James Wan in March 2013.
27 February 1977 |
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter|
James Wan (born 27 February 1977) is a Malaysian-born Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Chinese heritage. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence, Death Sentence and Insidious.
Early life and education 
Wan was born in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, is of Chinese ethnicity and was raised in Perth, Western Australia, from a young age. Wan was 11 years of age when he first dreamed of making films and his tertiary studies were undertaken at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Film career 
Before becoming popular in the film industry, he made his first feature film, Stygian, with Shannon Young, which won "Best Guerrilla Film" at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) in 2000.
Saw franchise 
Since creating the franchise, Wan and Whannell have served as executive producers to the sequels Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, but was not involved with Saw V, Saw VI and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter — Wan had instead moved on to create other film works with partner, Whannel.
The release of Saw 3D, complete with its subtitle, was to signify the completion of the franchise; however, Costas Mandylor, an actor in the seventh instalment, revealed that multiple endings to the film had been shot and the series could continue depending on which was used. The seventh sequel continued the profit margin performance of the original film and earned USD136 million in the global market, based on a production budget of USD20 million, while all films in the series have grossed over USD100 million in the American market. In August, 2012, various online horror publications stated that a source at Lionsgate, the franchise's production company, had revealed intentions for an eighth Saw sequel, but it was at a "tinkering" stage at the time of the disclosure.
Dead Silence 
In 2007, Wan directed another horror movie, Dead Silence, a film that was the result of advice from Wan and Whanell's agent at the time; Whannell has since stated that the film was a negative experience for him:
It all started when James and I returned from the Sundance Film Festival, where we had screened ‘Saw’ to much success. Our ‘representatives’ promptly told us that we should get another deal for a film stitched up before it was released. It was presented as a kind of insurance - if ‘Saw’ was a flop, we had another film to fall back on. Seems logical. There was only one problem - I didn’t have any ideas for a new film. I had barely been able to catch my breath throughout the whole ‘Saw’ experience, let alone dream up another film idea. Instead of telling our representatives that they had to wait until I came up with an idea I really liked though, I locked myself in the bedroom of the crappy apartment we had rented in Hollywood and tried to force an idea out like a particularly stubborn hangover shit. It was creativity at gunpoint. If I could go back in time, I would politely tell everyone to go fuck themselves, but back then....no. I paced and paced and even took up smoking for a while, so stressed out was I.
Dead Silence featured Australian actor, Ryan Kwanten (True Blood television series), and is based on the premise of a legend, whereby the ghost of a ventriloquist, Mary Shaw, removes the tongue of any person who screams in its presence. Rather than a gore movie, Wan described the film as "a creepy doll movie. It's in the spirit of those old Twilight Zone episodes or Hammer Horror Films. Very old school."
Death Sentence 
Wan also directed the action drama, Death Sentence, in 2007, adapted from the Brian Garfield novel that was written as the sequel to Death Wish. The film's protagonist is played by Kevin Bacon and has no connection to the horror genre—instead, Bacon stars as a father who seeks revenge for his murdered son, who is killed by a local gang. Whannell features as a minor character in the film, playing one of the gang members who is eventually killed by Bacon's character. Wan described the film as "a raw and gritty, 70s styled revenge thriller ... It's my arthouse movie with guns."
Having worked on his previous three films continuously, Wan told CraveOnline that he was ready for "a bit of time off just to chill... but at the same time I'm using this opportunity to write again" following the completion of Death Sentence.
The horror film Insidious, directed by Wan, premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, as part of the "Midnight Madness" programme, and was sold to Sony Pictures Worldwide for a seven-figure sum within four hours of the premiere's conclusion. The film began its American theatrical release in the first weekend of April 2011 and achieved third place at the box office, with an estimated USD13.5 million in ticket sales.
Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey, the film was made independently, as Wan sought complete creative control and also wanted to make a film that was markedly different to the gore that he had become synonymous with due to Saw. Wan stated in an interview, "the fact that Insidious was not being run by a committee really afforded me the luxury to make a film with lots of creepy, bizarre moments that a studio might not "get."" Both Wan and Whannel stated that they wanted to use techniques such as restraint and silence to create a horror film, similar to The Sixth Sense, The Others and David Lynch's films.
