|Born||April 1967 (age 47)
|Alma mater||Georgetown University
USC School of Cinema-Television (CNTV)
|Known for||Natural Born Killers (1994)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
|Home town||Hicksville, New York|
Born in April 1967, Murphy grew up in Hicksville, New York and was educated at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York. He attended Georgetown University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from the McDonough School of Business. Having excelled academically, he was accepted into Georgetown Law.
Murphy was the film critic for the Georgetown school newspaper, The Hoya, for three years, and in summer jobs at his father's advertising agency worked on ad campaigns for such films as Blow Out (1981), Under the Rainbow (1981) and Ragtime (1981). In 1986 Murphy realized that his calling lay in films rather than law; he enrolled in the School of Cinema-Television (now named USC School of Cinematic Arts) in California, where he had classmates including eventual directors Bryan Singer, Jon Turteltaub, Gary Fleder, and Stephen Sommers, and received a Master of Fine Arts.
After completing the graduate film program, Murphy teamed with Jane Hamsher to produce Natural Born Killers based on a script written by Quentin Tarantino, who was then unknown. Director Oliver Stone committed to direct the film, and he installed Murphy and Hamsher as on-set producers, which was described as "the equivalent of a crash course in filmmaking". Murphy said, "We wouldn't be where we are if not for Oliver." The film attracted attention upon release in 1994, and Hamsher documented the producers' involvement in the film in the best-selling book Killer Instinct. Enmity related to the film and the book resulted in the physical assault of Murphy by Tarantino in the AGO restaurant of West Hollywood, CA, in October 1997.
In 1998, Murphy formed the production company Angry Films. He had an opportunity to see an unfinished cut of The Usual Suspects, which was directed by Singer, a classmate from USC. They decided to work together on Apt Pupil, based on a Stephen King novella and released in 1998. Murphy then worked as producer on the 2001 film Bully; its director, Larry Clark, was not impressed with the original screenplay, but committed to the film after Murphy encouraged him to read the book. Murphy also grew interested in adapting graphic novels by Alan Moore, such as From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, for film. He produced the movie From Hell, directed by the Hughes Brothers and released in 2001, as well as the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, directed by Stephen Norrington and released in 2003.
Murphy and producer Tom DeSanto optioned rights to the Transformers toy line from Hasbro and pitched it to Hollywood studios. According to Murphy, the studios passed initially, but then began to express interest after further internal meetings involving younger staff, from the generation who had played with Transformers in their childhood. Paramount Pictures and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura pursued the property, and DreamWorks got involved. DreamWorks executive Michael De Luca proposed the idea to Steven Spielberg, who took the project and convinced Michael Bay to direct the film. Transformers was released in 2007 and was a major box office success. During production, Murphy hosted a forum on his personal website so Transformers fans could discuss the film and make suggestions, enabling them to influence the film's script and casting. However, the forum remained Murphy's personal project, rather than an official site for the film, partly due to his corporate partners' unease about how the website might be perceived. Murphy was also one of the originating producers of the 2009 sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
- Monday Morning (1990)
- Natural Born Killers (1994)
- Double Dragon (1994)
- Apt Pupil (1998)
- Permanent Midnight (1998)
- Bully (2001)
- From Hell (2001)
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
- Transformers (2007)
- Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
- While She Was Out (2008)
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
- Splice (2010)
- Real Steel (2011)
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
- Vampire Academy (2014)
- Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
- Don Murphy (2008). "Human Stuff: Secret Biography". DonMurphy.net. Angry Films (Don Murphy). Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- "Outside the Box [Office] presents: While She Was Out". cinema.usc.edu. University of Southern California. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Hamill, Denis (October 20, 2009). "Producer transforms kid stuff into Hollywood hits". Daily News.
- Cullum, Paul (November 21, 2002). "The Misfits: Don Murphy and the Angry Smiley Face". LA Weekly.
- McCann, Paul: "Quentin Tarantino in $5M Assault Claim," The Independent, November 18, 1997. Accessed October 5, 1997.
- "10 Questions: Don Murphy". movies.ign.com (IGN). December 17, 2002. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- Malanowski, Jamie (July 8, 2001). "Film; Larry Clark, Moralist, In the Florida Suburbs". The New York Times.
- Thompson, Anne (January 13, 2006). "For producer Murphy, 'no' is not an answer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- Membery, York (May 12, 2002). "Stand aside Marvel, the Victorian superhero lives again". The Guardian.
- Halbfinger, David M. (June 30, 2007). "How a Fan of Comic Books Transformed Himself into a Hollywood Player". The New York Times.
- Holson, Laura M. (July 9, 2007). "Fans Get to Talk About 'Transformers', and the Knives Are Unsheathed". The New York Times.
- August, John, Jane Hamsher, Quentin Tarantino, and Oliver Stone (introd.) (1994). Natural Born Killers: A Novel: The Strange Wild Ride of Mickey and Mallory Knox. New York: Signet Books (Penguin Group). ISBN 978-0-451-18323-1.
- Hamsher, Jane (1997). Killer Instinct: How Two Young Producers Took On Hollywood and Made the Most Controversial Film of the Decade. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0-553-06914-3.
- Sanchez, Robert (January 23, 2006). "Exclusive Video Interview: Don Murphy Isn't Angry He's Just Misunderstood" (Web (WMP and QuickTime). IESB.net: The Movie Reporter. IESB.net. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
- Tarantino, Quentin (2000). Natural Born Killers: The Original Screenplay (Web). New York: Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-3448-6. Retrieved November 18, 2008. (Google Books preview.)
- DonMurphy.net – Don Murphy's official Website, published by Angry Films
- Angry Films (US) at the Internet Movie Database
- Don Murphy at the Internet Movie Database