Joel Silver

Joel Silver (born July 14, 1952) is an American film producer, most well known for action films including the Lethal Weapon series, The Matrix trilogy, the first two Die Hard films and the first two Predator films. Some of his best-known films also include 48 Hrs., Commando, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Demolition Man, Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave, V for Vendetta, Orphan, Sherlock Holmes. He also produced the critically acclaimed mystera drama Veronica Mars.

He is the owner of Silver Pictures and co-founder of Dark Castle Entertainment.

Joel Silver
Joel Silver in New York City 2008
Silver at the Tribeca Film Festival in May 2008
BornJuly 14, 1952 (age 66)
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1976-present
Karyn Fields (m. 1999)

Life and career

Silver was born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of a writer and a public relations executive.[1] His family is Jewish.[2] He attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. During his time there, Silver, Buzzy Hellring and Jonny Hines created the rules for what he called "Ultimate Frisbee." He was later inducted into the USA Ultimate Hall of Fame as a result of this.[3] He finished his undergraduate studies at the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Silver began his career at Lawrence Gordon Productions, where he eventually became president of motion pictures for the company. He earned his first screen credit as the associate producer on The Warriors and, with Gordon, produced 48 Hrs., Streets of Fire, and Brewster's Millions. In 1985, he formed Silver Pictures and produced successful action films such as Commando (1985), the Lethal Weapon franchise, the first two films of the Die Hard series, as well as the first two films of the Predator series and The Matrix franchise of action films.

Silver appears on-screen at the beginning of Who Framed Roger Rabbit as Raoul J. Raoul, the director of the animated short Something's Cookin.

Silver directed "Split Personality", (1992), an episode of the HBO horror anthology Tales from the Crypt. He currently runs two production companies, Silver Pictures, and Dark Castle Entertainment, co-owned by Robert Zemeckis.

Silver is also known for his eccentric temper, which has led to characters based on him appearing in movies such as Grand Canyon, True Romance and I'll Do Anything. The character of Les Grossman (played by Tom Cruise) in the movie Tropic Thunder, is a parody of Silver.

On July 10, 1999, Silver married his production assistant, Karyn Fields.

Frank Lloyd Wright houses

Silver is well known as an aficionado of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1984, he bought the Wright-designed Storer House in Hollywood and made considerable investments to restore it to the original condition. The Storer House's squarish relief ornament then became the company logo of Silver Pictures. Silver sold it in 2002 for $2.9 million. In 1986, he purchased the long-neglected C. Leigh Stevens Auldbrass Plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina, and has been restoring it since then. Both restorations have been managed and supervised by the architect Eric Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's grandson. Mr. Silver also owns the 1941 Lincoln Continental once customized to Frank Lloyd Wright's design.[4]

Carmel Musgrove incident

In August 19, 2015, Silver's 28-year-old assistant Carmel Musgrove drowned in a lagoon while attending a celebration with Silver in Bora Bora, on the occasion of the marriage between Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux. Later, in August 2017, Musgrove's family sued Silver and his assistant Martin Herold, arguing the latter had provided her with cocaine, which contributed to her death, together with alcohol consumption and exhaustion from work.[5][6]


