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Brett Ratner Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (26) | Personal Quotes (13) | Salary (5)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 28 March 1969Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ratner grew up in Miami Beach, the only child of a famous Jewish socialite mother. He attended Miami Beach Senior High and was President of the Leo Club in 1986. He was also a member of the "fraternity" Royal Palm. He attended NYU film school currently lives in a $3.6 M house in Beverly Hills. Ratner is also a good friend of Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons, and has directed music videos for many rap stars.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Fratboy2

Trade Mark (2)

Opens his movies with a character singing
Frequently casts Don Cheadle, Chris Tucker and Ken Leung

Trivia (26)

Engaged to Rebecca Gayheart.
Got his start by directing rap and hip-hop videos for his friend Russell Simmons. When the original director of Money Talks (1997) had to be replaced, Russell Simmons recommended him.
Attended Miami Beach Senior High.
Once vowed he would not direct movies until he had directed at least 100 music videos.
Without knowing him, Steven Spielberg and his company Amblin Entertainment sent him $5000 to finish funding for his final film project at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts after he sent out 20 letters to producers asking for help.
His favorite film is Scarface (1932).
Was in pre-production for a remake of John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) after he finished Rush Hour (1998). It was to be written by Cassavetes' son, Nick Cassavetes and Warren Beatty was set to star. Ratner left the project when he was offered The Family Man (2000).
Favorite film director is Hal Ashby.
After meeting with real life FBI agents, he decided that it would not be authentic to have Scott Glenn reprise the role of Jack Crawford in Red Dragon (2002), his The Silence of the Lambs (1991) prequel. Instead, he cast Harvey Keitel, in a role originally created by Dennis Farina in Manhunter (1986). Keitel and Farina had also both played Ray Barbone in the film Get Shorty (1995). Ratner was considered for directing the sequel to Get Shorty, entitled Be Cool (2005), in which Keitel also appears.
Ranked #81 on Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. He did not rank on the 2004 list.
At Miami Beach Senior High School was a drama student of well-known instructor Jay W. Jensen.
Replaced director Matthew Vaughn just two months before filming began on X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
Was for some time attached to direct Superman Returns (2006). He left the project because of repeated delays and difficulty in casting a lead actor. The project then went to Bryan Singer, while Ratner went on to direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), the two previous movies in the saga having been directed by Singer.
In Red Dragon (2002), digital technology was used to smooth over some of Anthony Hopkins's facial features so that he would look younger than he was in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Similar technology was used in the first scene of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), so that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen could play their characters twenty years younger.
Considered directing Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).
His mother, Marsha Presman, was just 16 when she gave birth to her son.
In 2008, at Beverly Hills Film Festival presented the 1st annual Living Legends Award to legendary photographer Phil Stern.
Lives in Los Angeles, California and Miami Beach, Florida.
In the series "The Film That Changed My Life" (Observer newspaper UK/May 2010), Ratner cited Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) as the singular movie that most inspired him to become a filmmaker. Claims to have seen the movie about 100 times, first when he was only 10-years-old with his mother's permission.
His five favorite films are The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002), The Tenant (1976), The Killing (1956), Being There (1979) and Raging Bull (1980). The last of these was the film that made him want to go to film school; Robert Evans, the subject of The Kid Stays in The Picture, was one of his mentors.
No longer involved in the production of a new Superman movie. Stated that the repeated delays and difficulty in casting a lead actor made it impossible for him to remain involved.
At Beverly Hills Film Festival to present the 1st annual Living Legends Award to legendary photographer Phil Stern.
Appeared in an infomercial, hosted by Anthony Robbins and Tom Selleck, for "The Tony Robbins Ultimate Edge" system.
Was a great friend of Michael Jackson.
Friends with Pierce Brosnan, who wanted Ratner to direct an unspecified 007 film (from the time period involved, the film in question was almost certainly "Die Another Day") but the Broccolis immediately told Brosnan they didn't like Ratner's films and would not consider him to EVER direct a James Bond film. Brosnan took on a co-lead role in Ratner's project "After the Sunset" instead.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 6th Beijing International Film Festival in 2016.

Personal Quotes (13)

