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Wes Craven

With My Soul to Take, Wes Craven revisits the familiar role of writer/director for the first time since his 1994 film New Nightmare. Craven produced My Soul to Take along with his wife Iya Labunka and Anthony Katagas. The film, which Craven wryly describes as Stand by Me with knives, is the director's first in 3-D. Rising out of the Midwestern suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Craven has become synonymous with genre-bending and innovative horror films, challenging audiences with his bold visions since the release of his first feature film, The Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited in 1972. In the 38 years since that controversial film's arrival, Craven has demonstrated that he is a filmmaker with heart, guts, humor and an unbridled imagination expanding into film, television and literature.

Craven reinvented the youth horror genre in 1984 with the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film he also wrote and directed. Additionally, he directed the phenomenal Scream trilogy. With Scream, Craven reached a new level of success. The film was the winner of MTV's Best Movie Award (1996) and it grossed more than $100 million domestically, as did Scream 2.

Between Scream 2 and Scream 3, Craven, excited at the opportunity to direct a non-genre film for Miramax Films, helmed Music of the Heart (1999), a film for which Meryl Streep received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. That same year, in the midst of directing the film, Craven wrote and published his first novel, Fountain Society, which was published by Simon & Schuster.

Craven's career is marked with both creative and commercial milestones. The next-to-last film he directed was Red Eye (2005), a psychological thriller starring Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy and Brian Cox. In 2006, Craven was part of an ensemble group of filmmakers for the film Paris, je t'aime, for which he directed a romantic-comedy segment starring Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell. Over the last few years, Craven has also produced remakes of his films for his genre fans, including The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and The Last House on the Left (2009).

Craven has always had an eye for discovering fresh talent, something that has contributed to the success of his films. While casting A Nightmare on Elm Street, Craven discovered the then-unknown Johnny Depp. Craven later cast Sharon Stone in her first starring role for his film Deadly Blessing. He even gave Bruce Willis one of his first featured roles in an episode of The Twilight Zone. With My Soul to Take, Craven once again brings together a cast of teens in whom he sees the spark of stardom.

Craven is currently in production on Scream 4, the much anticipated sequel that will reboot the famous franchise.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Wes Craven Facts

Birth NameWesley Earl Craven
OccupationDirector, Producer, Screenwriter
BirthdayAugust 2, 1939 (84)
BirthplaceCleveland, Ohio, USA
Height6' 2" (1m88)  How tall is Wes Craven compared to you?
Social Media wescraven

Selected Filmography

Vampire in Brooklyn
Deadly Blessing
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Scream 2
The Hills Have Eyes
Scream 4
Red Eye
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