Barry Sonnenfeld

Barry Sonnenfeld

Born: April 1, 1953
Age: 68
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
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Barry Sonnenfeld (born April 1, 1953) is an American filmmaker and television director. He originally worked as a cinematographer for the Coen brothers before directing films such as The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values along with the Men in Black trilogy and the critically acclaimed Get Shorty. Sonnenfeld currently has four collaborations with actor Will Smith.

Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City, the son of Irene "Kelly" (Kellerman), an art teacher, and Sonny Sonnenfeld, a lighting salesman, educator, and architectural lighting designer.[1][2][3] He was raised in a Jewish family.[4] After he received his bachelor's degree from Hampshire College, he graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978.



He began working on pornographic films before starting work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water (1982). Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple (1984). This film began his collaboration with the Coen brothers, who used him for their next two pictures, Raising Arizona (1987) and Miller's Crossing (1990). He also worked with Danny DeVito on Throw Momma from the Train (1987) and Rob Reiner on When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Misery (1990).

Sonnenfeld gained his first work as a director from Paramount Pictures on The Addams Family, a box-office success released in November 1991. Its sequel, Addams Family Values (1993), was not as successful at the box office, but he received critical acclaim for his fourth directorial outing, Get Shorty (1995). Produced by Jersey Films and based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, the film won a Golden Globe for John Travolta (Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical). The film was also entered into the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.[5] Following Tim Burton and the Coen Brothers, Sonnenfeld would tell stories about unusual, unorthodox people who are into the unexpected and the strange. He would use as his trademarks unusual camera angles, offbeat dialogue, and in certain films, strange behavior and weird creatures.

In 1996, Steven Spielberg asked him to direct Men in Black (1997). Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, the film was a critical and financial smash. In 1998, Jon Peters asked him to direct Wild Wild West (1999). Starring Smith and Kevin Kline, the film was a critical and financial flop. He also directed the comedy Big Trouble (2002), after which he made his most successful film sequel to that point, Men in Black II (2002). He is also a contributing editor for Esquire. He also co-produced the 2007 film Enchanted for Disney that starred Amy Adams. In 2008, Sonnenfeld earned an Emmy for directing Pushing Daisies. On April 21, 2010, it was announced that Sonnenfeld intended to return for Men in Black 3.[6] The film, released in 2012 worldwide, received good reviews and became the highest grossing in the series.

Personal life

Sonnenfeld lives in New York City with his wife Susan and their daughter Chloe.


Year Title Type Director Producer Executive producer Cinematographer
1982 In Our Water Documentary Yes
1983 How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days TV film Yes
1984 ABC Afterschool Specials TV series Yes
Blood Simple Film Yes
1985 Compromising Positions Film Yes
Doubletake TV miniseries Yes
1986 Classified Love TV film Yes
Welcome Home, Bobby TV film Yes
1987 Raising Arizona Film Yes
Three O'Clock High Film Yes
Throw Momma from the Train Film Yes
1988 Big Film Yes
1989 When Harry Met Sally... Film Yes
1990 Miller's Crossing Film Yes
Misery Film Yes
1991 The Addams Family Film Yes
1993 Addams Family Values Film Yes
For Love or Money Film Yes
1995 Get Shorty Film Yes Yes
1997 Men in Black Film Yes
1998 Maximum Bob TV series Yes Yes
Out of Sight Film Yes
1999 Fantasy Island TV series Yes
Partners TV film Yes
Wild Wild West Film Yes Yes
2000 Secret Agent Man TV series Yes
The Crew Film Yes
2002 Big Trouble Film Yes Yes
Men in Black II Film Yes
The Tick TV series Yes Yes
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Film Yes
Karen Sisco TV series Yes
The Ladykillers Film Yes
2006 RV Film Yes
2007 Enchanted Film Yes
2008 Hackett TV film Yes
Notes from the Underbelly TV series Yes Yes
Play or Be Played TV film Yes Yes
Space Chimps Film Yes
Suburban Shootout TV series Yes
2009 Pushing Daisies TV series Yes Yes
The Bridget Show TV film Yes
2010 Funny in Farsi TV series Yes
2012 Men in Black 3 Film Yes
2013 Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot Yes
2014 An Honest Liar Documentary Yes
Dead Boss TV film Yes
2016 Independent Lens TV series Yes
Nine Lives Film Yes
2017 The Tick TV series Yes
2018 A Series of Unfortunate Events TV series Yes Yes

Future projects

He is working on new projects, among them include Things a Man Should Never Do Past 30: a single-camera comedy from executive producer/director Sonnenfeld, the Tannenbaum Company and Sony Pictures Television. The project mostly is based on the personal experiences of Esquire writer David Katz and Esquire editor at large A. J. Jacobs. The show is about a man working at a men's magazine who is reluctant to embrace adulthood and his friend who is an immersion journalist. Al Higgins (Malcolm in the Middle) is set to serve as showrunner/head writer if the project is picked up.[7]

He has become attached to a movie adaptation of The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz, about a family of private investigators.[8] Sonnenfeld will direct the movie adaptation of the fantasy novel Gil's All Fright Diner in partnership with DreamWorks Animation.[9] He is also developing a sitcom for ABC, Funny in Farsi, based on the book of the same name.[10]

In 2012, it was stated that he was appointed to direct Lore, an adaptation based on the comic by T.P. Louise and Ashley Wood of the same name.[11][12] But, in 2013, Indie director Dave Green has signed on to replace Barry Sonnenfeld as director, Sonnenfeld will take part as executive producer on the project.[13]

Barry is also in talks with Warner Bros. to make a live action film adaptation of the DC Comics characters, The Metal Men. Sonnenfeld also agreed to direct the Beverly Hills Cop pilot for CBS and serve as an executive producer as well. However, Paramount Pictures dropped the idea in favor of a fourth film directed by Brett Ratner.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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