Following the release of Insidious, Wan revealed in an interview, in regard to his career beyond the film: "I definitely do want to experiment in other genres, or make films in other genres because I love, Leigh and I have, we’re not just horror fans. We’re film fans. I love action films. I want to do action films. I want to do romantic comedies. I love all this stuff. So, if I find the good material, I’ll do it."
The Conjuring 
The horror film news website, Bloody Disgusting, confirmed Wan's directorial involvement with a film entitled The Warren Files. The film centres on the real life exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a married couple that investigated paranormal events. Originally titled The Conjuring, the film will reportedly focus on the couple's most famous case, second to the Amityville haunting, in which they investigated a witch's curse on a Rhode Island family farm. In his second collaboration with the pair, Patrick Wilson will feature in the film, and he and actress, Vera Farmiga, will play paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, respectively. Filming commenced in North Carolina, United States, in late February 2012 and New Line Cinema, together with Warner Bros. Pictures, has slated the film for a release on 25 January 2013. As of October 2012, it appears that the original title of the film has been restored, with Warner Bros having set a 25 January 2013 release date.
A test screening of the film occurred in October 2012 at the New York Comic Con event, where it screened in the IGN Theater, and the audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive. At that stage, Wan had several more weeks before the film is complete, and a summer release date was announced, with a planned date in July 2013.
Insidious Chapter 2 
Wan has confirmed that, after work on The Conjuring is complete, he will direct a sequel to 2011's Insidious. The film will once again be written by Wan's longtime collaborator and close friend, Whannel, and the cast of the original film will be returning; it was later revealed that the title of the film will be Insidious Chapter 2. Filming for the sequel will commence in January 2013, with the American release date scheduled for 30 August 2013. The budget for the film has been described as "shoestring" by one media outlet and Orin Peli, the creator of the Paranormal Activity franchise, will return as an executive producer. Film District has been identified as the company that will be responsible for distribution of Insidious Chapter 2.
Wan stated in an interview following a test screening of The Conjuring:
I think the sequel to ‘Insidious’ is kind of my reaction to Saw, where for my own reason I wasn’t as involved in the sequels, and so I felt with Insidious, I think it would be good to shepherd it and keep it more in track to the version I had when I made the first film so that it doesn’t detour too far. So yeah, I’m kind of working with Leigh [Whannel] on the story and the script. I never set out to make sequels to any of my films I direct,” Wan further explained. "If they happen, that’s great because that means people out there love it and they want more of it, but I always felt with Insidious we created this really interesting world that we can explore more, and so even though we didn’t set out to make a sequel, I felt that there are stories still out there that could be told.
Future projects 
On 13 November 2012, news emerged of Wan's ongoing negotiations to direct an adaption of the 1980s television series MacGyver. Wan posted on his Twitter account: “People are surprised?? You guys never saw shades of MacG in Jigsaw??", in response to public comments regarding the news. The screenplay is complete and the series creator, Lee Zlotof, is also involved.
As of 11 April 2013, Wan entered into negotiations with Universal Pictures to direct the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious action franchise after Justin Lin, who directed the previous four sequels, confirmed that he would not continue as director in January 2013. Wan was an inclusion on a directorial shortlist alongside Jeff Wadlow, Baltazar Kormakur and Harold Zwart. A final confirmation of Wan's directorial role was revealed in an article published on 17 April 2013, while Lin was quoted in an article that was published on 10 April 2013: "It’s time for me to move on to other things and I’m thrilled that Universal and Neal have selected James Wan to lead the franchise into its new chapter.” Shooting is scheduled to begin in August 2013, immediately following the completion of publicity for part six, and 11 July 2014 has been announced as the release date.
Past announcements (without further news) 
It was announced that an adaptation of the graphic novel Nightfall was to be Wan's next film after Death Sentence. The plot involves the events that take place after a criminal is sent to a Texas prison run by vampires. However, as of December 2012, the director's IMDB page does not list the film, nor is the project classified as a film in "pre-production" or a project in the "filming" stage.
In 2009 a Whannel–Wan collaborative project, called "X Ray", was announced and was described as a new "film noir/action project", with producer Robbie Brenner also attached to the project; however, as of December 2012, no further developments were reported.
Video games 
|2003||Saw (short film)||
|Insidious Chapter 2||
|2014||Fast & Furious 7||
James Wan had cast certain actors in more than one of his films.
|Judith Anna Roberts||
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