Renny Harlin

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Renny Harlin
Born Lauri Mauritz Harjola
(1959-03-15) 15 March 1959 (age 55)
Riihimäki, Finland
Occupation Director/Producer
Years active 1980–present
Spouse(s) Geena Davis (1993–1998)

Renny Harlin (born Lauri Mauritz Harjola; 15 March 1959) is a Finnish film director and producer. His films include A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea.

Harlin's movies have earned $506,543,064 in the United States as of January 2013,[1] making him the 87th highest-grossing director in the American market.[2] His film Cutthroat Island held the Guinness world record for "Biggest Box-Office Flop of All Time".[3]


Renny Harlin was born in Riihimäki, Finland to a nurse and a physician.[4]

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Die Hard 2 were edited simultaneously and released a week apart in 1990. The former flopped, but the latter was a commercial success. Harlin achieved critical acclaim the following year when he produced Rambling Rose through his own Midnight Sun Pictures for director Martha Coolidge. The film won Best Feature at the 1992 Independent Spirit Awards and earned its star and Harlin's then-partner Laura Dern a Best Actress Oscar nomination at the 1992 Academy Awards.

Harlin's next project after Driven was to be a movie adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story A Sound of Thunder, but Harlin left the project after a disagreement with Bradbury.[5] Although the director was changed, Harlin was credited as a producer when the finished film was released in 2005.

Harlin took over directing the action mystery film Mindhunters when the original director Peter Howitt dropped out, but the release was delayed by studio conflicts. Harlin went on to re-shoot a more traditional horror version of Exorcist: The Beginning when the studio was unhappy with the psychological drama cut by director Paul Schrader.[6] Due to the delays with Mindhunters, both films ended up being released in 2004 and both were moderate successes.[citation needed]

In 2006, Harlin collaborated with Markus Selin to direct a biopic of the Finnish President and Marshall of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, but budget constraints put the project on hold. Instead, Harlin made another foray into low-budget horror with The Covenant, which was another moderate commercial success. In 2007 the Mannerheim film project resumed temporarily and Harlin returned to Finland. Production began in 2008 with Mikko Nousiainen starring as Mannerheim. However, 30% of the funding was cut by one of the financiers due to the global economic recession, and the delay meant that the time window for shooting the winter scenes during the spring of 2009 passed. Pre-production finally commenced in 2010, and the project was assigned to Dome Karukoski in August 2011.[7]

In 2007, it was announced that Harlin would direct an adaption of the comic-book series Brodie's Law.[8]

Harlin directed the WWE Studios action movie 12 Rounds, starring John Cena. It was released in March 2009.[9]

In 2009 Harlin directed an independent war film in Georgia. The film, 5 Days of War is a story about the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia in the region of South Ossetia. In the film, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili is played by Cuban-American actor Andy García.[10]

In April 2012, it was announced that Harlin will direct "Devil's Pass" set in Russia’s Ural Mountains. The fact-based film deals the Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959, when nine experienced hikers were found dead. The film was released in 2013.[11]

On February 4, 2013 it was announced that Harlin will direct The Legend of Hercules, which will be in theatres on January 10, 2014.[12]

He is currently planning a sequel to The Long Kiss Goodnight.[13]


Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]

  • Custody (1980) under the name Lauri Harjola


  • Kohtauspaikka 33 (1981) under the name Lauri Harjola
  • T.R.A.X. (2000)
  • Burn Notice (Season 5, Episodes 514 & 518 (Season Finale), 2011, and Season 6, Episodes 606 & 610, 2012)
  • White Collar (Season 4, Episode 409, 2012)
  • Covert Affairs (Season 3, Episode 316 (Season Finale), 2012)
  • Graceland (Season 1, Episodes 103, 105 & 108, 2013)


  1. ^ "US domestic box office data". 
  2. ^ "Directors gross revenue figures based on U.S. release". 
  3. ^ Rabin, Nathan (July 23, 2008). "My Year Of Flops, Extra-Piratey Case File #114: Cutthroat Island". The A.V. Club. 
  4. ^ "Renny Harlin Biography (1959-)". Film Reference. 
  5. ^ Kurtz, Frank. "Harlin Fired From THUNDER?". 
  6. ^ Variety. "Nothing left of Paul Schrader's EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING". Retrieved 22 July 2007. 
  7. ^ "Dome Karukoski will produce Mannerheim film with a smaller budget than Renny Harlin". 
  8. ^ Jensen, Jorn Rossing (February 21, 2007). "Renny Harlin to make his first film in Finland in 20 years". Screen Daily. 
  9. ^ Lee, Nathan (March 27, 2009). "Movie Review - 12 Rounds (2009)". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "Movie star plays Georgian leader". BBC News. October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  11. ^ Williams, Owen (24 April 2012). "Renny Harlin Heads For Dyatlov Pass". Empire. 
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (4 February 2013). "Renny Harlin Set to Direct 'Hercules 3D' for Millennium (Exclusive)". Hollywood report. 
  13. ^ Abaius, Cole (August 19, 2011). "Renny Harlin Taps ‘Burn Notice’ Writer for ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’ Sequel". Film School Rejects. 

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