23 September 1963
Alexander Proyas (//; 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).
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. He moved to Sydney when he was three. At 17, he attended the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School, and began directing music videos shortly after. He moved to Los Angeles in the United States to further his career, working on MTV music videos and TV commercials.
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 and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.
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. The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.
Proyas then wrote, directed and produced the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City, which received positive critical reception and won several awards but was a commercial disappointment. In 2004, he directed I, Robot starring Will Smith, a science fiction film suggested by the Isaac Asimov short story compilation I, Robot and was a box office success despite mixed reviews.
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. Both Proyas and Cooper were on hand to debut concept art at ComicCon 2011, but the project was ultimately cancelled over budgetary concerns related to the effects.
Proyas also worked with John Foxx on the creation of Parallel Lives, a joint project.
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 and bombed at the box office.
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.
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...".
|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
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Director
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Writing
|2016||Gods of Egypt||Yes||Yes||No||Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture|
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director
|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|
|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|
|2021||Mask of the Evil Apparition||Yes||Yes||Set in the Dark City cinematic universe|
- "Ricky's Hand" – Fad Gadget (1980) w/Salik Silverstein
- "Flicker" – Fetus Productions (1983)
- "In Your Eyes" – Dropbears (1985)
- "Kiss the Dirt" – INXS (1986)
- "Don't Dream It's Over" – Crowded House (1986)
- "Holiday" – The Other Ones (1987)
- "Rhythm of Love" – Yes (1987)
- "Better Be Home Soon" – Crowded House (1988)
- "Magic Touch" – Mike Oldfield (1988)
- "Bring Down the Moon" – Boy Meets Girl (1989)
- "Nineteen Forever" – Joe Jackson (1989)
- "Mysteries of Love" – Alphaville (1989)
- "When We Dance" – Sting (1994)
Awards and nominations
ARIA Music Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result||Ref.|
|1987||Alex Proyas for "Don't Dream It's Over" (Crowded House)||Best Video||Won|||
|Alex Proyas for "Kiss the Dirt" (INXS)||Nominated|
- Kapetopoulos, Fotis (17 February 2020). "Alex Proyas: Looking for a new country in filmmaking". Neos Kosmos. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- 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.
- Diana Ringo (25 August 2021). "Interview with Alex Proyas". Indie Cinema Magazine.
- "Awards for Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "Yubari International Fantastic Adventure Film Festival '90". yubarifanta.com. Archived from the original on 7 April 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
- Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca (13 May 1994). "How Crow Flew". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "The Crow (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "Awards for Dark City". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "Full Cast and Crew for I, Robot". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- Fleming, Michael (10 December 2007). "Cage to star in Proyas' 'Knowing'". Variety. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- Sarafin, Jarrod. "Proyas Helms PARADISE LOST". Archived from the original on 18 September 2010.
- Chitwood, Adam (6 July 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: Legendary Pictures Announces Panel Featuring PARADISE LOST". Collider. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Fleming, Mike (9 February 2012). "Bradley Cooper-Starrer 'Paradise Lost' Scrapped By Legendary Pictures". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Alex Proyas To Direct Sci-Fi Thriller Amped, From The Author of Robopocalypse, Cinemablend.com, 6 November 2012, retrieved 7 November 2012
- "Alex Pyoyas' epic fantasy film project Gods of Egypt". geektyrant.com. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Cathy Linsley: Thanks (1 credit) 2009 Knowing (the producers wish to thank from IMDB Accessed 30 April 2019
- "Awards for Alex Proyas". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- ARIA Award previous winners. "Winners by Award – Artisan Awards – Best Video". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 December 2019.