Antoine Fuqua

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Antoine Fuqua
Antoine Fuqua (29682821190).jpg
Born (1966-01-19) January 19, 1966 (age 55)
  • Film director
  • film producer
Years active1992–present
(m. 1999)
FamilyHarvey Fuqua (uncle)

Antoine Fuqua (born January 19, 1966) is an American filmmaker and comic artist. Known for directing music videos for Toni Braxton, Coolio, Stevie Wonder and Prince, he launched his career in 1998 and became best known for directing the crime thriller film Training Day (2001) which won an Academy Award for Best Actor and earned him a name in Hollywood.

Ever since, Fuqua became known for making action, crime, thriller and drama films through his career including Western with his remake to The Magnificent Seven (2016).

Early life[edit]

Fuqua was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Carlos and Mary Fuqua. He is the nephew of record producer and executive Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows. Fuqua paid tribute to screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto, a frequent collaborator of Akira Kurosawa's, saying his writing "affected a boy from Pittsburgh living in the ghetto."

[Shinobu Hashimoto's writing] was so beautiful and poetic and powerful and heartbreaking. It was all about justice, it was all about sacrifice, and it made me want to be one of those guys. I came from a rough area, and I had my own version of watching poor people getting pushed down – whoever the person was who had the power, they would come in and take from other people.[1]

Fuqua explained how his experience of violence shaped his adolescence, and played a role in his eventual choice of career.

My first big break was when I got shot when I was fifteen. It changed my life and it made me not hang out in the streets as much, and go to the movies more. Those sort of things are wake up calls to have a better appreciation for life, and a better appreciation for the people around you. From that moment in my life I put all my energy into what I believed in, and at that time it was playing basketball and sports. That led me to a scholarship ... after that a professor said that I should take an art class ... I fell in love with an artist by the name of Caravaggio.[2]

Before turning to filmmaking and music videos, Fuqua studied electrical engineering, with the hope of going on to fly jets in the military.[3]


Fuqua began his career directing music videos for popular artists such as Toni Braxton, Stevie Wonder, and Prince. He directed Michelle Pfeiffer in the video Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio, and which was used to promote Jerry Bruckheimer's hit film Dangerous Minds.

The movie became a big hit and Jerry Bruckheimer was kind enough to give me a lot of credit for it because they used my music video ... the irony was people thought I was the new French film director. No one had any idea was I was this guy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So I used to walk in the room and people would literally ask me to get coffee. And I would say, "No, no, I'm the director", and I loved watching their faces. That was fun.[2]

From 1998 onwards, he began directing feature films, although he has worked on a few music videos since then. In a tribute article for Time magazine, Fuqua expressed his early respect for Kurosawa as a filmmaker and how Kurosawa influenced his own perspective on filmmaking stating: "[screen writer Hashimoto's] ... working with Akira Kurosawa and Hideo Oguni, was so beautiful and poetic and powerful and heartbreaking. It was all about justice, it was all about sacrifice, and it made me want to be one of those guys".[1]

His first feature film was the John Woo-produced action film The Replacement Killers (1998), starring Chow Yun Fat. He then directed the crime thriller Training Day (2001), for which star Denzel Washington won an Academy Award for Best Actor. His next films were the action war drama Tears of the Sun (2003), the Arthurian legend film King Arthur (2004), the conspiracy action thriller Shooter (2007), the crime film Brooklyn's Finest (2009), and the action thrillers Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and The Equalizer (2014), the latter of which again pairs Fuqua with Denzel Washington.

He co-created the comic-book miniseries After Dark with Wesley Snipes, which was written by Peter Milligan and illustrated by Jeff Nentrup.[4] Fuqua was scheduled to direct Prisoners,[5] based on a storybook from Aaron Guzikowski, but left the project.[6] He was slated to direct Tupac Shakur's official biopic.[7] The project was postponed to allow Fuqua to direct rapper Eminem's second feature film, Southpaw.[8] However, Eminem put Southpaw on hold to focus on music,[9] and was replaced with Jake Gyllenhaal. In 2010, CBS Films hired Fuqua to direct a new movie based on a Vince Flynn novel, Consent to Kill.[10] In May 2014, 20th Century Fox set Fuqua to direct a drug-smuggling thriller film Narco Sub, which is scripted by David Guggenheim.[11]

