Marcus Nispel

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Marcus Nispel
Born Marcus Nispel
(1963-05-26) 26 May 1963 (age 54)
Frankfurt am Main, West Germany
Occupation film director, producer

Marcus Nispel (born May 26, 1963) is a German-American feature film director and producer and a director of television commercials and music videos. Many of his films have been remakes.

Life and early career[edit]

Nispel was born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. He started his career in advertising as an art director for Young & Rubicam in Frankfurt. He came to America on a Fulbright scholarship in 1984 at the age of 20 and made his directing debut in 1989 with a series of music videos for C&C Music Factory.

While living in New York, Nispel founded and operated his own production company, Portfolio Artists Network, before merging with RSA-USA, and then joining MJZ in 2000.

To date, Nispel has directed over 1000 commercials and music videos. His commercial clients include: AT&T, Audi, Canon, Chase, Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, Fidelity, Kodak, Levi's, L'Oréal, Marlboro, Mercedes-Benz, Motorola, Nike, Panasonic, Pepsi, RCA, Showtime, Sprint, Sprite, Unisys, UPS, US Postal Service, VISA Gold, MTV, ABC, CBS and NBC.

His music videos include over fifteen #1 songs and several breakthrough videos for artists such as the Spice Girls, Lil' Kim, Simply Red, Puff Daddy, Bush, No Doubt, the Fugees, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Cher, Nina Hagen, Mylène Farmer,[1] Olé Olé (Marta Sánchez), Mariah Carey, k.d. lang, Tony Bennett, C+C Music Factory, Bette Midler, LL Cool J, Sunz of Man, Bryan Adams, Luis Miguel and Gloria Estefan.

Nispel has been awarded numerous international advertising accolades including several Clio Awards, the Moebius Award, the Grand Prix at the BDA Awards, honors from the New York, Houston and Chicago Film Festivals and the Art Directors Club. His work has garnered 12 MTV Music Video Award nominations resulting in four MTV Video Music Awards, including a 1993 MTV Best European Video Award for "Killer/Papa was a Rolling Stone" by George Michael. The video was edited by his wife, Dyan Humes-Nispel.

Nispel has won two Billboard awards and Music Video Filmmaker Association Awards as well as the MVPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Marcus Nispel has been the subject of two documentaries and was featured in Time Magazine’s year-end issue "Best of 1996" for his Fidelity Investments campaign, "A Time Has Come Today." In 1997, Nispel was featured as a speaker at the AICP MOMA Show. The AICP has honored him with several awards and his work is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. His work has been highlighted and screened at the New York Film Festival, the Art Director’s Club and at the Film and Broadcast Museum in Frankfurt.

In 1996 he was honored at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s "Cross Cultural Dreams" retrospective of his music videos. He was featured in a chapter of Armond White’s book on the pop revolution and was a recipient of the Black Achievement Award for the positive portrayal of African Americans in mass media.

Nispel has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Details, The New York Times, The LA Times, AdWeek, AdAge and Creativity.

He is married to songwriter/commercial editor Dyan Humes-Nispel, who has written songs for various artists including Whitney Houston.[2]

Film career[edit]

In 2003, Platinum Dunes owner, filmmaker Michael Bay, hired Nispel to direct the remake of the classic 1974 horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Nispel's version was a box-office success, but garnered mixed to average critical reviews. A prequel and a comic-book series based on the film soon followed. The success of the remake ushered in a series of remakes of horror films from the 1970s and 1980s.

Following an adaptation of Frankenstein in 2004, Nispel directed and produced in 2007 the epic action film Pathfinder, a remake of a Norwegian film with the same title. The film flopped at the box-office and was poorly received by critics. Nispel blamed the failure on 20th Century Fox's demands to reduce the gore and violence (requiring digital manipulation of scenes that were already shot) to earn an "R" rating, and to shorten the runtime and improve the pacing. Despite being labeled a flop, the film found success on home video (with the release of the unrated version) and was followed by a successful graphic-novel adaptation.

In 2009, Nispel directed the remake of Friday the 13th, intended to reboot the franchise. It was a box-office success and the second highest-grossing film in the Friday the 13th series, but it received a negative response from critics and fans of the original film series.

Nispel returned to fantasy films when he directed the 2011 reboot of the Conan the Barbarian franchise. He had stated that this was his childhood dream-project. In 2014 he directed the ghost Exorcism film Exeter, formerly titled Backmask.[3]

Nispel is planning to remake the 1983 film Krull for Lionsgate, intented to be a retelling of the previous film.

His notable influences were Tobe Hooper, Sean S. Cunningham, Francis Ford Coppola and François Truffaut.


Year Title Director Producer Writer
2003 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Yes
2004 Frankenstein Yes Yes
2007 Pathfinder Yes Yes
2009 Friday the 13th Yes
2011 Conan the Barbarian Yes
2015 Exeter Yes Yes Yes


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