||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (August 2014)|
|Born||Guy Stuart Ritchie
10 September 1968
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England
|Occupation||Filmmaker, pub landlord, businessman|
|Spouse(s)||Madonna (m. 2000–08)|
Guy Stuart Ritchie (born 10 September 1968) is an English filmmaker known for directing Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), Swept Away (2002), Revolver (2005), RocknRolla (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).
Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the second of two children born to Amber (née Parkinson) and Captain John Vivian Ritchie (b. 1928), former Seaforth Highlanders serviceman and advertising executive. John's father was Major Stewart Ritchie, who died in France, in 1940, during World War Two. John's mother was Doris Margaretta McLaughlin (b. 1896), daughter of Vivian Guy McLaughlin (b. 1865) and Edith Martineau (b. 1866). The McLaughlins have a pedigree going back to King Edward I of England. Ritchie's mother, Amber, later married a baronet. His father's second marriage was to Shireen Ritchie, Baroness Ritchie of Brompton, a former model and later Conservative politician and life peer.
Ritchie, who is dyslexic, was expelled from Stanbridge Earls School at the age of 15. He has stated that drug use was the reason for the expulsion; his father has said that it was because his son was caught "cutting class and entertaining a girl in his room." He also attended Sibford School.
In addition to his elder sister, Tabitha, a dance instructor, Ritchie has a half-brother, Kevin Bayton, who was born to Amber Parkinson when she was a teenager and given up for adoption. From 1973 until 1980, when they divorced, Ritchie's mother was married to Sir Michael Leighton, 11th baronet. As a divorcée, she is correctly styled as Amber, Lady Leighton.
Ritchie directed a 20-minute short film in 1995 entitled The Hard Case. In 1998, Ritchie and his dad contacted their friend Peter Morton, of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, wondering if he had any potential investors for a debut film, Morton knew his nephew Matthew Vaughn had been studying film production in Los Angeles. Peter informed Vaughn of Ritchie's new film idea, and Vaughn knew he could help out with his own found production ideas he had gained from his travels to America. Matthew, John, Guy and Peter all contacted their mutual acquaintance, Trudie Styler, who they knew had enough acting money to invest in the production of Ritchie's second film. Styler informed them that she had previously seen The Hard Case, and decided that co-funding the project would be a worthwhile opportunity. After about eight months, the production of the film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was completed, and it was released in 1998 to a national audience, then later went global after its positive reviews. Richie was introduced to Madonna when the soundtrack for the film was issued on her Maverick Records label. The film, whose main actor was Jason Flemyng, also introduced actors Jason Statham (The Transporter), Nick Moran and Dexter Fletcher to worldwide audiences, as well as introducing former footballer Vinnie Jones to a new career as a film star. In 2000 Ritchie won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. Ritchie created and produced a spin-off television series called Lock, Stock....
His second feature film was Snatch, released in the year 2000. Originally known as Diamonds, it was another caper comedy, this time backed by a major studio. The cast featured such Hollywood big names as Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro and Dennis Farina, along with the returning Vinnie Jones and Statham. Similar to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in featuring a complex and inventive storyline in which the characters weave in and out of each other's lives, the film also plays with time, depicting events from various perspectives. It currently has a rating of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Following his marriage to Madonna, Ritchie began focusing his filmmaking on his wife, directing her in both a music video (for the song "What It Feels Like for a Girl", a controversial video that showed Madonna engaging in violent behaviour, ostensibly directed at men, including T-boning a car with three men in it, tasering and robbing a man at an ATM, scratching a police car and shooting two officers with a water gun, driving her car through a group of men playing street hockey and incinerating a man by throwing a lighter into a pool of gasoline) and a short film, Star, for the BMW films series. Ritchie's next film, also featuring Madonna, was a remake of the 1974 Lina Wertmüller hit Swept Away (also entitled Swept Away). Ritchie cast Madonna as a rich, rude socialite who, after a shipwreck, is trapped on a deserted island with a slovenly Communist sailor who humiliates her. Ritchie renamed the woman Amber Leighton after his mother. This film was both a critical and commercial disappointment.
