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Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner

American film director
The basics
About
Occupation Film director Film producer
Country United States of America
Date of birth Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.A.
Education Tisch School of the Arts
Authority IMDB id BIBSYS id All Movie id NNDB id Library of congress id VIAF id ISNI id
The details
Biography

Brett Ratner (born March 28, 1969) is an American director and producer. He directed the Rush Hour film series, The Family Man, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Tower Heist. He was also a producer of the films Black Mass, The Revenant, War Dogs, The Lego Ninjago Movie, and the Horrible Bosses series.

Ratner got his start directing with music videos in the 1990s, and directed his first motion picture, Money Talks, in 1997. Overall, the films Ratner has directed have earned over $2 billion at the global box office.

Ratner is the co-founder of RatPac Entertainment, a film production and financing company. Ratner led RatPac's partnership with Dune Entertainment in September 2013 for a co-financing deal with Warner Bros. that included 75 films.

On January 19, 2017, Ratner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion picture industry, located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

In late 2017, former marketing executive Melanie Kohler and six other women including actresses Olivia Munn, Natasha Henstridge and Ellen Page accused Ratner of sexual misconduct and harassment. Ratner sued Kohler for defamation.

Early life

Ratner was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida, the son of Marsha Pratts (remarried), a socialite, and Ronald Ratner. He grew up in a "middle-class Jewish family". His father was the son of a wealthy Miami businessman. His mother was born in Cuba, and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s with her parents, Fanita and Mario Presman (their families had originally moved to Cuba from Eastern Europe). Ratner's mother was sixteen when he was born. Ratner told Aventura Business Monthly in a May 2011 cover story interview that he "really didn't know" his biological father, and that he considers Alvin Malnik, who opened the famous Forge restaurant in Miami Beach, to be his father, "the one who raised" him. Ratner's biological father became homeless in Miami Beach, a situation which inspired the younger Ratner to become a board member of the nationwide nonprofit organization Chrysalis, which helps the homeless find work.

Ratner attended Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy elementary school and attended Alexander Muss High School in Israel and graduated in 1986 from Miami Beach Senior High School. While growing up in Miami Beach, Ratner was an extra on the set of Scarface and was able to watch Miami Vice film around town. He is a 1990 graduate of New York University. In 2010, he cited Martin Scorsese's 1980 film Raging Bull as his inspiration to enter the world of film.

Career

Directing

Ratner began directing music videos in the 1990s. When he was a sophomore at New York University Tisch Schools of the Arts, he was manager and executive producer for B.M.O.C. (Big Man On Campus), one of the first white rap groups. While a student at NYU, he released his first short film Whatever Happened to Mason Reese?. The rap group Public Enemy attended the film’s premier and asked Ratner to make the group’s music videos. Ratner did the debut videos for Prime Minister Pete Nice before working with Redman, LL Cool J, Heavy D and Wu-Tang Clan. He has also directed music videos for artists such as Mariah Carey Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Jay Z and Michael Jackson. He directed Carey’s “We Belong Together,” "I Still Believe," “Obsessed” and “Heartbreaker” among others.

Ratner had his motion picture debut when he directed Money Talks in 1997. The film, an action-comedy about a con-man accused of organizing a prison break, was Ratner's first collaboration with comedian Chris Tucker. Ratner received $25 million to make the film.

In 1998, he directed Rush Hour, the action-comedy starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, which was released in September 1998 and went on to become the studio's highest grossing film and the highest grossing comedy at the time. Ratner uses “think music” on the set to inspire the production, and when filming Rush Hour, a Michael Jackson song he played for inspiration ended up in the movie after Chris Tucker began dancing in the middle of a scene.

Ratner directed The Family Man, a drama starring Nicolas Cage, in 2000.

In 2001, Ratner returned to the Rush Hour series and directed Rush Hour 2. In 2002, he directed the prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, about Hannibal Lecter. In the film, Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, works with a retired FBI agent played by Edward Norton to find The Tooth Fairy, a serial killer played by Ralph Fiennes.

Ratner became director of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), then directed Rush Hour 3, which was released in 2007.

Ratner directed a television commercial for Wynn Las Vegas featuring Steve Wynn on top of Encore Las Vegas in 2008.

