|Born||Lauri Mauritz Harjola
15 March 1959
|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, making him the 87th highest-grossing director in the American market. His film Cutthroat Island held the Guinness world record for "Biggest Box-Office Flop of All Time".
Harlin started his career in the film business in the beginning of 1980s, directing commercials and company films for companies like Shell. Later, he worked as a buyer for a Finnish film distributor and met Finnish Markus Selin in Los Angeles in 1982. They became friends and started writing a screenplay called "Arctic Heat", which later evolved into Born American, with Mike Norris in the leading role. They secured financing from the USA, and in 1986 Born American became the most expensive Finnish film ever opened in the USA in over 1,000 theaters and reached number 9.
Harlin moved to Los Angeles and got a job from Irwin Yablans, who offered him a script of Prison to film. The film was made with a low budget and distributed with only 42 copies. In the same year, 1988, he got a job from New Line Cinema to direct A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) after meeting producer Robert Shaye, who at the first didn't want Harlin to direct the film. It became the highest-grossing film in the series, its budget being seven times greater than the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.
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. 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. Due to the delays with Mindhunters, both films ended up being released in 2004 and both were moderate successes.
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.
In 2009, Harlin directed an independent war film in Georgia. The film, 5 Days of War, was a story about the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia in the region of South Ossetia. In the film, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili was played by Cuban-American actor Andy García.
In April 2012, it was announced that Harlin would direct Devil's Pass set in Russia’s Ural Mountains. The fact-based film dealt with the Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959, when nine experienced hikers were found dead. The film was released in 2013.
On May 19, 2014, Harlin was set to direct the action comedy film Skiptrace, which Jackie Chan to star as lead along with Seann William Scott and Fan Bingbing. However, on September 3, 2014, it was reported that Johnny Knoxville would fill the role previously thought to be played by Scott.
- Born American (1986)
- Prison (1988)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
- The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)
- Die Hard 2 (1990)
- Cliffhanger (1993)
- Cutthroat Island (1995)
- The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
- Deep Blue Sea (1999)
- Driven (2001)
- Mindhunters (2004)
- Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
- The Covenant (2006)
- Cleaner (2007)
- 12 Rounds (2009)
- 5 Days of War (2011)
- Devil's Pass (2013)
- The Legend of Hercules (2014)
- Skiptrace (2015)
- The Long Kiss Goodnight 2 TBA
- Custody (1980) under his birth 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)
- "US domestic box office data".
- "Directors gross revenue figures based on U.S. release".
- Rabin, Nathan (July 23, 2008). "My Year Of Flops, Extra-Piratey Case File #114: Cutthroat Island". The A.V. Club.
- "Renny Harlin Biography (1959-)". Film Reference.
- "Renny Harlin Biography". IMDb.
- "Renny Harlin Biography". IMDb.
- Kurtz, Frank. "Harlin Fired From THUNDER?".
- Variety. "Nothing left of Paul Schrader's EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING". MovieWeb.com. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Dome Karukoski will produce Mannerheim film with a smaller budget than Renny Harlin".
- Jensen, Jorn Rossing (February 21, 2007). "Renny Harlin to make his first film in Finland in 20 years". Screen Daily.
- Lee, Nathan (March 27, 2009). "Movie Review - 12 Rounds (2009)". The New York Times.
- "Movie star plays Georgian leader". BBC News. October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
- Williams, Owen (24 April 2012). "Renny Harlin Heads For Dyatlov Pass". Empire.
- Kit, Borys (4 February 2013). "Renny Harlin Set to Direct 'Hercules 3D' for Millennium (Exclusive)". Hollywood report.
- Abaius, Cole (August 19, 2011). "Renny Harlin Taps ‘Burn Notice’ Writer for ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’ Sequel". Film School Rejects.
- "Renny Harlin Takes Helm Of Jackie Chan Action Comedy ‘Skiptrace’". deadline.com. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Johnny Knoxville, Not Seann Wiliam Scott, in Jackie Chan's 'Skiptrace'". firstshowing.net. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.