||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification, as it includes attribution to IMDb. (May 2009)|
Todd Phillips in 2009
December 20, 1970 |
New York City
|Occupation||director, screenwriter, producer, actor|
|Notable work(s)||Road Trip
The Hangover film series
Todd Phillips (born December 20, 1970) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. Phillips is best known for writing and directing Road Trip, Old School, The Hangover film series, and Due Date. He also produced the 2012 black comedy film Project X.
Early life 
Phillips (Todd Bunzel) was born and raised in New York, and attended New York University Film School, but dropped out in order to focus on completing his first film, the feature-length documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, about the life and death of the notoriously controversial punk rocker GG Allin. Around this time, he worked at Kim's Video and Music. He also appeared as one of the drivers in the first seasons of Taxicab Confessions on HBO. In an NY Times profile, Phillips claims to have gotten in trouble for shoplifting as a young man.
Director and writer 
His first film was the feature-length documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, about the life and death of controversial punk rocker GG Allin. Phillips made the film while a junior at NYU and it went on to become one of the biggest grossing student films at the time, even getting a limited theatrical release. Phillips followed up Junkies with Frat House, a documentary about college fraternities that he produced and directed with then-partner Andrew Gurland. Frat House premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary features. It was produced by HBO, but never aired on its channel because many of the film's participants claimed they were paid to re-enact their activities. It was never proven either way.
Phillips' documentary film Bittersweet Motel centered on the jam band Phish. It covered the band's summer and fall 1997 tours, plus footage from their 1998 spring tour of Europe. The documentary ends at The Great Went, a two-day festival held in upstate Maine which attracted 70,000 people. While at Sundance with Frat House, Phillips met director-producer Ivan Reitman, which led to Phillips writing and directing his comedy films, Road Trip and Old School, for Reitmans' Montecito Picture Company.
Phillips also wrote and directed the 2004 film Starsky & Hutch starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, as well as the 2006 film School for Scoundrels, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder. In 2005, Details Magazine cited Judd Apatow, Adam McKay and Phillips as "The Frat Pack". He worked on Borat (2006); however, he resigned his position as director of the movie in early 2005, due to creative differences. Nevertheless, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his role in fashioning the story.
In 2009, Phillips directed and produced The Hangover, which was made for a reported $35 million and went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. As of 2 March 2012[update] Its worldwide gross currently stands at 480 million dollars. The film went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). It also won Best Comedy at the 2009 Broadcast Film Critics Awards. Phillips took almost no up-front salary in exchange for a large share of the film's profits, and has said that the movie's enormous success, combined with his deal, makes it "my Star Wars". After a worldwide gross of $467 million, his share in the film made Phillips around $50 million.
In 2010, Phillips quickly followed up The Hangover with Due Date which he directed, produced and co-wrote. The film, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, was another R-rated comedy and another box office success. It grossed $211,780,324 worldwide.
In the fall of 2010, production on The Hangover Part II began in Bangkok, Thailand. Again Phillips served as the director, producer and co-writer. The film shot for 63 days and broke all kinds of records[clarification needed] upon its release on May 26, 2011. Starting with midnight showings in 2,600 theaters, the film earned $10.4 million, breaking the record for the biggest midnight opening for an R-rated film. The Hangover Part II went on to accrue a launch day total of $31.6 million; nearly doubling The Hangover's Friday launch opening ($16.7 million). This amount broke two further records; the highest-grossing opening day for a live-action comedy and the highest-grossing opening day for an R-rated comedy film, replacing Sex and the City ($26.7 million). The three-day opening weekend accumulated $85,946,294 – an average of $23,923 per theater  – becoming the highest grossing opening weekend for a comedy film, replacing The Simpsons Movie ($74 million). For the Memorial Day four-day weekend, the film amassed $103.4 million to become the fourth-highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend opening. Finally, the film's worldwide gross of $581,464,305 beat the previous R-rated comedy record holder The Hangover to become the biggest comedy of all time and the third-biggest R-rated film of all time.
In the credits of every film Phillips has directed, the picture is addressed as "A Todd Phillips Movie", despite the fact that usually these directorial credits are referred to as "A (director) Film".
Director Phillips often appears in his own movies in cameo roles:
- In the film Road Trip (2000), he makes an appearance as "Foot Lover on Bus." He is wearing a track suit and a curly black wig.
- He has a cameo near the start of Old School (2003) and is at the door asking, "I'm, uh, here for the gangbang," and is credited as "Gang Bang Guy." Again, he is wearing a track suit and the same curly black wig.
- Phillips appears briefly in The Hangover (2009). His character, "Mr. Creepy", is dressed in a tracksuit and is wearing a black curly wig. He is seen as the elevator doors open; he appears to have been crouched in front of the girl accompanying him.
- He appears in the movie Due Date (2010) as "Barry", the pot-smoking roommate of Juliette Lewis's character Heidi.
- He reprises his role as "Mr. Creepy" in The Hangover Part II, but the role is uncredited.
|1994||Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|2004||Starsky & Hutch||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|2006||School for Scoundrels||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|2011||The Hangover Part II||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2013||The Hangover Part III||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- Todd Phillips interview at SuicideGirls
- Episode #1.3 at the Internet Movie Database
- Itzkoff, Dave (May 31, 2009). "Finding the Fun in Eternal Frat Boys". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Todd Phillips – Director of Road Trip Road Trip interview at DVD Talk
- The Power 50: DETAILS Article on men.style.com
- Billington, Alex (September 27, 2006). "Interview with Todd Phillips". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Brad Brevet. "2010 Golden Globe Winners: 'Sherlock Holmes' 1, 'The Hurt Locker' 0".
- "$200 Million Opening Weekend Has Warner Bros Thinking Third 'Hangover'". deadline.com. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-05-31.