D. J. Caruso

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D. J. Caruso
Born Daniel John Caruso, Jr.[1]
(1965-01-17) January 17, 1965 (age 52)
Norwalk, Connecticut
Occupation Director, producer

Daniexxl John "D. J." Caruso, Jr. (born January 17, 1965) is an American director and producer. Caruso has directed the films Disturbia, Two for the Money, Taking Lives, The Salton Sea, Eagle Eye, I Am Number Four, Standing Up and recently xXx: Return of Xander Cage. He has also directed television episodes for shows such as The Shield, Over There, Smallville, and Dark Angel.

Early life and education[edit]

Caruso was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, the son of Lorraine (Zullo) and Daniel John Caruso, who owned a salon, House of Beauty.[2] He is of Italian descent.[3]

Caruso graduated from Norwalk High School in 1983. He is a graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[4][5]



His first feature film as a director was The Salton Sea which starred Val Kilmer. It was released in 2002. The film was a stylish noir thriller that has garnered a cult status. In 2004, Caruso directed Taking Lives with Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland. The film was released in theaters on March 16, 2004, but did not gross as much at box office as expected, only grossing $65,470,529. The film was later released on DVD the same year and was number one on the charts for three straight weeks. Two for the Money was Caruso's next film which was considered "a well done sport thriller, but with too many details".[citation needed] The film was released on October 7, 2005, and was a moderate success, grossing $30,526,509 worldwide with a modest budget of $18 million. It was later released on DVD on January 17, 2006.

In 2007, Caruso was asked by Steven Spielberg to direct Disturbia. The movie was Caruso's first big hit, grossing over $117 million on a $20 million budget. It starred Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, and Carrie-Anne Moss. It was released April 13, 2007 in theaters and on DVD August 7.[6] Eagle Eye was Caruso's second collaboration with Shia LaBeouf. It also starred Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson and was released in theaters September 26, 2008. It was produced by Steven Spielberg. Critic reactions were mixed to negative but, on its opening weekend the movie grossed $29.1 million in 3,510 theaters in the United States and Canada. It has grossed $201 million worldwide with a movie budget of $80 million.

He directed I Am Number Four in 2011, based on a book by Pittacus Lore. The film grossed $161 million worldwide. His most recent film is the coming of age film Standing Up, the director's first family film. It is based on Brock Cole's novel, The Goats. The film stars Chandler Canterbury and Annalise Basso as two geeky children who embark on a journey of discovery and self-discovery after they are stripped naked and left stranded together on an island as part of a summer camp prank. Caruso began adapting the novel 11 years ago[when?] with then-partner Ken Aguado, who produced the film. Standing Up was made with a budget of $3 million and released on August 16, 2013. That same year it was reported that Caruso is working on a film entitled Invertigo for Sony Pictures, but it remains unreleased.[7]

In August 2013, Caruso planned to direct the film adaptation of the comic Preacher.[8][9] Caruso was also working on a film titled Selling Time, a supernatural thriller potentially starring Will Smith, about a man who is given the unique opportunity to relive the worst day of his life, in exchange for seven years off his own life expectancy.[10]

He was a guest judge on the Fox reality television show On the Lot for the episode of May 28 and 29 in 2007. Caruso directed his first music video in 2007 for the song "Don't Make Me Wait" by This World Fair.[11] In 2009, he directed the music video for Airborne Toxic Event's song "Sometime Around Midnight".

On April 2, 2015, Caruso was hired to direct the as-of-yet untitled third entry in the G.I. Joe film series, with Aaron Berg writing the screenplay.[12][13] October 2015, actor and producer Vin Diesel had Caruso sign on as the director of xXx: Return of Xander Cage.[14] The film was met with mixed reviews.

Personal life[edit]

Caruso married actress Holly Kuespert on July 6, 1991. They have five children: Brandon, Daniel, Sophia, Charlie and Sally.[15]



Year Title Notes
1997 Cyclops, Baby Short film
2002 The Salton Sea Feature film debut
2004 Taking Lives
2005 Two for the Money
2007 Disturbia
2008 Eagle Eye
2011 I Am Number Four
Inside Also screenwriter
2013 Standing Up Also screenwriter
2016 The Disappointments Room
2017 xXx: Return of Xander Cage


Year Title Notes
1996 VR.5 unknown episodes
High Incident unknown episodes
1998 Black Cat Run TV movie
Buddy Faro unknown episodes
1999 Martial Law unknown episodes
Mind Prey TV movie
The Strip unknown episodes
2001 Dark Angel Episode: "Meow"
Going to California unknown episodes
2002 Robbery Homicide Division 2 episodes
Smallville Episode: Season 1 - "Shimmer"
2002–2006 The Shield 6 episodes
2005 Over There 1 episode


  1. ^ "Caruso, a Norwalk Native, Helms 'Eagle Eye'". Norwalk Citizen News. October 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ "NHSAA Wall of Honor Hollywood director was All-State tennis player - Thehour.com: Norwalk". Thehour.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  3. ^ Liz Braun (2007-04-12). "CANOE - JAM! Movies: 'Disturbia' director mixes genres". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  4. ^ Fay, Francis X., Jr. (October 1, 2010). "NHSAA Wall of Honor Hollywood director was All-State tennis player". The Hour. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ Jason Buchanan. "D.J. Caruso". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  6. ^ "00's Retrospect: Star Power Pushes Over 2007". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  7. ^ Scificool.com
  8. ^ Empireonline Archived October 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Yes, D.J. Caruso Still Plans to Make 'Preacher' - /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 7, 2014). "DJ Caruso to Direct Supernatural 'Selling Time' for Fox". Film. Variety. LA: Variety Media. 
  11. ^ "This World Fair". Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (November 24, 2015). "D. J. Caruso in Talks to Direct 'G. I. Joe 3' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (November 24, 2015). "'G. I. Joe 3' Nabs 'Section 6' Writer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  14. ^ Osborn, Alex. "Vin Diesel: XXX 3 Will Be Directed by D.J. Caruso". IGN.com. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Brandon Caruso Bio - Pepperdine University Official Athletic Site". Pepperdinesports.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 

External links[edit]