Jerry Bruckheimer

One of the most successful Hollywood producers since the 1980s, Jerry Bruckheimer makes big-budget spectacles that cause critics to stick their noses up and moviegoers to put their money down. Bruckheimer, who got his start in New York making commercials, began producing movies in the early 1980s. The surprise success of 1983's Flashdance made him hot property in Hollywood, and from the mid-1980s until 1996 Bruckheimer and his partner, producer Don Simpson, were behind blockbuster hits such as Beverly Hills Cop (1984, starring Eddie Murphy), Top Gun (1986, starring Tom Cruise) and Bad Boys (1995, starring Will Smith). After 1996's The Rock (starring Sean Connery), Bruckheimer and Simpson parted ways, in large part because of Simpson's wild excesses (a hardcore partygoer and drug user, Simpson died of heart failure in 1996). On his own, Bruckheimer has continued his streak of box office blockbusters, including Armageddon (1998, with Bruce Willis), Remember the Titans (2000, with Denzel Washington) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003, starring Johnny Depp). His production company develops shows for television also, including The Amazing Race, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and E-Ring (with Dennis Hopper and Benjamin Bratt).

Half of the producing tandem behind the most testosterone-laden action flicks, the name Jerry Bruckheimer has become synonymous with explosive pyrotechnics and machine-gun fire. The producer of such hits as Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Top Gun (1986), and Days of Thunder (1990), Bruckheimer dissolved his partnership with hard-partying producer Don Simpson in 1995, only weeks before Simpson's death and after 14 tumultuous years together. Despite a reputation for quantity over quality, Bruckheimer has remained one of Hollywood's most successful producers ever, putting his distinctive stamp on such adrenaline-fueled hits as Con Air (1997) and Armageddon (1998).

The son of German-Jewish immigrants, Bruckheimer was born on September 21, 1945. He grew up poor, living in a tiny house in a blue-collar Jewish section of Detroit. Dropped off at a weekly matinee by his mother and salesman father, Bruckheimer developed a love for the cinema that eventually channeled him toward photography. He won several local prizes before fleeing Detroit for Madison Avenue, by way of the University of Arizona, where he received a degree in psychology, and on the strength of a Bonnie and Clyde spoof he helmed for Pontiac. The future producer left a lucrative advertising job in New York to accept low-paying film work in the early '70s, part of the pursuit of his dream. He worked with director Dick Richards on his first few projects, as associate producer on The Culpepper Cattle Company (1972) and producer on Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and March or Die (1977). Bruckheimer began gaining notice through a pair of Paul Schrader films, the Richard Gere hustler film American Gigolo (1979), and the feline horror flick Cat People (1982). But it was his first pairing with old buddy Don Simpson, on the 1983 surprise smash Flashdance, that kicked off his string of hits, which has continued more or less unabated. The underdog story of a Pittsburgh arc welder with dreams of ballet dancing, Flashdance used a synthesis of music, sex, quick edits, and bold aspirations to rake in 95 million dollars -- an incredible take for an unheralded R-rated film, making it the third-highest box-office haul of 1983. Bruckheimer and Simpson were on the map and then some. Forming Simpson-Bruckheimer Productions and signing a long-term deal with Paramount, Bruckheimer and Simpson complemented each other well, likening their partnership to a strong marriage, but without the sex. Simpson's extensive industry contacts and Hollywood ladder climbing earned him the nickname "Mr. Inside," while Bruckheimer's practical experience with filmmaking, much of it through advertising, qualified him as "Mr. Outside." With both sides covered, the pair could do no wrong. Their popcorn films fed the public's need for the loud and the proud, quickly assuming iconic status and elevating such actors as Tom Cruise (Top Gun) and Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop) to bona-fide superstardom. In 1990, the team dissolved its deal with Paramount "by mutual agreement," and began a non-exclusive, five-year pact with Disney subsidiary Hollywood Pictures the following year. Initially slowed, but undaunted, Bruckheimer and Simpson had their next big wave of hits in 1995, releasing Dangerous Minds, Crimson Tide, and Bad Boys in quick succession and reaffirming their relevance. However, Simpson's behind-the-scenes drug problems were damaging the partnership irreparably, and Bruckheimer called off the professional union at the end of that successful year, at the close of production on The Rock (1996). Simpson died a month later of heart failure. As both Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, Bruckheimer excelled. Con Air was a hit in 1997, and the Bruce Willis asteroid flick Armageddon grossed the second most of any film released in 1998, at just over 200 million dollars. Bruckheimer achieved mid-level success -- but at the cost of ever-growing critical disdain -- with the releases of Enemy of the State (1998), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), and Coyote Ugly (2000). Hoping to mix Oscar credentials with his traditional blend of wham-bam thrills, Bruckheimer provided the muscle behind Michael Bay's 150-million-dollar-plus World War II action-romance Pearl Harbor (2001). But critics and the Academy were not as receptive to this film as to such epic tragedies as Titanic (1997) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), and issued Bruckheimer across-the-board raspberries. The film was considered an unqualified dud, its 200-million-dollar take well short of expectations. Bruckheimer did achieve a measure of redemption later that year with the release of Black Hawk Down. Ridley Scott's re-creation of an ill-fated U.S. military mission in Somalia, the film scored raves and four Oscar nominations, winning for its editing and sound. Bruckheimer expanded his production empire into television crating the enormously successful SI franchise, as well as Without a Trace, and the multiple Emmy winning reality show The Amazing Race. He continued producing feature films as eclectic as Kangaroo Jack and Bad Company, but in 2003 he helped steer the massively successful Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. That film was so successful Disney agreed to finance two sequels to be produced simultaneously. The first of those to hit theaters, Dead Man's Chest, shattered box-office records for biggest opening day and biggest opening weekend, and was the first film to take in over $100 million in two days.

