You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bruckheimer gets lifetime honor

ShoWest kudo reflects producer's audience appeal

For more than three decades, uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer has racked up hit after hit — earning more than $125 billion worldwide — to emerge as one of the most successful producers Hollywood has ever seen.While critics scoff and tastemakers gleefully predict failure with many of his films, he has his finger on the mass audience’s pulse, and they flock to his high-concept event movies that never fail to deliver stars, spectacle and laughs.

“I always try to come at things from a different angle and see them differently,” says the Detroit-born former adman, “and I just pick projects that excite me and that I want to see. I just go by my gut instinct.”

Case in point: last year’s $120 million hit “G-Force,” which Bruckheimer greenlit after rookie director Hoyt Yeatman couldn’t get interest. Then there was Tom Cruise’s first megahit.

” ‘Top Gun’ was another project I always believed in, even though people passed on it at first,” Bruckheimer recalls. “Same with ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ We worked on that a long time until we got it made. You just have to be very persistent.”

Since then, Bruckheimer has honed his Midas touch, gradually eschewing more marginal projects (think “Coyote Ugly”) in favor of blockbuster tentpoles like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure.”

“But it never gets easier to get projects off the ground, especially now,” he cautions. “Each one’s got its own challenges and problems to solve.”

Even so, the year ahead looks pretty good for Bruckheimer.

“We have Johnny Depp signed and hope to start the next ‘Pirates’ this June,” he reports. “And we have ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ (think PG-13 ‘Arabian Nights’ meets ‘The Lord of the Rings’) coming out Memorial Day weekend. We’re also finishing ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ starring Nic Cage, and working on a bunch of TV pilots. And we’ve started a games division.”

Will Bruckheimer ever slow down? “Not as long as I love what I do, and I love being a producer.”

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content