In the same year, Ratner also directed the ensemble comedy caper Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy leading a gang of thieves to get revenge on a greedy tycoon. The film was originally based on an idea from Eddie Murphy titled ‘Trump Heist’ and was about disgruntled employees of Donald Trump planning to rob Trump Tower, though references to Trump were later removed from the film.

Producing

Ratner was an executive producer of the television series Prison Break, which aired from 2005 to 2009.

In 2011, Ratner produced the TV documentary, American Masters: Woody Allen – A Documentary. That same year, he produced Horrible Bosses, a comedy about employees plotting to kill their bosses. Horrible Bosses opened at the domestic box office with $28.1 million in its first weekend.

Ratner produced a remake of Snow White, Mirror Mirror (2012), based on the screenplay The Brothers Grimm: Snow White by Melisa Wallack.

In 2014, he produced Horrible Bosses 2, the sequel to his 2011 film. Ratner executive-produced the Rush Hour TV series based on the Rush Hour film series.

In 2015, Ratner produced Black Mass, a biopic about gangster James “Whitey” Bulger played by Johnny Depp. The same year, Ratner was executive producer on The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

He was an executive producer on the 2016 film War Dogs, featuring director Todd Phillips and starring Jonah Hill, about two friends who become international arms dealers.

RatPac Entertainment

In December 2012, Ratner and Australian media mogul James Packer formed a joint venture, RatPac Entertainment. The firm will produce independent films and co-produce big-budget films with a major studio. Packer's stake in the company was later bought out by Len Blavatnik's First Access Entertainment. The company makes 25 films annually. By 2017, the company co-financed over 50 films which had 51 Oscar nominations and earned a total of over $10 billion in box office.

RatPac and Dune Entertainment formed a film investment vehicle, which in September 2013, entered a multi-year, 75-film co-financing partnership with Warner Bros. The company has also partnered with New Regency, advertising firm WPP, Chinese firm CMC Capital Partners, and Shanghai Media Group. Ratner worked with CMC to form a fund aimed at investments in Chinese media companies.

Ratner made $40 million after the release of Gravity, which was RatPac's first investment.

In June 2014, Ratner's RatPac Entertainment and Class 5 Films acquired the movie rights to the non-fiction article American Hippopotamus, by Jon Mooallem, about the meat shortage in the U.S. in 1910 to import hippopotamuses. The film was produced by Ratner in collaboration with Edward Norton and William Migliore.

Screen appearances

Ratner was seen on MTV series Punk'd when Hugh Jackman, who portrays Wolverine in the X-Men films, was the subject of a practical joke that made it appear Ratner's $3.6 million home in Beverly Hills was destroyed by a BBQ grill explosion. Ashton Kutcher later arrived at his home and hugged him after Jackman was punk'd.

In April 2007, Fox Broadcasting announced that he, Carrie Fisher, Garry Marshall and Jon Avnet would be the judges for the network's filmmaking-competition, reality TV series, On the Lot.

He also appeared as himself in an episode of the television series Entourage, which was shot at his Beverly Hills home,

In 2009, Ratner created The Shooter Series which compiled his work, including interviews with Ratner, and a short film about Mickey Rourke's transition into boxing.

Other projects

In 2009, Rather established Rat Press, a publishing company, based on his love of books. The company reissued a Playboy interview with Marlon Brando and Robert Evans as well as an account of NFL player Jim Brown, and released a book of Scott Caan's photographs.

In 2011, Ratner established Rat TV with 20th Century Fox Television. He brought former NBC development executive Chris Conti on as president of the venture.

Ratner announced the Brett Ratner Florida Student Filmmaker Scholarship at the Key West Film Festival in 2015. The $5,000 scholarship was awarded to “The Cook, The Knife and The Rabbit’s Finger,” which was directed by Agustina Bonventura and Nicolas Casanas.

Ratner worked with international beverage brand Diageo to produce The Hilhaven Lodge, a blended whiskey named for his Beverly Hills estate. The bottle is modeled after the estate and features a wood cork, and the bottle is shaped to resemble bay windows. The drink is a mixture of 26-year-old rye, 15-year-old Tennessee whiskey, and six-year bourbon.

Ratner delivered a keynote address as part of the Cannes Film Festival in May 2017 where he referred to television as the future of production. Ratner participated in the eighth annual Cannes Film Finance Forum.