Jerry Bruckheimer News
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 to Possibly Shoot in Early 2015Pirates of the Caribbean 5 to Possibly Shoot in Early 2015
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer hopes to get Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Me Tell No Tales rolling in the new year, with Johnny Depp returning as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Jerry Bruckheimer Gives Update on Bad Boys 3 and National Treasure 3Jerry Bruckheimer Gives Update on Bad Boys 3 and National Treasure 3
The producer reveals that the first act of the National Treasure 3 script has been turned in, while Bad Boys 3 is a victim of bad timing.
Top Gun 2 Details Tease Maverick Vs. Drones StorylineTop Gun 2 Details Tease Maverick Vs. Drones Storyline
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer reveals he wants to highlight both the traditional pilots and new drone technology in this upcoming sequel.
Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Will End Their First-Look Deal in 2014
The producer plans to part ways with the studio, because he wants to produce more mature films outside the scope of Disney.
Jerry Bruckheimer Takes Beware the Night
Scott Derrickson's paranormal thriller centers on a New York cop, who investigates supernatural occurrences.
The Lone Ranger Production Update and Set Photos from Jerry Bruckheimer
125 days of shooting come to an end on this Western retelling of the classic adventure.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Confirms Terry Rossio Is Behind Latest Rewrite
Jerry Bruckheimer Films is not seeking a new screenwriter for the fifth Captain Jack Sparrow adventure.
Jerry Bruckheimer Breaks His Silence on Lone Ranger
The producer of this Walt Disney reboot reveals some of the trimming done to reduce Lone Ranger's budget.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Currently Being Rewritten Says Jerry Bruckheimer
Terry Rossio's script, which was completed back in May, will apparently not be used for the new Captain Jack Sparrow adventure.
Is Lone Ranger Back on Track at Disney?
Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have agreed to take pay cuts to get the movie made.
Dwayne Johnson Sets Up 80s Pro Wrestling Drama at NBC
The former WWE Superstar teams with Jerry Bruckheimer on this new series set in the world of professional wrestling.
Second Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Clip
Watch Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow jump off a cliff in the latest glimpse at Rob Marshall's pirate adventure.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 to Be a Stand Alone Adventure Says Jerry Bruckheimer
The producer reveals that a script for the fifth chapter of this popular franchise is already being written.
Jerry Bruckheimer Acquires Untitled Outer Space Project
Prometheus's Jon Spaihts wrote the pitch for this untitled thriller.
Johnny Depp Talks Tonto in Lone Ranger
The actor hopes to portray Native Americans in a positive light, with a partner relationship that is very funny.
Lone Ranger Logo!
Jerry Bruckheimer recently launched his company's official website, revealing a new image from the upcoming Johnny Depp adventure.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blackbeard's Flag Photo
Jerry Bruckheimer reveals the sail mast of Queen Anne's Revenge as seen in the upcoming Disney sequel.
UPDATE: Top Gun 2 Moves Forward with Tom Cruise Cameo?
Paramount has offers out to director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to revitalize this 1986 classic.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer Attached to Tron: Legacy
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed they're working to get a first glimpse of the sequel ready by Tron: Legacy's December 17 release date.
First Image of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides!
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer just tweeted this brand new image of Captain Jack Sparrow on the set of the new film.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The Sorcerer's Apprentice Cast and Crew Featurette
Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Jerry Bruckheimer, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell and director Jon Turteltaub speak!
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Begins Filming
Jerry Bruckheimer reveals some first images from the set.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Cast and Crew Video Interviews
Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton lead a rousing conversation about their new summer blockbuster based on the fan-favorite video game.
Jerry Bruckheimer Aiming for Light Speed
The producer will team up with Disney for a new film project.
Jerry Bruckheimer Rules Over The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The super-producer discusses his latest big budget summer blockbuster film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, based on the classic video game.
NBC Picks Up Jerry Bruckheimer's Chase
The network picks up its fifth series before their upfront presentations.