There's no difference between a tacky Jew from Miami and a rap star. They both want the Cadillac and the Rolex with the diamonds.
In Hollywood you gotta keep the movement. You gotta have three or four projects and whichever one comes in first, or better, that's the one you're going to do.
There are very few perfect films. I think Reservoir Dogs (1992) is close to being a perfect film.
Why do I need final cut? Final cut is for artistes quote unquote -- directors whose movies don't make a lot of money. Maybe Scorsese should have final cut because a guy like Harvey Weinstein or a studio might change it to make it a little more accessible or a little more commercial and he has a vision of what he wants it to be. He wants it to be four hours long or whatever.
[on recasting the role of Jack Crawford with Harvey Keitel in Red Dragon (2002)] When Jonathan Demme said make your own version, I couldn't see anyone but Anthony Hopkins and I couldn't see anyone but Anthony Heald as Dr. Chilton. I can't see another acting doing it. But what happened was I went down to the FBI, and discovered they're like tough New York Cops. They weren't like Scott Glenn.
No matter how successful you are, you are not invincible. The studio is writing the checks. It's all about leverage and who has the power. The goal is to get the biggest deal you can, because you are going to have to give something back to the studios anyway.
Am I Orson Welles? Obviously not. But 50 years from now, who knows how, as a person, I'll have grown. I've already changed, from being a 26-year-old kid to a 38-year-old guy - I'm not a man yet, really. But as I get older, who knows how my experiences and my knowledge, this past 12 years making movies, how that's all going to affect the movies that I make? I know that the life I lived from 16 to 26 allowed me to make a movie like Rush Hour (1998), so now let's see...
In an action movie, I don't want to move the camera too much, because the movement should be within the frame. The same goes for comedy. You don't want to push in for a joke; it's plenty in a medium shot. Watch my jokes, they're never in close-up. If the audience feels the camera, it's horrible.
As a producer, I want to service the director and help him make the film he wants to make. That's the great thing about RatPac - it's not just a financing company. There's a content creator - me, a filmmaker - behind it. I found that directors are embracing us as their partners. They're saying, "Hey, Brett, can you come in with this or that?" I understand their plight, you know? Harmony [director Harmony Korine] brought me his last script first. He wrote it in my house in Miami. People don't know this about me: I'm a cinephile and I love these filmmakers. I just produced a Martin Scorsese short film with Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. I haven't necessarily made a movie like that myself, but I produce them. [2015]
[on supporting young filmmakers] When I was a film student at NYU, there wasn't a platform like the internet for filmmakers. HBO was the only company that was buying short-form content, and it was only a little bit every month. But there were thousands of short films being made. Now, of course, with the globalization of film, there are so many more opportunities. The cool thing is that while you can make a film with your iPhone, it's still an expensive medium if you want quality - if you want a mix, if you want to do color correction. Even though there's software for editing, there's not really a post-production program for home use. That will happen eventually, but it still costs money to do something of quality. So there wasn't an outlet for that. Now, Steven Spielberg has someone every month prepare the best of YouTube. There's so much short-form content better than feature films out there. So there are huge opportunities now for young filmmakers out there to get something seen. As a young filmmaker, I could make something, but how would you get somebody to see it? (...) I got an agent out of the NYU film festival. Thank God that there was an agent there. She just happened to be there the night my short film was showing. Now, I think there are more opportunities. But the reach goes both ways. After I made my short film, I sent a letter to 40 of my favorite people in the business. I got 39 rejection letters. Katherine Kennedy was the one who gave me money. The interesting thing about that wasn't that it made me an overnight sensation. Yeah, maybe I got a little popular at NYU. But the truth is it gave me tremendous validation and confidence. That's what I hope this program I'm supporting at Key West can do. It should give tremendous validation to a young film student - the confidence to continue to pursue what they want to do. The hardest part for me was not quitting. There were talented people at NYU film school who are probably stock brokers or real estate agents now. The only reason I'm one of the most successful guys out of NYU is because I didn't quit. [2015]
[his advice for young filmmakers] You have to be in it for the right reasons - because you love storytelling. That's the skill set of any filmmaker. They have to love that part of that. If you want to do it because you want to be famous, get laid, get rich, or whatever, it's not going to happen for you. Everyone from Spielberg to Mike Leigh had a strong desire to tell stories. [2015]
The guy who directed Son of Saul (2015) is probably getting offered 20 movies right now, but he's choosing to go do a movie in his native Hungary. That's my advice to filmmakers: Have your next movie ready to go. Don't sit around. Go shoot. I only got to where I am because I'd shot millions of feet of film before I shot my first movie. Then I was ready to make them back to back. I wasn't sitting around reveling in the success of "Rush Hour." I shot like seven movies in seven years. Then I started taking my time to be more strategic about it. But don't be strategic about it - just go shoot a movie. At the end of the day, it's about a body of work. Nobody's judged by one film, right? You can't judge Coppola on The Godfather (1972). There's The Conversation (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979) and _The Outsiders (1980). That's what you have to look at. [2015]
If a short film on YouTube or whatever affects me that way, it comes to my attention and makes me interested in that filmmaker's ability to take me on a journey. Having a point of view is important. The problem is that a lot of filmmakers are trying to define their style. They want to be the next Spielberg or Scorsese. You don't have to do that with your first film. You just have to discover who you are and what your interests are. When I was in film school, they separate the wheat from the chaff was films that had a feature look. They had the quality of a feature film. But that's not as important anymore. It's just the story that's being told. That's why we accept a film shot on an iPhone 5, or something like The Blair Witch Project (1999). Once all these digital formats came out, companies like Panavision had to step up their game. Then came the RED camera. Technology was simplifying the whole medium. At NYU, to get recognized by Hollywood, you had to make a short film with a feature-length look to it - lit-well, in focus, beautiful photography. I financed and produced The Revenant (2015). It's breathtakingly beautiful, but I'd finance it even if it was shot with something else. That only enhances your experience of the movie. If you shot something on an iPhone, it's going to look grainy blown up on the big screen. So you have to use a different format for that. But there are different formats and media whereas before, you could only make a movie for the big screen. [2015]

Salary (5)

The Family Man (2000) $5,000,000
Rush Hour 2 (2001) $5,000,000
Red Dragon (2002) $6,000,000
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) $8 .000.000 + A percentage of final net gross
Rush Hour 3 (2007) $7,500,000

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