In March 2017, Ratner spoke out against film critic aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes at the Sun Valley Film Festival, calling it a destructive force in the film industry. He expressed respect for traditional film critics and said the site reduces film criticism to a number.

Ratner has served on the boards of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance,

Chrysalis, Ghetto Film School, Best Buddies and the Los Angeles Police Foundation. He served on the dean’s council of NYU Tisch School of the Arts and also serves on the board of directors of Tel Aviv University’s School of Film and Television. He donated $1 million to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in 2013.

Controversies

84th Academy Awards

On August 4, 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Ratner would produce the 84th Academy Awards with Don Mischer. However, Ratner resigned on November 8, 2011 after remarking that "rehearsal is for fags". Ratner later apologized for his remarks. Eddie Murphy, who was scheduled to host the ceremony, also resigned in deference to a new production team. Ratner was replaced by Brian Grazer, and Murphy was replaced by previous Oscar host Billy Crystal.

Sexual misconduct allegations

Actress Ellen Page has stated that Ratner outed her as gay at a cast and crew meet and greet for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), which made her feel violated. Fellow actress Anna Paquin expressed support of Page, stating that she was present when Ratner made the comment. Actress Sarah Shahi stated that on multiple occasions during filming of Rush Hour 3 (2007), Ratner pushed his groin against her and made graphic sexual comments. In 2011, The Jewish Journal ran an article alleging that Ratner harassed a journalist during an interview for a 2008 cover story.

In October 2017, a former talent agency employee accused Ratner of rape. On November 1, 2017, six women, including Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, accused Ratner of sexual misconduct and harassment, as well as following an actress into a bathroom without invitation and masturbating as another entered his trailer to deliver food.

On November 1, 2017, the same day as the allegations of six women, Warner Bros announced it had severed ties with Ratner. Afterwards, Ratner announced that he was "[stepping] away from all Warner Bros.-related activities" and Warner Bros. was reviewing the issue.

In April 2018, Warner Bros. announced that they will not renew a $450-million co-financing deal with Ratner. The company also cut ties with RatPac-Dune Entertainment after Ratner was revealed to be stepping away from all Warner Bros.-related activities.

Lawsuit

On November 1, 2017, Ratner filed a libel suit in federal court in Hawaii, accusing now-former-employee Melanie Kohler, a Hawaii native, of damaging his reputation. On the same day, the Los Angeles Times reported that six other women had accused him of sexual misconduct. A motion to dismiss Ratner's suit by Kohler's lawyers was denied in February 2018. In April 2018, Gillmor, a federal judge in Hawaii, denied Ratner's attorneys from taking a broad scope deposition from Kohler but allowed a broad range of written questions.

Kohler’s motion to strike the case, under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, was being readied. In October 2018, Ratner dropped the lawsuit "because of Kohler's 'cloudy and unclear' account of the alleged assault," and the charges were dismissed.

Works

Films

Year Film Director Producer
1997 Money Talks Yes
1998 Rush Hour Yes
2000 The Family Man Yes
2001 Rush Hour 2 Yes
2002 Red Dragon Yes
2004 After the Sunset Yes Yes
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Yes
2007 Rush Hour 3 Yes
2011 Tower Heist Yes
2014 Hercules Yes Yes

Short films

Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
1990 Whatever Happened to Mason Reese Yes Yes Yes
2001 Lady Luck Yes
2008 New York, I Love You Yes Segment 5
2009 The Shooter Series: vol. 1 Yes Video
2013 Happy Birthday Yes Segment of Movie 43

Producer only

Year Film Notes
2001 Double Take
Velocity Rules Short film;
Executive producer
2002 Paid in Full
Me and Daphne Short film;
Executive producer
A Ribbon of Dreams Executive producer
2005 Before, During and 'After the Sunset' Video documentary
Santa's Slay
2006 Running Scared
End Game Direct-to-video film;
Executive producer
Becker Hargrove, Inc. Short film
2007 Code Name: The Cleaner
2008 21 Executive producer
2009 I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale Documentary short
2010 Catfish Documentary;
Executive producer
Kites: The Remix
Skyline Executive producer
Mother's Day
2011 Horrible Bosses
2012 Mirror Mirror
CZ12
2014 Night Will Fall Documentary
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild,
Untold Story of Cannon Films
One Day Since Yesterday:
Peter Bogdanovich & the Lost American Film
The Water Diviner Executive producer
Jersey Boys
Horrible Bosses 2
2015 Barely Lethal
The 100 Years Show Documentary short
By Sidney Lumet Documentary;
Executive producer
Chuck Norris vs. Communism Documentary
Black Mass Executive producer
I Saw the Light
S is for Stanley Documentary
Fun Size Horror: Volume Two Short film
Kill Them Mommy! Short film;
Executive producer
In the Name of Honor Documentary
Truth
The Audition Short film
The Revenant Executive producer
2016 Dark Crimes
Before the Flood Documentary
Rules Don't Apply
Author: The J.T. Leroy Story Documentary
War Dogs
2017 The Lego Ninjago Movie Executive producer

