Simon West

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For the musician Simon West, see Ray Dee Ohh.
For the Australian poet, see Simon West (poet).
Simon West
Born 1961 (age 53–54)
Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England
Occupation Film director
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Amadea West (m. 1995)

Simon West (born 1961) is an English film director.[1] West started as a film editor with the BBC, then directed documentaries and commercials including many for Budweiser. His film directing career started when he directed Con Air in 1997.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, West began his career in 1981 when he became a film editor with the BBC in London. During a four-year tenure at the BBC, West was involved with a number of award-winning productions including the documentary series Strangeways Prison and the drama series Bleak House both of which won awards from the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

West's career took off in 1985 when he began freelancing as a director and he was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain to write and direct the film entitled Dolly Mixtures. He was subsequently signed to Limelight London to direct music videos and commercials. In 1987 he won Best Video at the Montreux Music Festival for Mel and Kim's Respectable. He also directed the video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the same year.

With a flourishing commercial career, West relocated to Los Angeles offices of Limelight in 1991. Moving to Pilot pictures in 1992, he received a Clio Award for Little Caesar's Airplane and a Golden Lion Award for Little Caesar's "Italian Feast."

West joined Propaganda Films in 1993 with a roster of credits including McDonalds, Sprite, AT&T, Ford, Miller Beer and Budweiser. His most famous commercial was a spot for Pepsi where a little boy sucks himself into a Pepsi bottle. The ad ran during the Super Bowl and was USA Today's highest rated commercial for that year.

1990s to today[edit]

In 1997, he directed the international blockbuster Con Air for Jerry Bruckheimer starring Nicolas Cage and John Malkovich and followed that up in 1999 with The General's Daughter starring John Travolta.

In 2001, he directed Lara Croft : Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie

2001. West originated the project "Black Hawk Down" after reading Mark Bowden's newspaper articles on the failed US mission in Somalia. West pitched the idea to his old collaborator Jerry Bruckheimer and spent 2 years developing the script with the writer Ken Nolan. Due to scheduling conflicts with West's other film "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" and a threatened SAG strike he was not able to direct the movie but served as an executive producer on the Oscar nominated Black Hawk Down.

In 2003, he was credited as an executive producer for the critically acclaimed Fox show, Keen Eddie, also serving as director for the pilot and second episode.

In 2005, he directed the pilot for the Jerry Bruckheimer produced CBS show Close to Home.

In 2006, he directed the Screen Gems thriller, When a Stranger Calls.

In 2011, he directed the action-thriller The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster, a remake of the 1972 film of the same name.

West is developing the movie titled Protection starring Dwayne Johnson. It is slated for a 2012 release. It is scheduled to shoot this fall in New Mexico. The screenplay is by Brandon Noonan. Produced by Stuart Ford and Robert Lawrence, along with Gordon Gray and Marc Ciardi of Mayhem Pictures. Brian Kavanaugh Jones will executive produce and Jib Polhemus will act as co-producer.[2]

West directed The Expendables 2 (2012), replacing the first film's director, Sylvester Stallone, with Stallone focusing on acting in and writing the film. Filming began in summer 2011. West directed Nicolas Cage in the film Stolen in 2012.

Currently, West is directing a crime thriller film Wild Card with Jason Statham in New Orleans, a remake of the 1986 film Heat, based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman. The film is to be released on August 7, 2014. In January 2015 deplaced Rob Zombie, as director of the upcoming The Blob remake.[3]



  1. ^ "The New York Times". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "New Details on Dwayne Johnson’s PROTECTION". Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "‘The Blob’ Remake Grows Again, This Time With Simon West". Retrieved 31 January 2011. 

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