Year Title Director Notes
1976 Max Joe Gilford Short film
1979 The Warriors Walter Hill Associate producer
1980 Xanadu Robert Greenwald Co-producer
1982 Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again Jerry Belson Executive producer
1982 48 Hrs. Walter Hill N/A
1984 Streets of Fire Executive producer
1985 Brewster's Millions N/A
1985 Weird Science John Hughes N/A
1985 Commando Mark L. Lester N/A
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Penny Marshall N/A
1987 Lethal Weapon Richard Donner N/A
1987 Predator John McTiernan N/A
1988 Action Jackson Craig R. Baxley N/A
1988 Die Hard John McTiernan N/A
1989 Road House Rowdy Herrington N/A
1989 Lethal Weapon 2 Richard Donner N/A
1990 Die Hard 2 Renny Harlin N/A
1990 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Renny Harlin N/A
1990 Predator 2 Stephen Hopkins N/A
1990 Hudson Hawk Michael Lehmann N/A
1991 Ricochet Russell Mulcahy N/A
1991 The Last Boy Scout Tony Scott N/A
1992 Lethal Weapon 3 Richard Donner N/A
1993 Demolition Man Marco Brambilla N/A
1994 Richie Rich Donald Petrie N/A
1995 Demon Knight Ernest Dickerson Executive producer
1995 Assassins Richard Donner N/A
1995 Fair Game Andrew Sipes N/A
1996 Executive Decision Stuart Baird N/A
1996 Bordello of Blood Gilbert Adler Executive producer
1997 Fathers' Day Ivan Reitman N/A
1997 Conspiracy Theory Richard Donner N/A
1997 Double Tap Greg Yaitanes N/A
1998 Lethal Weapon 4 Richard Donner N/A
1999 The Matrix The Wachowskis N/A
1999 Made Men Louis Morneau N/A
1999 House on Haunted Hill William Malone N/A
2000 Romeo Must Die Andrzej Bartkowiak N/A
2000 Dungeons & Dragons Courtney Solomon Executive producer
2001 Exit Wounds Andrzej Bartkowiak N/A
2001 Osmosis Jones Tom Sito, Piet Kroon, Farrelly brothers Chief (voice, uncredited)
2001 Proximity Scott Ziehl N/A
2001 Swordfish Dominic Sena N/A
2001 Thirteen Ghosts Steve Beck N/A
2002 Ritual Avi Nesher N/A
2002 Ghost Ship Steve Beck N/A
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave Andrzej Bartkowiak N/A
2003 The Animatrix Various Executive producer
2003 The Matrix Reloaded The Wachowskis N/A
2003 The Matrix Revolutions N/A
2003 Gothika Mathieu Kassovitz N/A
2005 House of Wax Jaume Collet-Serra N/A
2005 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Shane Black N/A
2005 V for Vendetta James McTeigue N/A
2007 The Reaping Stephen Hopkins N/A
2007 The Invasion Oliver Hirschbiegel N/A
2007 The Brave One Stephen Hopkins N/A
2007 Return to House on Haunted Hill Víctor García Executive producer
2007 Fred Claus David Dobkin N/A
2008 Speed Racer The Wachowskis N/A
2008 RocknRolla Guy Ritchie N/A
2009 The Hills Run Red Dave Parker Executive producer
2009 Orphan Jaume Collet-Serra N/A
2009 Whiteout Dominic Sena N/A
2009 Ninja Assassin James McTeigue N/A
2009 Sherlock Holmes Guy Ritchie N/A
2009 Splice Vincenzo Natali Executive producer
2010 The Book of Eli The Hughes brothers N/A
2010 The Losers Sylvain White N/A
2011 Unknown Jaume Collet-Serra N/A
2011 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Guy Ritchie N/A
2012 The Apparition Todd Lincoln N/A
2012 Dragon Eyes John Hyams N/A
2012 Stash House Eduardo Rodríguez N/A
2012 The Factory Morgan O'Neill N/A
2012 Bullet to the Head Walter Hill Executive producer
2013 Enemies Closer Peter Hyams N/A
2013 Getaway Courtney Solomon N/A
2014 Non-Stop Jaume Collet-Serra N/A
2014 The Loft Erik Van Looy N/A
2014 Veronica Mars Rob Thomas Executive producer
2016 The Nice Guys Shane Black N/A
2016 Collide Eran Creevy N/A
2017 Suburbicon George Clooney N/A
2018 Superfly Director X N/A


  1. ^
  2. ^ James, Clive (2009). The Blaze of Obscurity. Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
  3. ^ ""Founders (Class of 2005)"". USA Ultimate. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Lee, Matt; Lee, Ted (November 30, 2003), "Auldbrass Wasn't Rebuilt in a Day", New York Times
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]

External links

Action Jackson (1988 film)

Action Jackson is a 1988 American action film directed by Craig R. Baxley in his feature film directorial debut, and starring Carl Weathers, Vanity, Craig T. Nelson and Sharon Stone. The film was released in the United States on February 12, 1988.

Paula Abdul was the film choreographer. The film was released by Lorimar Film Entertainment. Vanity was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award as Worst Actress.

Assassins (film)

Assassins is a 1995 American action thriller film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and Brian Helgeland. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas and costars Julianne Moore. The Wachowskis stated that their script was "totally rewritten" by Helgeland, and that they tried to remove their names from the film but failed.

Demolition Man (film)

Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film that was Marco Brambilla’s directorial debut. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The film was released in the United States on October 8, 1993.The film tells the story of two men: an evil crime lord and a risk-taking police officer. Cryogenically frozen in 1996, they are reanimated in 2032 to find mainstream society changed and all crime seemingly eliminated.