In March 2011, Fuqua signed on to direct a film featuring the romantic love story between Consort Yang Yuhuan and Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty.[12][13] As reported in March 2013, he has stated that he was awaiting the film project to go through the appropriate Chinese government channels before directing the historical epic film, currently known as The Tang Dynasty.[14] In 2011, he directed CIA procedural Fox pilot Exit Strategy starring Ethan Hawke.[15][16]

His 2016 film was a remake of the action Western The Magnificent Seven (2016). The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 Western of the same name and Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, on which the Western was based. Denzel Washington plays the lead role of Sam Chisolm.[17] Fuqua was also an executive producer of the 2016 television remake of Roots. His Fuqua Films company is signing a deal with the Weinsteins in 2016.[18] His Fuqua Films company signed a first look deal with The Weinstein Company Television.[19]

On August 10, 2016, Deadline Hollywood reported that Fuqua was in talks to direct a new Scarface film.[20] In January 2017, Fuqua left the project.[21] On February 10, 2017, it was announced that the film would be written by the Coen brothers.[22] On March 30, 2018, it was announced that Fuqua would direct the new film with Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer writing the screenplay.[23] On May 14, 2020, it was announced that Fuqua was no longer directing and that Luca Guadagnino has signed on to direct the film with the script still being written by the Coen brothers as previously confirmed.[24]

In early 2018, Fuqua became listed as one of the executive producers of the Fox medical drama series The Resident. In summer 2018, his thriller sequel The Equalizer 2 (2018) was released, with Denzel Washington returning in the starring role. In February 2019, it was announced that Chris Evans had entered negotiations to star in the sci-fi film titled Infinite, with Fuqua directing for film release in August 2020.[25]

In 2021, Fuqua and actor Will Smith announced that production of the upcoming film, Emancipation, will not be filmed in Georgia because of the recent passage of Georgia's restrictive voting law. Smith and Fuqua released a joint statement: "We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access".[26]

Personal life[edit]

Fuqua with his wife Lela Rochon in 2007

In 1998, actress Lela Rochon and Fuqua were engaged, and they married on April 9, 1999. Daughter Asia Rochon Fuqua was born on July 28, 2002, and son Brando in May 2004. Fuqua has a son, Zachary, from a previous relationship. He also has two granddaughters.

When asked by the BBC in September 2014 whether he believes in God, Fuqua said: "Absolutely. I believe in God, absolutely."[27]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title
Director Producer
1998 The Replacement Killers Yes No
2000 Bait Yes No
2001 Training Day Yes No
2003 Tears of the Sun Yes No
2004 King Arthur Yes No
2007 Shooter Yes No
2009 Brooklyn's Finest Yes Executive
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Yes Yes
2014 The Equalizer Yes No
2015 Southpaw Yes Yes
2016 The Magnificent Seven Yes Executive
2018 The Equalizer 2 Yes Yes
2021 Infinite Yes Executive
The Guilty Yes Yes

Producer only

Documentary films[edit]

Year Title
Director Producer Notes
2004 Lightning in a Bottle Yes No
2005 Bastards of the Party No Yes
2016 Forever Brothers: The '71 Pittsburgh Pirates Story No Executive TV movie
2018 American Dream/American Knightmare Yes Executive
2019 What's My Name: Muhammad Ali Yes Executive
2021 The Day Sports Stood Still Yes Yes


Year Title
Director Executive
2005 Murder Book Yes No TV movie
2015 Exit Strategy Yes Yes
2016-2017 Ice Yes Yes Episode "Hyenas"

Executive producer only

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
1992 "Love's Taken Over" Chanté Moore
"It's Alright"
"All I See" Christopher Williams
1993 "Saving Forever for You" Shanice
"The Morning After" Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
"Nobody Does It Betta" Mint Condition[28]
1994 "Ain't Nobody" Jaki Graham
"Somewhere" Shanice
"I'm in the Mood" CeCe Peniston
"Deep Down" Ladae[29]
"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" Prince
"Sending My Love" Zhané
"United Front" Arrested Development
1995 "For Your Love" Stevie Wonder
"Freedom" Various Artists
"Gangsta's Paradise" Coolio
1996 "Someday" All-4-One
1998 "Bedtime (Version 2)" Usher Raymond
1999 "Blue Angels" Pras
2007 "Citizen Soldier" 3 Doors Down
2011 "Mirror" Lil Wayne



Critical, commercial, and audience reception to films Fuqua has directed:

