Marc Forster

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For people with a similar name, see Mark Forster (disambiguation). For the boxer, see Mac Foster.
Marc Forster
Forster in May 2013. Photo by Amanda Friedman
Born (1969-11-30) 30 November 1969 (age 45)
Illertissen, Neu-Ulm, Bavaria, West Germany
Occupation Film director, screenwriter and producer
Years active 1995–present

Marc Forster (born 30 November 1969) is a German-Swiss filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for directing the films Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, and World War Z.

Life and career[edit]

Forster was born in Au (today Illertissen), in the Neu-Ulm district of Bavaria, Germany. When he was 9 years old, the family moved to Switzerland. The son of a German doctor and a Swiss architect, Forster grew up in Davos, a winter resort in eastern Switzerland.

In 1990, when he was 20 years old, Forster moved to New York, in the United States. For the next three years, he attended New York University's film school, making several documentary films. In 1995, he moved to Hollywood and shot an experimental low-budget film ($10,000) called Loungers, which won the Slamdance Audience Award. Forster's first feature-length motion picture was the psychological drama Everything Put Together (2000), which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

His breakthrough film was Monster's Ball (2001), in which he directed Halle Berry in her Academy Award-winning performance as the wife of a man on death row. The film also starred Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Peter Boyle, and Sean Combs. His next film, Finding Neverland (2004), was based on the life of author J.M. Barrie. The film was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Forster received BAFTA, Directors Guild of America, and Golden Globe nominations for his direction.

Forster's next film, the thriller Stay (2005) starred Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts and grossed $8 million (USD) in the United States.[1] Stranger than Fiction (2006), a surreal romantic comedy starring Will Ferrell, was a critical success.[2] The film grossed $54 million worldwide [3] and earned Will Ferrell a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Forster then directed an adaptation of best-seller Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, scripted by repeat collaborator David Benioff and starring British newcomer Khalid Abdalla. The film follows an Afghani-American man who returns to his war-ravaged country to save the son of his former best friend. The Kite Runner was released on December 14, 2007 and grossed $73 million worldwide.[4] It also earned a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and a BAFTA bid for Film Not In the English Language.

Forster directed the twenty-second James Bond film, Quantum of Solace which began shooting on January 2, 2008, shortly before his 39th birthday, making him the youngest director in the series' history (beating the previous record set by Guy Hamilton, who was 41 when he directed Goldfinger five years before Forster's birth). Quantum of Solace was released in the United Kingdom on October 31, 2008.[5][6] It became one of the highest grossing Bond films in the franchise's history, with a worldwide box office of more than $586 million.[7]

He is a frequent collaborator with Kansas City based motion graphics firm MK12, who designed the opening credit sequences and other surreal onscreen graphics for The Kite Runner, Stranger Than Fiction and Quantum of Solace.

Marc Forster on set shooting Quantum of Solace. Photo by Karen Ballard.

Forster directed the film adaptation of the novel World War Z, starring Brad Pitt, which Paramount announced at the July 2010 San Diego Comic-Con.[8] The film opened June 21, 2013 to more than $66 million and has grossed more than $540 million worldwide. To date, it is the highest grossing Zombie movie of all time.[9]

In February 2014, Universal Pictures won the screen rights to Red Rising, a debut novel by Pierce Brown, in a seven-figure deal. Red Rising is a dystopian science fiction tale set on a terraformed Mars. Forster is attached to direct the project.[10]

Humanitarian efforts[edit]

Marc Forster was, along with Renée Zellweger, part of the 2005 HIV prevention campaign by the Swiss federal health department.[11]

Forster is also involved in the Red Cross organization "Our World. Your Move" and additionally works with Rokpa International, who help the hungry, sick, orphaned and poor throughout Tibet and Nepal.[12]


Year Title Nominations Wins
2000 Everything Put Together Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature under $500,000 Independent Spirit Award for Someone to Watch Award
2001 Monster's Ball Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Best Actress (Halle Berry)
2004 Finding Neverland Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Actor (Johnny Depp)
Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Costume Design
Academy Award for Best Editing
Golden Globe for Best Director
Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in a Drama
Golden Globe for Best Original Score
Golden Globe for Best Actor in a drama (Johnny Depp)
Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay
DGA for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film
Academy Award for Best Original Score
2005 Stay
2006 Stranger Than Fiction Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Will Ferrell)
2007 The Kite Runner Academy Award for Best Original Score
2008 Quantum of Solace
2011 Machine Gun Preacher
2013 World War Z


External links[edit]