Alex Proyas

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Alex Proyas
Proyas in 2016
Alexander Proyas

(1963-09-23) 23 September 1963 (age 60)
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1980–present

Alexander Proyas (/ˈprɔɪəs/; Greek: Αλέξανδρος Πρόγιας; born 23 September 1963) is an Australian filmmaker. Proyas is best known for directing the films The Crow (1994), Dark City (1998), I, Robot (2004), Knowing (2009), and Gods of Egypt (2016).

Early life[edit]

Proyas was born in Alexandria, present-day Egypt, to ethnic Greek parents. His father's family had lived in Egypt for many generations, and his mother's family were from Cyprus.[1] He moved to Sydney when he was three.[2] At 17, he attended the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School, and began directing music videos shortly after.[2] He moved to Los Angeles in the United States to further his career, working on MTV music videos and TV commercials.[2][3]


Proyas' first feature film was the independent science fiction thriller Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, which was nominated for two Australian Film Institute awards in 1988, for costume design and production design[4] and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.[5]

Next, Proyas directed the 1994 superhero fantasy thriller The Crow starring Brandon Lee. Lee was killed in an accident during filming, only eight days before the completion of the film on 31 March 1993. After Lee's death, Proyas and his producers decided to complete the film, partially rewriting the script and using a stunt double and special effects to film the remaining scenes.[6] The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.[7]

Proyas then wrote, directed and produced the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City, which received positive critical reception and won several awards[8] but was a commercial disappointment. In 2004, he directed I, Robot starring Will Smith, a science fiction film suggested by[9] the Isaac Asimov short story compilation I, Robot and was a box office success despite mixed reviews.

Proyas' next film, the thriller Knowing starring Nicolas Cage, began production in Melbourne in March 2008 and opened in North America in March 2009.[10]

His next project was meant to be an action-oriented adaptation of John Milton's 17th-century Christian epic poem Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper.[11] Both Proyas and Cooper were on hand to debut concept art at ComicCon 2011,[12] but the project was ultimately cancelled over budgetary concerns related to the effects.[13]

Proyas also worked with John Foxx on the creation of Parallel Lives, a joint project.

In late 2012, it was revealed that Proyas was slated as director of the science fiction thriller film adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson novel Amped.[14]

Proyas directed Gods of Egypt, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and co-written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The film was critically panned upon its release in 2016[15] and bombed at the box office.

Other ventures[edit]

In 2019 Alex Proyas founded a new production studio in Sydney, Australia, under the name of Heretic Foundation. In August 2021 Proyas announced that he was developing a new video platform titled "VidiVerse" for independent filmmakers, as an alternative to YouTube.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Proyas has long been married to artist Catherine Linsley, who worked in the Art Department for Proyas's first feature film, Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. She has also worked in various capacities on short subjects and animations produced by or written by Proyas. Linsley was also listed in the final credits of his film Knowing under the section "The producers wish to thank...".[16]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
1988 Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds Yes Yes Yes
1994 The Crow Yes No No Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Director
1998 Dark City Yes Yes Yes Silver Scream Award
Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay
Film Critics Circle of Australia
Pegasus Audience Award[17]
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Director
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Writing
2002 Garage Days Yes Yes Yes
2004 I, Robot Yes No No
2009 Knowing Yes Yes No
2016 Gods of Egypt Yes Yes No Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Notes
1980 Neon Yes No Co-directed with Salik Silverstein
Groping Yes No Co-directed with Salik Silverstein; also cinematographer
1981 Strange Residues Yes No Also editor
1987 Spineless Yes No Also actor
1994 Book of Dreams: Welcome to Crateland Yes Yes Nominated – Short Film Palme d'Or; also cinematographer
1995 Book of Dreams: Dream 7 – Ruben's Dream Yes Yes
2019 Phobos Yes Yes
2021 Mask of the Evil Apparition Yes Yes Set in the Dark City cinematic universe

Music videos[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1987 Alex Proyas for "Don't Dream It's Over" (Crowded House) Best Video Won [18]
Alex Proyas for "Kiss the Dirt" (INXS) Nominated


  1. ^ Kapetopoulos, Fotis (17 February 2020). "Alex Proyas: Looking for a new country in filmmaking". Neos Kosmos. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Lancaster, Kurt; Thomas J. Mikotowicz (2001). Performing the Force: Essays on Immersion into Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Environments. McFarland & Company. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7864-0895-5.
  3. ^ a b Diana Ringo (25 August 2021). "Interview with Alex Proyas". Indie Cinema Magazine.
  4. ^ "Awards for Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Yubari International Fantastic Adventure Film Festival '90". Archived from the original on 7 April 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  6. ^ Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca (13 May 1994). "How Crow Flew". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  7. ^ "The Crow (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Awards for Dark City". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  9. ^ "Full Cast and Crew for I, Robot". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  10. ^ Fleming, Michael (10 December 2007). "Cage to star in Proyas' 'Knowing'". Variety. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  11. ^ Sarafin, Jarrod. "Proyas Helms PARADISE LOST". Archived from the original on 18 September 2010.
  12. ^ Chitwood, Adam (6 July 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: Legendary Pictures Announces Panel Featuring PARADISE LOST". Collider. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike (9 February 2012). "Bradley Cooper-Starrer 'Paradise Lost' Scrapped By Legendary Pictures". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  14. ^ Alex Proyas To Direct Sci-Fi Thriller Amped, From The Author of Robopocalypse,, 6 November 2012, retrieved 7 November 2012
  15. ^ "Alex Pyoyas' epic fantasy film project Gods of Egypt". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  16. ^ Cathy Linsley: Thanks (1 credit) 2009 Knowing (the producers wish to thank from IMDB Accessed 30 April 2019
  17. ^ "Awards for Alex Proyas". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  18. ^ ARIA Award previous winners. "Winners by Award – Artisan Awards – Best Video". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 December 2019.

External links[edit]