after only a year-and-a-half, Eisner had directed 14 high-profile spots. His first commercial was Budweiser's Powersurge, which aired during the 1997 Super Bowl. He also took the helm for Rold Gold pretzels' "Comrades" starring Jason Alexander, which featured Pretzel Boy on a rescue mission to the Mir space station. Eisner's two anti-smoking spots for the California Department of Health Services, "Gala Event" and "Funeral," were selected as Best Spots in back-to-back issues of Adweek. In addition, Eisner's "Mad Dog" for Coors's Zima aired during the Seinfeld finale and was chosen by USA Today's "Ad Meter" as the #1 spot. He has also done commercials for Sony, Sega and Coca-Cola.
Eisner's success in the commercial world opened the door for him to direct the TV movie The Invisible Man for the Sci Fi Channel. That led to an episode of DreamWorks Television's mini-series Taken (2002), executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Dakota Fanning.
His film debut was the crime drama Thoughtcrimes (2003), which went straight to video. He then directed Sahara (2005), starring Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz and William H. Macy. The movie is considered one of the biggest financial failures in Hollywood history.
Eisner currently works as a director of film and television. In October 2005, it was announced that Eisner would direct a remake of the classic monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon which was dropped in 2009 for unnamed reasons, and in February 2008 it was announced that he would direct The Crazies, a remake of the film of the same name, released in 2010. In December 2009, it was announced he will direct the remakes of Flash Gordon and The Brood, though he later backed out of the latter. He is rumored to direct the remake of Escape from New York. Eisner is set to direct the film adaptation of the Mark Wheatley comic book Blood of the Innocent. He is in talks to direct movie adaption of the Hasbro board game Ouija.
In 2006, he married Georgia Leigh Irwin, in a ceremony officiated by a Roman Catholic priest, and held at her parents' house. Irwin's father is a real estate broker in Palm Springs who developed and sold the resort La Mancha. Her maternal grandfather Carroll Rosenbloom had owned the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts.
- Recon (1996) Breck Eisner's MFA thesis film for the University of Southern California
- Pilot (2000) The Invisible Man episode
- Wilder (2001) unaired Universal pilot executive produced by Shaun Cassidy
- Jacob and Jesse (2002) Taken episode
- Thoughtcrimes (2003)
- Sahara (2005)
- Beyond (2006) unaired Fox pilot
- The Sacrifice (2008) Fear Itself episode
- The Crazies (2010)
- The Karate Kid 2 (TBA)
As executive producer
- The Auteur Theory (1999), playing Moshe from the "film" Brooklyn Will Be Ours
- Terry Kattleman, The Next …, Advertising Age's Creativity, Vol. 5, Issue 5, June 1997, p. 44.
- Pinsky, Mark I., The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust p. 123-129
- Kathy DeSalvo, First Time Out, Director Eisner Breaks into Big Time, Shoot, Vol. 38, Issue 6, February 7, 1997, p. 7.
- William C. Martel, Breck Eisner, Shoot, Vol. 39, Issue 42, Supplement Directors, October 16, 1998, pp. 38 & 132.
- Biggest Box-Office Bombs of All Time
- Glenn F. Bunting, $78 million of red ink?, Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2007.
- Glenn F. Bunting, Jurors hear tales of studio maneuvering, Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2007.
- Icons of Fright
- "Breck Eisner Talks The Crazies, Flash Gordon and What’s Up with The Brood". DreadCentral.
- "Breck Eisner NOT Attached to 'The Brood' Remake". BloodyDisgusting.
- "'Crazies' Director to 'Escape From New York'". BloodyDisgusting.
- "Breck Eisner Bathes in the Blood of the Innocent". DreadCentral.
- "Breck Eisner and McG Both have Their Fingers on Universal's Ouija Planchette". DreadCentral.
- "Jaden Smith’s ‘Karate Kid’ Sequel Draws Breck Eisner to Direct". Variety.com.
- "Georgia Irwin and Breck Eisner". NY Times. June 25, 2006.
- A Sound of Thunder: Production Information (pressbook)