Home   >   Movie Stars   >   S   >   Joel Silver

Joel Silver

One of the most prolific and successful producers in the history of motion pictures, Joel Silver has produced over 40 films, including the groundbreaking Matrix trilogy, the blockbuster four-part Lethal Weapon series and the seminal action films Die Hard and Predator.

To date, Silver's catalog of films have earned a combined gross of over $5 billion worldwide, averaging over $100 million per picture.

Silver produced the horror thriller House of Wax, a remake of the 1953 classic, starring Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and Paris Hilton, through his Dark Castle Entertainment division. Formed by Silver and Robert Zemeckis in the spirit of the late horror impresario William Castle, Dark Castle has produced a string of hit films beginning with the record-breaking release of House on Haunted Hill, which opened at number one on Halloween of 1999, followed by Thir13en Ghosts in 2001, Ghost Ship in 2002, and the supernatural thriller Gothika, starring Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, in 2003. Silver is currently producing The Reaping, starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank, for Dark Castle's 2006 slate.

Through his Silver Pictures banner, Silver is currently producing the action thriller V For Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman and James Purefoy, with his Matrix collaborators the Wachowski Brothers. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd, the film is set for release on November 4, 2005.

Also for his 2005 slate, Silver is producing the romantic thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, written and directed by Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black and starring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan. The film will make its debut this May at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

Silver's 1999 production The Matrix grossed over $456 million globally, earning more than any other Warner Bros. Pictures film in the Studio's history at the time of its release. Universally acclaimed for its innovative storytelling and visuals, The Matrix won four Academy Awards, including the award for Best Visual Effects. The first DVD release to sell one million units, The Matrix DVD was instrumental in powering the initial sale of consumer DVD machines.

The second installment of the epic Matrix trilogy, The Matrix Reloaded, earned over $739 million in worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film of 2003 and the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time worldwide. The opening weekend box office receipts for The Matrix Revolutions, the final explosive chapter in the trilogy, totaled a staggering $203 million worldwide, scoring the biggest consecutive five-day opening in motion picture history.

While overseeing production on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Silver produced the integral video game Enter the Matrix, which features one hour of additional film footage written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers and starring Jada Pinkett Smith and Anthony Wong, who reprise their roles from the films. He also executive produced The Animatrix, a groundbreaking collection of nine short films inspired by the visionary action and innovative storytelling that power The Matrix.

Silver also produced the hit films Romeo Must Die, starring Jet Li and Aaliyah; Exit Wounds, starring Steven Seagal and DMX; Swordfish, starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry; and Cradle 2 the Grave, starring DMX and Jet Li.

While at Lawrence Gordon Productions, where he began his career and ultimately ascended to president of motion pictures, Silver associate produced The Warriors and, with Gordon, produced 48 HRS., Streets of Fire and Brewster's Millions.

In 1985, Silver launched his Silver Pictures production banner with the breakout hit Commando, followed by Jumpin' Jack Flash and Predator. In addition to the Lethal Weapon series, Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Silver went on to produce The Last Boy Scout, Demolition Man, Richie Rich and Conspiracy Theory. He executive produced, with Richard Donner, David Giler, Walter Hill and Robert Zemeckis, eight seasons of the award-winning HBO series Tales From the Crypt, as well as two Tales From the Crypt films.

As a student at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey in 1967, Silver and a group of his friends developed a game called Ultimate Frisbee. The fast-moving team sport has since become a global phenomenon supported by tournaments in 42 countries. One of the fastest growing sports in the world, Ultimate Frisbee was played as a medal sport in the 2001 World Games held in Akita, Japan. In July 2005, players representing over 40 countries will compete in the World Flying Disc Federation's World Disc Games in Santa Cruz, California.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Joel Silver Facts

BirthdayJuly 14, 1952 (70)
BirthplaceSouth Orange, New Jersey, USA

Selected Filmography

The Nice Guys
The Matrix: Revisited
My Big Fat Greek Rush Week
One Of Our Own
Report from the Grave
The Invasion
Silver Horde
Silver Spoons: Season 1
Silver Stiletto
Continue » Find more details on the Joel Silver Movies page