Film Rotten Tomatoes[30] Metacritic[31] CinemaScore[32] Budget Box office[33]
The Replacement Killers 35% 42 B- $30 million $19.2 million
Bait 26% 39 A- $51 million $15.47 million
Training Day 72% 69 B+ $45 million $104.9 million
Tears of the Sun 33% 48 A- $75 million $86.5 million
King Arthur 31% 46 B $120 million $203.6 million
Shooter 47% 53 B+ $61 million $95.7 million
Brooklyn's Finest 43% 43 C $17 million $36.4 million
Olympus Has Fallen 48% 41 A- $70 million $170.3 million
The Equalizer 60% 57 A- $55 million $192.3 million
Southpaw 59% 57 A $25 million $92 million
The Magnificent Seven 63% 54 A- $90 million $162.4 million
The Equalizer 2 51% 50 A $62 million $190.2 million


  1. ^ a b "Antoine Fuqua Remembers the Storytelling Genius of Shinobu Hashimoto". Time.
  2. ^ a b Video on YouTube
  3. ^ nthWORD Archived May 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, April, 2010
  4. ^ "Cover Artwork for After Dark Comic Issues No. 0 and #1". DreadCentral.
  5. ^ Eugene Driscoll. "750 Extras Needed For 'Prisoners'". Valley Independent Sentinel.
  6. ^ "Missing Star Causes 'Prisoners' Delay". BloodyDisgusting.
  7. ^ Production On Tupac Film To Begin This Spring Archived September 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine AllHipHop.
  8. ^ "Eminem's boxing movie may delay the Tupac Shakur biopic yet again". AV Club. June 7, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Eminem cancels Southpaw". Archived from the original on May 13, 2012.
  10. ^ "Antoine Fuqua Helming Consent to Kill". ComingSoon.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 30, 2014). "Antoine Fuqua Attached To Fox Drug Trafficking Thriller 'Narco Sub'". Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  12. ^ ""Training Day" director to tell Chinese love story". China Cultural Industries. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  13. ^ Chu, Karen (March 27, 2011). "Antoine Fuqua to direct Chinese concubine romance". Reuters. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  14. ^ Toro, Gabe (March 11, 2013). "Antoine Fuqua Says '24' Movie Is Dead, Still Waiting On The Script For Tupac Shakur Biopic". Indiewire.
  15. ^ "Antoine Fuqua To Direct Fox Pilot 'Exit Strategy' Starring Ethan Hawke". IndieWire. January 22, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  16. ^ Nellie Andreeva (January 21, 2011). "Fox Picks Up 'Exit Strategy' Pilot Starring Ethan Hawke; Antoine Fuqua To Direct". Deadline. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  17. ^ "'Magnificent Seven' Director On Staying True To The Original Film's Message" (Interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air). Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  18. ^ Holloway, Daniel (April 7, 2016). "Antoine Fuqua Signs First-Look TV Deal With Weinstein Co". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Holloway, Daniel (April 7, 2016). "Antoine Fuqua Signs First-Look TV Deal With Weinstein Co". Variety. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  20. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 10, 2016). "Antoine Fuqua Circling New 'Scarface' At Universal". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation.
  21. ^ Scott, Ryan (January 31, 2017). "Diego Luna Is the New Scarface, Director Antoine Fuqua Exits". Movie Web. United States: Watchr Media.
  22. ^ "Scarface Remake Gets Coen Brothers Script, Release Date". February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  23. ^ Jacobs, Lola (March 30, 2018). "'Scarface' Reboot To Focus On Core Immigrant Narrative". Vibe. United States: Billboard Media.
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 14, 2020). "Luca Guadagnino to Direct 'Scarface' Reboot". Variety. United States: Variety.
  25. ^ McNary, Dave (February 12, 2019). "Chris Evans in Talks to Star in Antoine Fuqua's Past-Lives Drama 'Infinite'". Variety. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  26. ^ Sperling, Nicole (April 12, 2021). "Will Smith's production pulls out of Georgia, citing the state's voting law". New York Times.
  27. ^ Hennigan, Adrian (September 24, 2014). "Calling The Shots: Antoine Fuqua". BBC. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  28. ^ Fuqua, Antoine. "Mint Condition - "Nobody Does It Betta"". music video. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  29. ^ "Ladae - "Deep Down"". music video credits. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  30. ^ "Antoine Fuqua". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Antoine Fuqua". Metacritic. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  32. ^ "Cinemascore". Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  33. ^ "Antoine Fuqua Movie Box Office". Retrieved July 21, 2018.

External links[edit]