Some aspects of the film allude to Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World.

Executive Decision

Executive Decision is a 1996 American action thriller film directed by Stuart Baird in his directorial debut, and stars Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, David Suchet and John Leguizamo. It was released in the United States on March 15, 1996.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a 2005 American neo-noir black comedy crime film written and directed by Shane Black (in his directorial debut), and starring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen. The script is partially based on the Brett Halliday novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them, and interprets the classic hardboiled literary genre in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. The film was produced by Joel Silver, with Susan Levin (Susan Downey a few months later) and Steve Richards as executive producers.

Shot in Los Angeles between February 24 and May 3, 2004, the film debuted at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2005 and was released in the United States on October 21, 2005. It received positive reviews from critics and grossed $15 million worldwide.

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Richard Donner, and produced by Joel Silver, and written by Shane Black. It stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover alongside Gary Busey, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, and Mitchell Ryan. In Lethal Weapon, a pair of mismatched LAPD detectives – Martin Riggs (Gibson), a former Green Beret who has become suicidal following the death of his wife, and Roger Murtaugh (Glover), a 50-year-old veteran of the force – work together as partners.

The film was released on March 6, 1987. Upon its release, Lethal Weapon grossed over $120 million (against a production budget of $15 million) and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing. It spawned a franchise that includes three sequels and a television series.

Ninja Assassin

Ninja Assassin is a 2009 German-American neo-noir martial arts film directed by James McTeigue. The story was written by Matthew Sand, with a screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski. The film stars South Korean pop musician Rain as a disillusioned assassin looking for retribution against his former mentor, played by ninja film legend Sho Kosugi. Ninja Assassin explores political corruption, child endangerment and the impact of violence. The Wachowskis, Joel Silver, and Grant Hill produced the film. A collective effort to commit to the film's production was made by Legendary Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment and Silver Pictures. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Ninja Assassin premiered in theaters across the United States on November 25, 2009 and received mixed reviews from critics. Its box office gross was $61,590,252, of which $38,122,883 was from North America. The film's budget was $40 million.

Orphan (2009 film)

Orphan is a 2009 psychological horror film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by David Leslie Johnson from a story by Alex Mace. The film stars Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, C. C. H. Pounder and Jimmy Bennett. The plot centers on a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious 9-year-old girl.

The film is an international co-production between the United States, Canada, Germany and France. It was produced by Joel Silver and Susan Downey of Dark Castle Entertainment, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran of Appian Way Productions. Principal photography for the film took place in Canada, in the cities of St. Thomas, Toronto, Port Hope, and Montreal.

Orphan was released theatrically in the United States on July 24, 2009 by Warner Bros. Pictures. Although the film received mixed reviews, Fuhrman's performance was lauded and positively received, with some critics compared her performance as Esther to that of Linda Blair in The Exorcist and Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed. It grossed $78 million worldwide against a $20 million budget.

Road House (1989 film)

Road House is a 1989 American action film directed by Rowdy Herrington and starring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer at a newly refurbished roadside bar who protects a small town in Missouri from a corrupt businessman. Sam Elliott co-stars as a bouncer, the mentor, friend, and foil of Swayze's character. The cast also includes Kelly Lynch as Swayze's love interest and Ben Gazzara as the main antagonist.


RocknRolla is a 2008 crime comedy film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, and starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Gemma Arterton and Toby Kebbell. It was released on 5 September 2008 in the United Kingdom, hitting number one in the UK box office in its first week of release.

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 mystery period action film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey, and Dan Lin. The screenplay, by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, and Simon Kinberg, was developed from a story by Wigram and Johnson. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson respectively. Set in 1890, eccentric detective Holmes and his companion Watson are hired by a secret society to foil a mysticist's plot to expand the British Empire by seemingly supernatural means. Rachel McAdams stars as their former adversary Irene Adler and Mark Strong portrays villain Lord Henry Blackwood. The film was widely released in North America on December 25, 2009, and on December 26, 2009 in the UK, Ireland, the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Sherlock Holmes received mostly positive critical reaction, with praise for its story, action sequences, set pieces, costume design, Hans Zimmer's musical score, and Downey's performance as the main character, winning Downey the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. The film was also nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction.

A sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was released on December 16, 2011, with a third film scheduled for release on December 25, 2020.

