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James Wan
Occupation:Director • Screenplay • Writer • Executive Producer • Producer • Editor
Born:February 26, 1977
Birthplace:Sarawak, Malaysia
Well-renowned for his work in the horror genre, James Wan is a Malaysian-born Australian film director, producer and screenwriter. Some of Wan`s notable directorial credits include Saw (2004), Insidious (2010), The Conjuring (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Conjuring 2 (2016) and the superhero film Aquaman (2018). He is also credited for being the man who created Billy the Puppet from the Saw film franchise.

Early Life
Born on 27th February 1977 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, James Wan is of Chinese descent and now resides in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Personal Life
James Wan dated the American Television and Film actress, Courtney Peldon. The couple started dating in 2006 but after the duo split, Wan has been single.

Movie Career
As a Director
Before James Wan found success in the mainstream film industry, he made his first feature-length film, Stygian alongside Shannon Young, which won the `Best Guerrilla Film` at the Underground Film Festival in 2000. Wan rose to fame when he collaborated with fellow Australian, screenwriter and director, Leigh Whannell to write a script for a horror film, deriving inspiration from their dreams and fears. The script they wrote later came to be known as Saw, which went to become one of the biggest success both in America and internationally. The film, which grossed over US $103 million worldwide, the producers made a profit of over 80 times the production cost.

After creating the Saw franchise, both Wan and Whannell worked together as executive producers for Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. In 2007, Wan directed two feature films, Dead Silence, and Death Sentence.

Dead Silence, which features Australian actor, Ryan Kwanten is about a ghost of a ventriloquist, Mary Shaw who removes the tongue of any person who screams in her presence. Death Sentence is an adaptation from Brain Garfield`s novel of the same name. The movie is about a father played by Kevin Bacon who seeks to take revenge for his murdered son, who is killed by a local gangster. Wan described the move as `It`s my arthouse movie with guns."

Wan, next directed Insidious, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and released in theatres in April 2011. The film was a super hit and it was the third highest-grossing movie at the box office that year; the movie made the US $13.5 million in ticket sales. Post the release of Insidious, Wan stated in an interview that if he finds some good material, he would do action and romantic comedy movies. But, Wan continued his horror movie directing streak and in February 2012 he started working on The Conjuring. The movie, which released in July 2013 received great acclaim from both audience and critics.

While working on The Conjuring, Wan started working on a sequel to 2010`s Insidious titled Insidious: Chapter 2, which released in September 2013. In early 2013, Wan began negotiating with Universal Pictures to direct the seventh instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise. Wan got the final confirmation to direct Furious 7 in April 2013 and two years later when the movie released in April 2015 it became the most successful film in the Fast and Furious Franchise in terms of box office collections and critic reviews.

In 2016, Wan directed the second instalment in The Conjuring series, titled The Conjuring 2. The film, which had Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprising their roles from the first installment, was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $320 million at the box office. The filmmaker subsequently debuted in the DC Extended Universe by helming the superhero movie Aquaman (2018), which featured Jason Momoa in the titular role. His other projects include Annabelle Comes Home (2019), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) and Malignant (2021).

As a Producer
Besides writing and direction, Wan has also ventured into production and has bankrolled (or executive produced) over twenty feature films. Among these are movies from the Saw film series (2004-present) and The Conjuring film universe (2013-present). In addition to these, he has also executive produced the 2016 reboot of the action-adventure television series MacGyver. His other projects include Annabelle Comes Home (2019), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021), Malignant (2021). Mortal Kombat (2021) and Aquaman 2 (2022).
Peers & More
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Kurt Johnstad
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Did You Know? (7)

  • The series was based on a short film that James Wan and Leigh Whannell made in 2003 titled Saw.
  • James Wan was given the choice to direct either Flash or Aquaman by the studio. He chose Aquaman (2018) since the latter was a bit of a "underdog" in the world of comic book superheroes.
  • Filmmaker James Wan is primarily known for his association with the horror genre, and Aquaman (2018) marked his directorial debut in the world of superheroes.
  • James Wan is superstitious to the extent that he always dyes his hair red each time he is filming a movie.
  • James Wan took no salary for on his debut film Saw and opted for a percentage instead, due to budget constraints
  • The puppet Jigsaw from the Saw film franchise was stitched together by director James Wan himself.
  • Filmmaker James Wan met his fellow collaborator Leigh Whannell at a film school in Australia.
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