Jonathan Liebesman

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Jonathan Liebesman
Jonathan Liebesman by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Liebesman at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego, 22 July 2010
Born (1976-09-15) September 15, 1976 (age 37)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation Film director

Jonathan Liebesman (born 15 September 1976) is a South African film director.

Personal life[edit]

Liebesman was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied filmmaking at the AFDA, The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance and at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

At Tisch, he co-wrote and directed an 8-minute short film, Genesis and Catastrophe, adapted from a Roald Dahl short story. The film was screened at numerous festivals around the world, and was winner of the best short at the Austin Film Festival in 2000, as well as earning Liebesman the "Hollywood Young Filmmaker Award" at the Hollywood Film Festival in 2000.

Hollywood career[edit]

In 2002, at the age of 26, he directed his debut feature Darkness Falls. Although the film suffered from generally weak reviews, it opened at no. 1 at the US box office. The film grossed over $32.5 million at the US box office, and a further $15 million worldwide.[1] The film was nominated for Best Horror/Thriller at the Teen Choice Awards in 2003, while the film's star, Emma Caulfield, won Face of the Future from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films that year.

Liebesman's next project, Rings (2005), which he co-wrote with Ehren Kruger, was a 15-minute short that chronologically follows the events of the full length feature, The Ring, and serves as a prequel to The Ring Two (2005). The short offered an insightful transition between the two movies, and garnered high praise from fans of both feature-length films.

The film's success brought him to the attention of Michael Bay and his production company, Platinum Dunes, who hired him to direct The Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel titled The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning opened in US theatres on 6 October 2006, and proved another box office hit for Liebesman. The $16 million movie opened at No 2 at the US box office with $18.5 million. As of 31 December 2006, the film had grossed around $50 million worldwide, including over $39.5 million in the US.

In 2007, it was initially announced that Liebesman would be the director of the Friday the 13th reboot[2][3] but as of November 2007, Marcus Nispel, director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake of 2003, replaced Liebesman.[4]

In 2008, Liebesman completed directing his third full-length feature film titled The Killing Room, a political thriller starring Chloë Sevigny, Nick Cannon, Timothy Hutton and Peter Stormare, about four people in a psychological study who discover they are subjects in a brutal and classified government program. The film debuted in the non-competition program at the Sundance Festival in January 2009.[5][6]

In November 2008, Columbia Pictures announced that Liebesman would direct the science fiction film Battle: Los Angeles. The $70m film, based on the story written by Chris Bertolini, revolved around a Marine platoon's encounter in a battle against an alien invasion on the streets of Los Angeles.[7] The film opened at no. 1 at the US box office on March 11, 2011, and earned over $80m at the US box office, and over $200m globally.[8]

In early 2009, it was announced that Liebesman was attached to direct a new Warner Brothers film titled Odysseus, an epic based on Homer’s Odyssey.[9]

In June 2010, Liebesman was named as the director of the sequel to Clash of the Titans, titled Wrath of the Titans, starring Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson.[10] Principal photography began on March 23, 2011, with filming taking place in summer 2011 in studios outside London and on location in Surrey, South Wales and in the Canary Islands on the island of Tenerife. The film was released on March 30, 2012.

In July 2011, it was announced that Warner Brothers and Liebesman would be collaborating on an upcoming biopic about Julius Caesar.[11]

In February 2012, Liebesman was brought in to direct the reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, beating out Brett Ratner amongst others.[12] Filming began in March 2013 in Tupper Lake, New York. Production for the film wrapped on August 3, 2013, with a release date set for August 2014.[13]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Notes
2000 Genesis and Catastrophe Short film
2003 Darkness Falls
2005 Rings Short film
2006 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
2009 The Killing Room
2011 Battle: Los Angeles
2012 Wrath of the Titans Sequel to Clash of the Titans
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

References[edit]

External links[edit]