Simon West

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Simon West
Born 1961 (age 56–57)
Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England
Occupation Film director, film producer
Years active 1981–present
Known for Con Air
The Expendables 2
Spouse(s)
Amadea West (m. 1995)

Simon West (born 1961) is an English film director and producer best known for directing blockbuster action films like Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and The Expendables 2.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, West began his career in 1981 when he became an assistant film editor with the BBC in London. His heart wasn't in film editing, so he left the BBC after four years to become a freelance director.

West's career took off in 1985 when he was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain to write and direct the film entitled Dolly Mixtures. He was subsequently signed to Limelight London to direct music videos and commercials. In 1987 he won Best Video at the Montreux Music Festival for Mel and Kim's Respectable. He also directed the video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the same year.

With a flourishing commercial career, West relocated to Los Angeles offices of Limelight in 1991. Moving to Pilot pictures in 1992, he received a Clio Award for Little Caesar's Airplane and a Golden Lion Award for Little Caesar's "Italian Feast."

West joined Propaganda Films in 1993 with a roster of credits including McDonald's, Sprite, AT&T, Ford, Miller Beer and Budweiser. His most famous commercial was a spot for Pepsi where a little boy sucks himself into a Pepsi bottle. The ad ran during the Super Bowl and was USA Today's highest rated commercial for that year.

1990s–present[edit]

In 1997, he directed the international blockbuster Con Air for Jerry Bruckheimer starring Nicolas Cage and John Malkovich and followed that up in 1999 with The General's Daughter starring John Travolta.

In 2001, he directed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie.

West originated the project Black Hawk Down after reading Mark Bowden's newspaper articles on the failed US mission in Somalia. West pitched the idea to his old collaborator Jerry Bruckheimer and spent 2 years developing the script with the writer Ken Nolan. Due to scheduling conflicts with West's other film Lara Croft Tomb Raider and a threatened SAG strike he was not able to direct the movie but served as an executive producer on the Oscar nominated Black Hawk Down.

In 2003, he was credited as an executive producer for the Fox show, Keen Eddie, also serving as director for the pilot and second episode.

In 2005, he directed the pilot for the Jerry Bruckheimer produced CBS show Close to Home.

In 2006, he directed the Screen Gems thriller, When a Stranger Calls.

In 2011, he directed the action-thriller The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster, a remake of the 1972 film of the same name.

West directed The Expendables 2, replacing the first film's director, Sylvester Stallone, with Stallone focusing on acting in and writing the film. Filming began in Summer 2011. West directed Nicolas Cage in the film Stolen in 2012.

West directed the crime thriller film Wild Card with Jason Statham. It filmed in New Orleans and is a remake of the 1986 film Heat, based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman.

In January 2015 he replaced Rob Zombie as director of the upcoming remake of The Blob.[2]

In 2017 West directed his first feature musical comedy Gun Shy starring Antonio Banderas. Based on the novel Salty by Mark Haskhell Smith, West told Film Daily he bought the rights to the book for a bottle of tequila.[3]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Producer Notes
1997 Con Air Yes No
1999 The General's Daughter Yes No
2001 Black Hawk Down No Yes Executive producer
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Yes No
2003 Keen Eddie Yes Yes 13 episodes
2006 When a Stranger Calls Yes No
2010 Human Target Yes Yes 1 episode
2011 The Mechanic Yes No
The Cape Yes Yes 1 episode
2012 The Expendables 2 Yes No
Stolen Yes No
2015 Wild Card Yes No
Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn No Yes
2017 Stratton Yes No
The Saint No Yes TV Movie
Gun Shy Yes Yes
N/A The Blob Yes No
N/A Tsunami LA Yes No

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The New York Times". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "'The Blob' Remake Grows Again, This Time With Simon West". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Simon West unloads “Gun Shy” Film Daily, January 8, 2018

External links[edit]