Iain Softley

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Iain Softley
Born (1956-10-28) 28 October 1956 (age 61)
Chiswick, London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Sarah Curtis (3 children)

Iain Declan Softley (born 28 October 1956) is an English film director, producer and screenwriter. His films include Backbeat, Hackers, The Wings of the Dove, K-PAX, The Skeleton Key, and the BBC adaptation of Sadie Jones's novel, The Outcast.

Career[edit]

Softley was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing, London, and Queens' College, Cambridge University, where he directed a number of highly-praised theatrical productions. He worked for Granada TV and the BBC in the 1980s before moving on to music videos and film.

Softley's first film, the Stuart Sutcliffe biopic, Backbeat, which he wrote and directed, was released in 1994. It opened the Sundance Film Festival[1] and went on to receive a BAFTA Award nomination for Best British Film. For his work on the film, Softley received Best Newcomer Awards from The London Film Critics Circle and Empire Magazine.[2]

Following Backbeat, Softley directed the cyber thriller Hackers, starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee-Miller. This was followed in 1997 by an adaptation of Henry James' novel, The Wings of the Dove, starring Helena Bonham-Carter. The film premiered at the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals, earned four Academy Award nominations, and won a number of awards including two BAFTAs and multiple acting honors for Bonham Carter.[3]

Softley's next two films (released by Universal Pictures[4]) topped the US box office:[5] the sci-fi mystery film K-PAX, starring Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges, and the suspense thriller, The Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands and John Hurt.

Other film credits include: Inkheart, from Cornelia Funke's best-selling book, with Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany and Jim Broadbent; Trap for Cinderella, starring Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach, which Softley adapted and directed from Sebastien Japrisot's French crime novel; and Curve starring Julianne Hough, produced by Blumhouse Productions and released by Universal Pictures in 2016.[6]

In 2016, it was announced that Softley will direct Icarus, based on the life of British/American astronaut, Michael Foale, which Softley has developed with writers Hilary Thompson and Laurence Coriat. He will co-produce the project through his company, Forthcoming Films.[7] Softley attended Queens' College, Cambridge at the same time as Foale.

In 2010, Softley directed a stage adaptation of Backbeat, which was co-written with Stephen Jeffreys. It premiered at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow,[8] before transferring to the Duke of York's Theatre, in London[9] and then subsequently Toronto, Los Angeles and Berlin.[10][11][12]

Aside from his work in film, Softley has also worked in television. In 2012, he directed the short film, The Man, as part of Sky Arts' Playhouse Presents strand. The film was a satirical take on the clandestine Bilderberg Group and starred Stellan Skarsgard, Zoe Wannamaker, Hayley Atwell and Stephen Fry.[13] In 2015, the BBC broadcast atwo-part adaptation of author Sadie Jones’ novel The Outcast which Softley he also directed.[14] The film was warmly received by The Guardian, with Julia Raeside writing: "The tone set by Iain Softley’s beautifully restrained direction and the careful use of music creates a real feeling of loss from the start, just as in the book, but he somehow avoids all hammy visual foreshadowing and narrative signposting, so often used to gee a plot along".[15]

Forthcoming Films[edit]

Together with his wife, film producer Sarah Curtis, Softley runs Forthcoming Films, which produces and develops their respective projects. Past productions include: Backbeat, On a Clear Day, Hysteria and Trap for Cinderella.[16]

Future productions include: Ophelia, starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, George MacKay and Tom Felton, and the Michael Foale biopic Icarus.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Softley and Curtis live in London. Together, they have three children.[18]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer
1994 Backbeat Yes Yes
1995 Hackers Yes
1997 The Wings of the Dove Yes
2001 K-PAX Yes
2005 The Skeleton Key Yes Yes
2008 Inkheart Yes Yes
2013 Trap for Cinderella Yes Yes
2015 Curve Yes

Television[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer
2015 Playhouse Presents: The Man Yes
2015 The Outcast Yes

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iain Softley interview: Trap For Cinderella, Hackers & more". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  2. ^ "Iain Softley". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  3. ^ The Wings of the Dove, retrieved 2017-07-18 
  4. ^ "Universal Begins Principal on THE SKELETON KEY and THE PERFECT MAN - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. 2004-05-28. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  5. ^ "K-PAX tops US box office". The Guardian. 2001-10-29. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  6. ^ "Iain Softley". www.casarotto.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  7. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (2016-10-19). "Archery Pictures, Forthcoming Films & Start Motion Pictures Developing Mike Foale Feature 'Icarus'". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  8. ^ Theatre, Citizens. "Citizens Theatre". www.citz.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  9. ^ "Backbeat, Duke of York's Theatre, London". The Independent. 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  10. ^ "BACKBEAT: Beatles-Mania in Berlin - Musical1". Musical1 (in German). 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  11. ^ McNulty, Charles (2013-02-01). "Review: In 'Backbeat,' it's the Beatles' early, non-fab years". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  12. ^ Morrow, Martin (2012-07-30). "Backbeat: A Beatles love story". Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  13. ^ "Playhouse Presents - S1 - Episode 9: Playhouse Presents: The Man". Radio Times. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  14. ^ "BBC One: The Outcast: Episode 1 credits". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Raeside, Julia (13 July 2015). "The Outcast review – 'I feared for Sadie Jones's adaptation of her perfect novel – but it is excellent'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Forthcoming Productions". BFI. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  17. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (2016-10-19). "Archery Pictures, Forthcoming Films & Start Motion Pictures Developing Mike Foale Feature 'Icarus'". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  18. ^ Robert, Christina (4 November 2012). "How I make it work: Sarah Curtis". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 October 2013. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]