Director/Producer/Writer) Andrew Davis is a filmmaker with a reputation for directing intelligent thrillers, most notably the Academy Award-nominated box-office hit The Fugitive (1993), starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and earned Jones a Best Supporting Actor award. Davis garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director and a Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Direction. In reviewing “The Fugitive”, film critic Roger Ebert commended Davis, noting that he “transcends genre and shows an ability to marry action and artistry that deserves comparison with [Alfred Hitchcock], David Lean and Carol Reed. He paints with bold, visual strokes.”
Davis is the son of parents who met in a repertory theater company in Chicago, where he was raised. His late father, Nathan Davis, worked on several of his films, including his role as Shia LaBeouf’s grandfather in Holes (2011). Andy received his degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and began his work in motion pictures as an assistant cameraman to renowned cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler on the 1969 classic Medium Cool (1969). Wexler’s ultra-realistic approach was to have a great influence on Davis, who then became a director of photography on numerous award-winning television commercials and documentaries, including 15 studio and independent features. In 1976, joined by many of his fellow cinematographers, Davis challenged the IATSE union’s restrictive studio roster system in a landmark class-action suit that forced the industry to open its doors to young technicians in all crafts.
Davis made his directorial debut in 1978 with the critically acclaimed independent musical Stony Island (1978), which he also co-wrote and produced. The thriller The Final Terror (1983) was Davis’ sophomore project, for producer Joe Roth, which starred then- newcomers Darryl Hanah, Joe Pantoliano, Rachel Ward and Adrian Zmed. Davis then co-wrote the screenplay for Harry Belafonte’s rap musical Beat Street (1984) before moving into the director’s chair full-time for Mike Medavoy and Orion Pictures on the Chuck Norris classic Code of Silence (1985). Davis directed, co-produced and co-wrote Steven Seagal’s feature film debut, Above the Law (1988), for Warner Brothers. The Package (1989), (Orion) followed, directed by Davis and starring Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones. Davis went on to direct 1992’s top grossing picture, Under Siege (1992), for Warner Brothers, a classic action film teaming Steven Seagal with Tommy Lee Jones.
Davis’ other directorial credits include (for Warner Bros.) Collateral Damage (2002), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; A Perfect Murder (1998), starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen; Chain Reaction (1996), starring Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman and Rachel Weisz; and Steal Big Steal Little (1995), starring Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin.
Davis next directed and produced “Holes”, the feature film adaptation of Louis Sachar’s beloved Newberry Medal and National Book Award-winning children’s novel. Starring Shia Labeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Patricia Arquette and released by the Walt Disney Company, “Holes” was named one of the 100 Best Family Films. It has been praised by audiences of all ages, furthering Davis’ reputation as a director with a wide range. A.O. Scott’s review in “The New York Times” called it “the best film released by an American studio so far this year”.
In 2000, Davis completed the Disney/Touchstone feature film The Guardian (2006), which honors the true heroes of the ocean, the Rescue Swimmers of the U.S. Coast Guard. Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher portray heroic swimmers committed to the personal and physical sacrifices necessary to save the lives of those stranded helplessly in the sea. In an unforgettable instance of life imitating art, the film’s New Orleans production was halted due to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. The staff of U.S. Coast Guard advisors to the production left to help rescue 35,000 people in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.
Presently, Davis is developing several projects through his Santa Barbara based production company, Chicago Pacific Entertainment, including: Treasure Island, a modern retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, set in the forgotten bayous of post Katrina Louisiana, a thrilling action-adventure quest for the long-lost fortune of one of America’s most infamous rascal heroes, the pirate Jean Lafitte. Mentors a series for worldwide television and streaming distribution. The pilot examines the lives of two legendary photographers. Davis is also writing with novelist Jeff Biggers the screenplay and novel for The Reckoning a geo thriller involving the world threatening discovery of rogue weapons found in Southern Illinois by a Chicago detective and young female archaeologist.
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