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Doug Liman

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Doug Liman
Liman in 2011
Douglas Eric Liman[1]

(1965-07-24) July 24, 1965 (age 58)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materBrown University
Occupation(s)Film director, producer
Years active1994–present
RelativesLewis J. Liman (brother)

Douglas Eric Liman (/ˈlmən/;[2] born July 24, 1965) is an American film director and producer. He is known for directing the films Swingers (1996), Go (1999), The Bourne Identity (2002), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Jumper (2008), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and American Made (2017).

Most of his career has been associated with the production company Hypnotic. He is co-owner with Dave Bartis, whom he met as an undergraduate at Brown University where they co-founded Brown Television (BTV) and the National Association of College Broadcasters (NACB).

Liman is on the advisory board of the Legal Action Center and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School.

Early life[edit]

Liman, who is Jewish, was born in New York City, the son of Ellen (née Fogelson), a painter and writer, and Arthur L. Liman, a lawyer.[3]

Liman began making short films while still in junior high school and studied at International Center of Photography in New York City. While attending Brown University, he helped to co-found the student-run cable television station BTV and served as its first station manager. He also co-founded the NACB, the first trade association geared to student-staffed radio and television stations, in 1988.

Liman attended the graduate program at University of Southern California, where he was tapped to helm his first project in 1993, the comedy film Getting In.[4]


Liman's first major success was Swingers, released in 1996. The film, written by Jon Favreau and based on Favreau's life, is a comedy about struggling actors amid the L.A. club milieu. Liman raised the funding and the film was made on the cheap, starring Favreau and his friends (Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston, and Patrick Van Horn), ultimately cost $250,000. The film was a critical success, and jump-started the careers of Liman and the featured actors. Liman sold the film to Miramax for $5.5 million.[5]

Liman next directed Go (1999), which tracks the events of a drug deal gone wrong through three different points of view as plot lines diverge and reconverge; Liman was also the film's cinematographer. The film was a modest success, grossing $28.4 million worldwide against a $20 million budget, and garnered positive reviews from critics.

In 1999, Liman shot a commercial for Nike featuring Tiger Woods.

Liman at the Cannes Film Festival, May 2010

Liman next directed the 2002 action thriller The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon, an adaptation of the 1980 Robert Ludlum novel. The film was a box office success, earning over $200 million, and began a Bourne film franchise that has since included four additional films. Liman directed only the first Bourne film, after a notoriously "chaotic" shoot disrupted his relationship with the studio.[6] As he had personally acquired the rights to the franchise from Ludlum, he served as an executive producer for three of the four sequels (2004's The Bourne Supremacy, 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum and 2016's Jason Bourne).

Liman executive-produced and directed the first two episodes ("Premiere" and "The Model Home") of the successful Fox prime time drama The O.C. (2003–2007). Liman produced and directed a series of comedy shorts for the Chrysler Film Project and Cannes Film Festival entitled Indie Is Great.

Liman also directed Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), a comedic thriller about an increasingly distant married couple, both secretly assassins, who are hired to kill each other. The film was Liman's most commercially successful to date, and is well known for the off-screen romance that developed between stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie after making the film.

In 2005, Liman signed on to direct the pilot episode of NBC's television series Heist, which is about a season-long attempt to rob three jewelry stores on Beverly Hills' swanky Rodeo Drive. Also that same year, the production company Hypnotic has struck a deal with NBC Universal Television Studio.[7] Shortly afterwards, he renamed the production company from Hypnotic to Dutch Oven.[8]

His film adaptation of Steven Gould's science fiction novel Jumper was released in 2008.[9]

In 2009, he co-founded the website 30ninjas.com which is geared towards fans of action movies and television, gaming, extreme sports and viral videos. He also maintains a blog on the site.

Liman directed 2010's Fair Game, about the Plame affair, which competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[10]

In 2011, Liman directed and produced I Just Want My Pants Back, a television series that aired on MTV. He produced Covert Affairs and Suits, two original series on the USA Network. He directed the film adaptation of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel, All You Need is Kill, released as Edge of Tomorrow (2014), starring Tom Cruise. In 2017, he directed Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena in the military thriller The Wall, and directed Cruise again, in the crime-action film American Made, a biopic of pilot Barry Seal.[11]

In August 2016, Liman signed on to direct Dark Universe, a film set within the DC Extended Universe and based on superhero team Justice League Dark after leaving the adaptation of Gambit.[12] However, Liman has departed from the project due to schedule conflicts with the film Chaos Walking (2021), that Liman was working on that time.[13]

In January 2020, Liman announced that the Edge of Tomorrow sequel, Live Die Repeat and Repeat, was currently in its early planning stages.[14]

In May 2020, it was reported that Liman would be directing, writing, and producing a fictional movie shot in outer space. Tom Cruise was set to star and produce.[15] According to reports, they would fly to space and to the International Space Station as part of the SpaceX Axiom Space-2 mission.[16] As of 2022, no script had been finished and the film was described as "aspirational."[17][18]

In November 2021, it was reported that Liman was in talks to direct a remake of the 1989 film Road House, with Jake Gyllenhaal starring.[19] The film was officially greenlit on August 2, 2022, by Amazon Studios, with Liman and Gyllenhaal's involvement confirmed, with production beginning later that month in the Dominican Republic.[20][21] He later condemned Amazon's decision to release the film straight to streaming instead of a theatrical release and would boycott its SXSW premiere as a result.[22]

In March 2022, Liman signed on to direct and executive produce a television series adaptation of the 2015 book Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by activist and financier Bill Browder.[23]

