Jan de Bont

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Jan de Bont
De Bont in 1973
Born (1943-10-22) 22 October 1943 (age 80)
  • Film director
  • producer
  • cinematographer
Years active1965–2012
Notable workSpeed
(m. 1973; div. 1988)
  • Trish Reeves

Jan de Bont (Dutch: [ˈjɑn ˈbɔnt]; born 22 October 1943) is a Dutch retired cinematographer, director and film producer. He is best known for directing the films Speed (1994) and Twister (1996). As a director of photography, de Bont also worked on numerous blockbusters and genre films, including Roar, Cujo, Flesh and Blood, Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, Lethal Weapon 3, 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 works were made while studying at the Amsterdam Film Academy with Dutch avant-garde director Adriaan Ditvoorst.[1] He first became known in the Netherlands as the cinematographer for the infamous 1971 film Blue Movie, followed by the 1973 film Turkish Delight (1973), directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven. Since the early 1980s, he has worked frequently in Hollywood, often collaborating with directors including Verhoeven and John McTiernan.[citation needed]

While serving as cinematographer for the 1981 film Roar, de Bont experienced one of many on-set injuries during filming, when a lion lifted his scalp, requiring 220 stitches.[2] After Roar, de Bont shot the 1983 horror film Cujo, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name.

In 1988, he was director of photography on the critically acclaimed action film Die Hard.[3] The following year, de Bont shot the Ridley Scott-directed action thriller Black Rain.[4]


De Bont made his directorial debut with the action thriller Speed in 1994, which was a sleeper 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 oversaw the commercially successful remake of The Haunting, which received generally negative reviews from critics at the time. His most recent directorial outing 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.

Unrealized Godzilla project[edit]

De Bont began pre-production on an American Godzilla film for a summer 1996 release, but quit at the end of 1994 when Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures's parent company) refused to approve his budget request. He was eventually replaced by Roland Emmerich, who rewrote the script in addition to directing. While critically panned, Emmerich's Godzilla was moderately successful at the box-office.

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.[1]


Year Title 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
1998 SLC Punk! No Executive No
1999 The Haunting Yes Executive 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
Thoughtcrimes No Executive No Television film
2012 The Paperboy No Executive No

As cinematographer

Year Title Director Notes
1971 Blue Movie Wim Verstappen With Werner Leckebusch
Business Is Business Paul Verhoeven
1973 Turkish Delight
1975 Keetje Tippel
1981 Private Lessons Alan Myerson
Roar Noel Marshall Also Supervising Editor
1982 I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can Jack Hofsiss
Night Warning William Asher Uncredited
1983 Cujo Lewis Teague
The Fourth Man Paul Verhoeven
All the Right Moves Michael Chapman
1984 Bad Manners Robert Houston alternatively titled Growing Pains
1985 Flesh & Blood Paul Verhoeven
The Jewel of the Nile Lewis Teague
1986 Ruthless People Jim Abrahams
David Zucker
Jerry Zucker
The Clan of the Cave Bear Michael Chapman
1987 Who's That Girl? James Foley
Leonard Part 6 Paul Weiland
1988 Die Hard John McTiernan
1989 Black Rain Ridley Scott
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Carl Reiner
1990 The Hunt for Red October John McTiernan
Flatliners Joel Schumacher
1992 Lethal Weapon 3 Richard Donner
Basic Instinct Paul Verhoeven
Shining Through David Seltzer
1997 Beyond Words Louis van Gasteren Filmed in 1967
2012 Nema aviona za Zagreb Filmed during the 1960s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Weinraub, Bernard (June 14, 1994). "Hurtling to the Top: A Director Is Born". New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  2. ^ Stobezki, Jon (February 19, 2015). "Utterly Terrifying ROAR, Starring Tippi Hedren And Melanie Griffith, Joins Pride Of Drafthouse Films". Birth.Movies.Death. Archived from the original on March 31, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  3. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (1994-06-14). "Hurtling to the Top: A Director Is Born". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  4. ^ Black Rain - Movie Reviews, retrieved 2020-07-21

External links[edit]