Ayer at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
(m. 2002; div. 2017)
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1986–1988|
David Ayer (born January 18, 1968) is an American filmmaker, best known for making crime films based in Los Angeles and which deal with gangs and police corruption. His screenplays include Training Day (2001), The Fast and the Furious (2001), and S.W.A.T. (2003). He has also directed Harsh Times (2005), Street Kings (2008), End of Watch (2012), and Sabotage (2014). In 2016, he directed the superhero film Suicide Squad from the DC Extended Universe, and then the urban fantasy film Bright (2017) for Netflix. He has twice collaborated with actor Shia LaBeouf: first with the World War II drama Fury (2014), then the crime thriller The Tax Collector (2020). He has also collaborated with his friend Cle Shaheed Sloan who has appeared in 5 of his films.
Ayer was born in Champaign, Illinois, on January 18, 1968, and grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Bethesda, Maryland, where he was kicked out of his house by his parents as a teenager. Ayer lived with his cousin in Los Angeles, California, where his experiences in South Central Los Angeles became the inspiration for many of his films. Ayer dropped out of high school and painted houses for a living. Ayer enlisted in the United States Navy as a Submarine Sonar Technician (STS) aboard the USS Haddo (SSN-604)
Ayer's screenplay, U-571 was based on his experiences as a submariner in the US Navy. Ayer collaborated on the screenplay for The Fast and the Furious in 2001. Ayer wrote the screenplay for crime drama Dark Blue, and it was his research into the Los Angeles Police Department that led to his most prominent screenplay, Training Day. Ayer signed a contract to write a screenplay for S.W.A.T., which was based on his original story pitch. The film was directed by Clark Johnson and released in 2003.
Ayer's directorial debut was with the film Harsh Times, an action-drama set on the streets of South Central Los Angeles, showing how drug use and past military experiences affects people's attempts to lead normal lives. He went on to direct the action thriller Street Kings, which was released in 2008.
Ayer later wrote and directed End of Watch, an action thriller about the daily lives of two South Central Los Angeles policemen, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. The film was released in the fall of 2012 to profitable box-office returns and favorable reception from critics, with Roger Ebert naming it as the fourth-best film of 2012, hailing it as "one of the best police movies in recent years". His next film was the action thriller Sabotage, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; the film was released on March 28, 2014. He wrote and directed the World War II-set action film, Fury, starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman; the film was released in October 2014.
Ayer wrote and directed the film adaptation of the comic book Suicide Squad, which was released on August 5, 2016. The film, along with Ayer's directing, received negative reviews. Critics were negative to mixed in their opinions, though it became his most commercially successful film to date.
Ayer also directed Bright, "a contemporary cop thriller, but with fantastical elements", starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton with a script penned by Max Landis that Ayer himself rewrote. Netflix picked up the film for a $90 million deal. The film was released on December 22, 2017. On January 3, 2018, Netflix confirmed they were moving ahead with the sequel for Bright, with Smith and Edgerton reprising their roles and Ayer directing and writing the script with Evan Spiliotopoulos, the filming of which began in March 2019.
On December 13, 2016, Ayer was brought on board to direct the spin-off of Suicide Squad, titled Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie reprising her role of Harley Quinn. However he was replaced by Cathy Yan.
|The Fast and the Furious||No||Yes||No|
|2012||End of Watch||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2020||Birds of Prey||No||No||Executive|
|The Tax Collector||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|TBA||The Dirty Dozen||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2001||Training Day||Russian mafia hitman|
|2008||Street Kings||Gang member prisoner in L.A. County Jail|
|2016||Suicide Squad||Belle Reve prison guard (Extended Cut)|
- Simon, Jeff (October 17, 2014). "David Ayer's bumpy and brilliant road to Fury". The Buffalo News. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Carbone, Nick (September 21, 2012). "'End of Watch' Director David Ayer on Reinventing the Cop Genre". TIME. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Cabin, Chris (January 22, 2017). "David Ayer Pens Message About 'Suicide Squad' Reception & The Joker's Role". Collider.
- Barnes, Henry (October 16, 2014). "David Ayer: 'There's something maternal about the tank in Fury'". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Gettell, Oliver (September 19, 2012). "David Ayer writes his own rules for the cop genre in 'End of Watch'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Ebert, Roger (September 19, 2012). "End of Watch". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Lesnick, Silas (May 1, 2013). "Logan Lerman Enlists for Fury". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- "David Ayer Movie Box Office Results". www.boxofficemojo.com.
- Goldberg, Matt (March 2, 2016). "Will Smith and David Ayer Reteam for Bright with Joel Edgerton". Collider.
- Kroll, Justin (March 3, 2016). "Will Smith, David Ayer Reteaming on Max Landis Spec 'Bright'". Variety.
- Goldberg, Matt (March 18, 2016). "Netflix Makes Mammoth Deal for David Ayer's 'Bright' Starring Will Smith". Collider.com.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (3 January 2018). ""Netflix Firms 'Bright' Sequel With Will Smith"". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "David Ayer, Margot Robbie Reteam on Female DC Villains Movie".
- Fleming Jr, Mike (April 17, 2018). "Cathy Yan Is Warner Bros' Choice To Direct Margot Robbie in Next Harley Quinn Film". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- "Shia LaBeouf". Interview Magazine. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2019-12-04.