Michael Mann - Details


MICHAEL MANN (Director/Producer) has earned numerous honors for his work as a director, writer and producer, including three Academy Award® nominations in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for the drama “The Insider.” Based upon Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article, “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” the film starred Russell Crowe, who was also Oscar®-nominated for his portrayal of tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand. In addition, Mann received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Director, was acknowledged by his peers with Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America and Producers Guild of America Award nominations for his work on the film, and, along with Eric Roth, was honored by the WGA with the prestigious Paul Selvin award.

Mann subsequently directed, produced and co-wrote the screenplay for “Ali,” the acclaimed film biopic of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Will Smith earned an Academy Award® nomination for his performance in the title role of the film, which also won an Image Award and earned a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Picture.

Born in Chicago, Mann attended the University of Wisconsin before moving to England to do graduate work at the London Film School. After earning his degree, he remained in Europe to start a small production company and make documentaries, shorts and television commercials. In 1970, his short film “Jaunpuri” won prizes at the Cannes, Melbourne and Sydney Film Festivals. He returned to the United States in 1971 to direct, shoot and edit the documentary “17 Days Down the Line.”

The early 1970s also marked the beginning of a prolific career in television for Mann, who started writing for the series “Starsky and Hutch.” He went on to write multiple episodes of such popular series as “Police Story,” in addition to creating “Vega$.” In 1979, he co-wrote and directed his first television movie, “The Jericho Mile,” starring Peter Strauss, for which Mann won an Emmy for Best Screenplay and a DGA Award for Best Director.

One year later, Mann made his feature film directorial debut with “Thief,” starring James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson and Jim Belushi. Mann also wrote the screenplay for and executive produced the film. He then wrote and directed the gothic horror film “The Keep,” starring Gabriel Byrne, Scott Glenn and Ian McKellen.

In 1986, Mann brought Thomas Harris’ enigmatic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to the screen in “Manhunter,” which Mann wrote and directed. In 1991, he directed the first of a succession of four films. He brought Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe together in “The Last of the Mohicans,” which he directed, co-wrote and produced. Next, he directed and produced the crime story “Heat,” starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight and Ashley Judd. The third film was “The Insider,” with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino, followed by “Ali,” played by Will Smith. He also recently executive produced Mario Van Peebles’ “Baadasssss!”

Throughout his career, Mann has also continued to create groundbreaking television. He launched and was the executive producer of the landmark series “Miami Vice,” created by Tony Yerkovich, which was followed by the acclaimed series “Crime Story.”

In addition, Mann won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries for 1990’s “Drug Wars: The Camarena Story,” which he produced, and earned another Emmy nomination for the 1992 sequel, “Drug Wars: The Cocaine Cartel.” In 2002, Mann executive produced “Robbery Homicide Division” on CBS, starring Tom Sizemore.

Most recently, Mann produced the upcoming Howard Hughes biopic, “The Aviator,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio under the direction of Martin Scorsese, which is due out in December 2004. Mann is also in development on the World War II drama “The Few,” about the Battle of Britain, to star Tom Cruise.


  • 5th February 1943 - Birth