Television

Year Film Director Executive
Producer
Notes
1999 Partners Yes Yes TV movie
Making the Video Yes TV series documentary
2005 Prison Break Yes Pilot episode
Untitled David Diamond/David Weissman Project Yes Yes TV movie
2007 Entourage Role: Himself;
Episode "The Prince's Bride"
Helmut by June Yes TV documentary
Women's Murder Club Yes
2008 Blue Blood Yes Yes TV movie
2009 Cop House Yes Yes
Prison Break: The Final Break Yes
2011 Nick Cannon: Mr. Show Biz Yes TV documentary
CHAOS Yes
Rogue Yes Yes TV movie
2014 30 for 30: Soccer Stories Yes Yes
2015 Breakthrough Yes TV documentary series
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Yes TV documentary
Rush Hour Yes
2017 American Masters Yes

Music videos

Year Title Artist
1987 "Christmas in Hollis" Run–D.M.C.
1988 "Louder Than a Bomb" Public Enemy
1993 "Rat Bastard" Prime Minister Pete Nice & Daddy Rich
"Kick the Bobo" Prime Minister Pete Nice & Daddy Rich
"Stay Real" Erick Sermon
"Tonight's da Night" Redman
"Pink Cookies In a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed By Buildings" LL Cool J
1994 "Nuttin' but Love" Heavy D & the Boyz
"I'll Take Her" Ill Al Skratch featuring Brian McKnight
"I Like the Way You Work It" Blackstreet
1995 "Freek'n You" Jodeci
"Love U 4 Life" Jodeci
"Every Little Thing I Do" Soul for Real
"Brown Sugar" D'Angelo
"Who Do U Love" Deborah Cox
"Sex Wit You" Heavy D & the Boyz
"Cruisin'" D'Angelo
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Mary J. Blige
1996 "Lady" (DJ Premier Remix) D'Angelo featuring AZ
"Don't Wanna Lose You" Lionel Richie
1997 "I'll Be" Foxy Brown
"No Doubt" 702
"Invisible Man" 98 Degrees
"Triumph" Wu-Tang Clan
1998 "How Deep Is Your Love" Dru Hill
1999 "I Still Believe" Mariah Carey
"Beautiful Stranger" Madonna
"Heartbreaker" Mariah Carey
"Thank God I Found You" Mariah Carey
2000 "This Could Be Heaven" Seal
2001 "Diddy" P. Diddy
2002 "Unbreakable" Michael Jackson
2005 "It's Like That" Mariah Carey
"We Belong Together" Mariah Carey
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" Jessica Simpson
2006 "Make Them Suffer" Cannibal Corpse
"A Public Affair" Jessica Simpson
"Samantha" Courtney Love
2008 "7 Things" Miley Cyrus
"Touch My Body" Mariah Carey
"Just Like Me" Jamie Foxx
"When You Leave (Numa Numa)" (Basshunter Remix) Alina
2009 "Obsessed" Mariah Carey
"H.A.T.E.U." Mariah Carey
2011 "Mrs. Right" Mindless Behavior
2015 "Infinity" Mariah Carey

Reception

Films Ratner has directed that have received generally mixed to negative reviews.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Money Talks 16% N/A
Rush Hour 61% 60
The Family Man 53% 42
Rush Hour 2 52% 48
Red Dragon 69% 60
After the Sunset 18% 38
X-Men: The Last Stand 58% 58
Rush Hour 3 18% 44
New York, I Love You (Brett Ratner segment) 35% 49
Tower Heist 69% 59
Movie 43 ("Happy Birthday" segment) 4% 18
Hercules 62% 47
Average 43% 47
The contents of this page are sourced from a Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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