Silver Pictures

Silver Pictures is an American film production company founded by Hollywood producer Joel Silver during 1980. The Silver Pictures logo, also called The Chip, is modeled on a block pattern that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the exteriors of the legendary Storer House in Los Angeles. Silver has been a lifelong aficionado of Frank Lloyd Wright and has worked many of Wright's works within both Silver Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment. All pre-Universal Pictures deal films (starting with Ricochet) are owned and distributed by Warner Bros.

In 2012, Joel Silver and Warner Bros. ended their 25-year production, marketing, and distribution relationship. This is due to Silver growing increasingly upset with how Warner Bros. had been handling the marketing and releasing of the films his company produced. Despite having split, Silver and Warner Bros. co-produced The Nice Guys four years later. That same year, Joel Silver and Universal Pictures struck a 5-year marketing and distribution deal, starting with the Liam Neeson action thriller Non-Stop on February 28, 2014. Universal Pictures will not be a production partner with Silver Pictures, only a distributor.

Three years after Silver finalized Silver Pictures 5-year marketing and distributing deal, the veteran producer connected with Canadian financier Daryl Katz. Founder and Chairman of the Katz Group of Companies, one of Canada's largest privately owned enterprises, Daryl Katz holds operations in pharmaceuticals, sports and entertainment and real estate. The two can together to create a slate of feature film, digital projects and television. Hal Sadoff, longtime packaging and finance agent, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Silver Pictures Entertainment. Sadoff left ICM in 2012.

Before Silver's connection with Katz, Silver Pictures required studio backing to develop and fund its films. After the formation of the new partnership, Silver possessed the ability to work on projects both inside and outside the studio system.

CEO Hal Sadoff and Silver still possess a longstanding relationship, having worked together on "Gothika", "Thirteen Ghosts" and "House on the Haunted Hill".


Suburbicon is a 2017 American Drama/Thriller film written and directed by George Clooney, and co-written by the Coen brothers and Grant Heslov. The film stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, and Oscar Isaac, and follows a mild-mannered father who must face his demons after a home invasion shakes his quaint neighborhood in 1959. It is loosely based on a 1957 incident in Levittown, Pennsylvania, in which a black family moved into the previously all-white neighborhood, leading to racism and violence against the family.Principal photography began in October 2016 in Los Angeles. Suburbicon premiered in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2017, then screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 27, 2017. It received generally negative reviews from critics, who called the plot "awkwardly jammed together" and noted it as a disappointment given the talent involved, and was a box office bomb, making just $11 million against its $25 million budget.

Swordfish (film)

Swordfish is a 2001 American action crime thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones and Sam Shepard. The film centers on Stanley Jobson, an ex-con and computer hacker who is targeted for recruitment into a bank robbery conspiracy because of his formidable hacking skills. The film was a slight box office success but was negatively received by critics upon release.

The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-western action film directed by The Hughes Brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, and Jennifer Beals. The story revolves around Eli, a nomad in a post-apocalyptic world, who is told by a voice to deliver his copy of a mysterious book to a safe location on the West Coast of the United States. The history of the post-war world is explained along the way, as is the importance of Eli's task. Filming began in February 2009 and took place in New Mexico.The film was released in theaters in January 2010. Alcon Entertainment financed and co-produced the film with Silver Pictures, while it was distributed by Warner Bros. in the United States; international sales were handled by Summit Entertainment.

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis. It is the first sequel to The Matrix, and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy. Reloaded premiered on May 7, 2003, in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, and went on general release by Warner Bros. in North American theaters on May 15, 2003, and around the world during the latter half of that month. It was also screened out of competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. The video game Enter the Matrix, which was released on May 15, and a collection of nine animated shorts, The Animatrix, which was released on June 3, supported and expanded the storyline of the film. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed $742.1 million worldwide. The Matrix Revolutions, which completes the story, was released six months after Reloaded, in November 2003.

The Matrix Revolutions

The Matrix Revolutions is a 2003 science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis. It was the third installment of The Matrix trilogy, released six months following The Matrix Reloaded. The film was released simultaneously in 60 countries on November 5, 2003. While it is the final film in the series, the Matrix storyline is continued in The Matrix Online. It was the first live-action feature film to be released in both regular and IMAX theaters at the same time.

Weird Science (film)

Weird Science is a 1985 American teen comic science fiction film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Kelly LeBrock. The title is taken from a pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name, to which rights were acquired by the film's producer Joel Silver. The title song was written and performed by American new wave band Oingo Boingo.

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