In December 2022, it was announced Liman would direct heist film The Instigators, starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck, for Apple Studios, marking Liman's first film with Damon since The Bourne Identity.[24]

In January 2023, the 2023 Sundance Film Festival premiered Liman's documentary Justice, about sexual misconduct charges against 2018 Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.[25][26] In November 2023, it was announced that Liman would direct a reboot of The Saint for Paramount Pictures, with Regé-Jean Page starring.[27]




Year Title Director Producer DoP
1994 Getting In Yes No No
1996 Swingers Yes No Yes
1999 Go Yes No Yes
2002 The Bourne Identity Yes Yes No
2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Yes No No
2008 Jumper Yes No No
2010 Fair Game Yes Yes Yes
2014 Edge of Tomorrow Yes Executive No
2017 The Wall Yes No No
American Made Yes No No
2021 Locked Down Yes Executive No
Chaos Walking Yes No No
2024 Road House Yes No No
The Instigators[28] Yes No No


  • Mail Order Wife (2004)

Executive producer

Documentary film[edit]

  • Reckoning with Torture (2016)
  • Justice (2023) (Also executive producer)


Year(s) Title Director Executive
2003–2004 The O.C. Yes Yes Episodes "Premiere" and "The Model Home"
2006 Heist Yes Yes Episode "Pilot"
2008–2009 Knight Rider No Yes
2010–2014 Covert Affairs No Yes
2011–2012 I Just Want My Pants Back Yes Yes Episodes "Pilot" and "The Blackout"
2011–2019 Suits No Yes
2016 Captive No Yes
2018–2019 Impulse Yes Yes Episodes "Pilot" and "Mind on Fire"
2019 Pearson No Yes
2022 The Recruit Yes Yes Episodes "I.N.A.S.I.A.L." and "N.L.T.S.Y.P."

TV movies

Year(s) Title Director Executive
2007 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Yes Yes
2008 Knight Rider No Yes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nomination Title Result
1996 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best New Filmmaker Swingers Won
1999 Independent Spirit Awards Best Director Go Nominated
2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Fair Game Nominated
2014 Saturn Awards Best Director Edge of Tomorrow Nominated


  1. ^ "Doug Liman". The Film Daily. 127. Wid's Films and Film Folk Inc.: 37 1965.
  2. ^ "'American Made' (2017) Trailer With Director Doug Liman's Commentary". IMDb. August 26, 2017. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Fairness not just a game for director". October 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Notable Alumni, USC School of Cinematic Arts Archived February 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "The Sellout Issues of 'The Bourne Identity' Director Doug Liman -- New York Magazine - Nymag". January 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Fishman, Steve. "The Sellout Issues of 'The Bourne Identity' Director Doug Liman -- New York Magazine - Nymag". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  7. ^ Schneider, Michael (August 2, 2005). "NBC U is high on Hypnotic". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Schneider, Michael (January 31, 2006). "Fox trying 'Patience'; ABC targets 'Mrs. Smith'". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  9. ^ "Prized Director In Talks for 'All You Need Is Kill'". BloodyDisgusting. June 16, 2010.
  10. ^ "Hollywood Reporter: Cannes Lineup". hollywoodreporter. Archived from the original on April 22, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (November 12, 2015). "Doug Liman Near Deal to Direct Channing Tatum's 'Gambit'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 24, 2016). "Doug Liman to Direct 'Dark Universe' for DC, Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 23, 2017). "Doug Liman Parts Ways With Justice League Dark Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  14. ^ Sandwell, Ian (May 20, 2020). "Edge of Tomorrow 2: Everything you need to know". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (May 26, 2020). "Doug Liman to Direct Tom Cruise Movie That Will Shoot in Space". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  16. ^ "Tom Cruise is officially going to space for his next movie". September 22, 2020.
  17. ^ Eller, Claudia (January 26, 2022). "Film Studio in the Stars? Why Space Entertainment Enterprise Has Its Head in the Clouds". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  18. ^ Razzall, Katie (October 5, 2022). "Donna Langley, the British film executive who wants to send Tom Cruise to space". BBC News.
  19. ^ Murphy, J. Kim (November 10, 2021). "MGM Courting Jake Gyllenhaal, Doug Liman for 'Road House' Remake". Variety.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 2, 2022). "Jake Gyllenhaal's 'Road House' Movie A Go At Prime Video As Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen Among Those Joining Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  21. ^ Kay, Jeremy (August 2, 2022). "Jake Gyllenhaal's Road House to shoot in Dominican Republic for Prime Video". KFTV.com. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  22. ^ "Doug Liman Says He's Boycotting SXSW Premiere of His Jake Gyllenhaal Film 'Road House' to Protest Amazon MGM Bypassing Theaters for Prime Streaming Release". January 24, 2024.
  23. ^ White, Peter (March 16, 2022). "Doug Liman Set To Direct Series Adaptation Of Bill Browder's Russian-Corruption Book 'Red Notice'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 8, 2022). "Matt Damon & Casey Affleck Set To Star In 'The Instigators'; Doug Liman Directing For Apple Original Films". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  25. ^ "Sundance doc looks into Brett Kavanaugh investigation". AP NEWS. January 21, 2023. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  26. ^ "Sundance Documentary Reveals Evidence Against Brett Kavanaugh". HuffPost. January 21, 2023. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  27. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 20, 2023). "Doug Liman Boards Paramount's New Reimagining Of 'The Saint' Starring Regé-Jean Page". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  28. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 8, 2022). "Matt Damon And Casey Affleck Set To Star In Apple Original Films' The Instigators With Doug Liman Directing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 8, 2022.

External links[edit]