Jan de Bont

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Jan de Bont
Jan de Bont, première-voorstelling Turks Fruit in Tuschinski, Amsterdam.jpg
Jan de Bont in 1973
Born (1943-10-22) 22 October 1943 (age 75)
OccupationFilm director, producer, cinematographer
Years active1965–2012
Notable work
Monique van de Ven
(m. 1973; div. 1988)

Trish Reeves (?–present)

Jan de Bont (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn də ˈbɔnt]; born 22 October 1943) is a former Dutch cinematographer, director and film producer. He is widely known for directing the films Speed and Twister. As a director of photography, de Bont also shot numerous blockbusters and genre films, including Cujo, Flesh and Blood, Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, and Basic Instinct.

Early life and career[edit]

De Bont was born to a Roman Catholic family in Eindhoven, Netherlands, one of 17 children. His earliest work after studying at the Amsterdam Film Academy was with the Dutch avant garde director Adriaan Ditvoorst. He first came known in the Netherlands as the cinematographer for the infamous 1971 film Blue Movie followed by the 1973 film Turkish Delight, directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven. Since the early 1980s, he worked frequently in Hollywood, often collaborating with directors including Verhoeven and John McTiernan.

While serving as cinematographer for the 1981 film Roar, de Bont experienced one of many on-set injuries during filming, where a lion lifted his scalp, requiring 220 stitches. After Roar, de Bont shot the 1983 horror film Cujo, the adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. In 1988, he was director of photography on the critically lauded action film Die Hard. The following year, de Bont shot the Ridley Scott-directed action thriller Black Rain.


De Bont made his directorial debut with the action thriller Speed in 1994, which was a surprise hit. He followed this up with the even more successful Twister in 1996. His output since has had mixed commercial and critical success. In 1997, he returned to direct the sequel Speed 2: Cruise Control, which was a commercial and critical failure. In 1999, he directed a remake of The Haunting. It was a commercial success, but was heavily panned by critics and received five Razzie Award nominations. His most recent film as director was the 2003 action adventure film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, based on the video game series of the same name, and starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous Lara Croft.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Dutch actress Monique van de Ven from 1973 to 1988. Monique starred in the 1973 film Turkish Delight, for which de Bont did the cinematography. De Bont has two children from his second marriage with Trish Reeves, Alexander (who had a part in Speed 2) and Anneke (who had a part in Twister).


Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
1994 Speed Yes No No Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Director
1996 Twister Yes No No
1997 Speed 2: Cruise Control Yes Yes Story Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
1999 The Haunting Yes No No Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director
2002 Equilibrium No Yes No
Minority Report No Yes No
2003 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life Yes No No

As Cinematographer[edit]

Year Film Notes
1971 Blue Movie
1971 Business Is Business
1973 Turkish Delight
1975 Keetje Tippel
1981 Private Lessons
1982 I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can
Night Warning Uncredited
1983 Cujo
The Fourth Man
All the Right Moves
1984 Bad Manners AKA: Growing Pains
1985 Flesh & Blood
The Jewel of the Nile
1986 Ruthless People
The Clan of the Cave Bear
1987 Who's That Girl?
Leonard Part 6
1988 Die Hard
1989 Black Rain
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool
1990 The Hunt for Red October
1992 Lethal Weapon 3
Basic Instinct
Shining Through
2012 Nema aviona za Zagreb

Unrealized Godzilla project[edit]

De Bont began pre-production on an American Godzilla film for a summer 1996 release, but quit the film at the end of 1994 when Sony Pictures would not approve his budget request. He was eventually replaced by Roland Emmerich who rewrote the script in addition to directing the film. While critically panned, Emmerich's "Godzilla" was moderately successful.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]