Ritchie's next project was a Vegas-themed heist film entitled Revolver, which was critically panned in the US and UK. Ritchie was involved with a hidden camera show called Swag, for Channel Five in the UK, which turned the table on criminals and opportunists by using stunts to trap them in the act. Ritchie has also written and directed RocknRolla starring Gerard Butler. It scores 60% on Rotten Tomatoes and was generally received well. Ritchie intends to develop the film into a trilogy, with the next entry being "The Real RocknRolla," as is stated at the end of "RocknRolla." Ritchie will also direct a film based on a comic book series he created with Virgin Comics entitled Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper. The film rights were acquired by Warner Brothers in July 2007. The film's being produced by Silver Pictures.
In 2008, Ritchie directed a commercial for Nike called "Take It To The Next Level", about a young Dutch footballer who signs for Arsenal, showing the progression of his career from his viewpoint, until he makes his debut for the Netherlands. The commercial features cameo appearances from some football players with music by Eagles of Death Metal. Ritchie's movie Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, received its theatrical release on 25 December 2009. The film was given generally positive reviews and grossed more than $520 million worldwide, becoming Ritchie's most successful film financially. The sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was released on 16 December 2011. In June 2012 it was announced that Ritchie would direct an adaptation of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. On 29 October 2012, Ritchie produced a game trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
On 18 March 2013, Deadline.com reported that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was in production with Ritchie directing. On 31 July 2013, it was announced that Ritchie's adaptation would start filming in September 2013 in London and Italy. Warner Bros. set the film for a 16 January 2015 release.
In January 2014, Warner Bros set Ritchie to direct a new multi-film version of the King Arthur legend, which is scheduled for an July 22, 2016 release with Lionel Wigram as producer and Joby Harold as screenwriter. Idris Elba is in talks to play a Merlin-esque figure who trains and mentors Arthur. Charlie Hunnam will play King Arthur by Ritchie's choice.
Ritchie was the inspiration for, and is the subject of, singer Robbie Williams' single "She's Madonna" from his 2006 album, Rudebox. Ritchie started training in Shotokan karate at the age of seven at the Budokwai in London, where he later achieved a black belt in judo. He also has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
On 22 December 2000, Guy married American singer Madonna at Skibo Castle in Scotland. They have a son, Rocco John Ritchie (born 11 August 2000 in Los Angeles) and adopted a Malawian baby boy in 2006, David (born 24 September 2005). On 15 October 2008, British media reported that a split was "imminent" between Ritchie and Madonna. The split was confirmed by their spokesperson and Ritchie and Madonna went public with the split because they "can’t bear to live with the pretense any longer".
On 15 December 2008, it was announced by Madonna's spokeswoman that the singer had agreed to a divorce settlement with Ritchie, the terms of which grant him between £50 million and £60 million, a figure that includes the value of the couple's London pub and residence and Wiltshire estate in England. Madonna and Guy Ritchie's marriage was dissolved by District Judge Reid by decree nisi at the clinical Principal Registry of the Family Division in High Holborn, London. Madonna and Ritchie entered into a compromise agreement for Rocco and David, then aged eight and three respectively, and divided the children's time between Ritchie's London home and Madonna's in New York, where the two will be joined by her daughter, Lourdes, from a previous relationship.
|1995||The Hard Case||20 min short film||Director||Screenwriter|
|1998||Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels||Feature film debut||Director||Screenwriter|
|2001||The Hire: Star||BMW Short Film Commercial||Director|
|2001||Mean Machine||Executive producer|
|2002||Swept Away||With Madonna||Director||Screenwriter|
|2011||Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows||Director|
|2015||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||In production||Director|
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- Brown belt – Madonna's Guy Madden has a good belt – in Brazilian martial arts
- Guy Ritchie's home taken over by squatters, Independent, 15 February 2011 accessed 20 February 2011
- In defence of squatting, By Laurie Penny, News Statesman, 20 February 2011, accessed 20 February 2011
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- Madonna and Guy Ritchie granted 'quickie' divorce
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