Simon West

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For the musician Simon West, see Ray Dee Ohh. For the Australian poet, see Simon West (poet).
Simon West
Born 1961 (age 55–56)
Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England
Occupation Film director
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Amadea West (m. 1995)

Simon West (born 1961) is an English film director.[1] West started as an assistant film editor with the BBC, then directed documentaries and commercials including many for Budweiser. His film directing career started when he directed Con Air in 1997.

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 to today[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 critically acclaimed 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]


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
2006 When a Stranger Calls Yes No
2011 The Mechanic Yes No
2012 The Expendables 2 Yes No
Stolen Yes No
2015 Wild Card Yes No
Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn No Yes
2016 Stratton: First into Action Yes No
2017 Salty Yes Yes
War Wolf Yes No
20?? The Blob Yes No


External links[edit]