Entering the film industry in 1995 with the action movie, Karate Raider, Joe Carnahan is an American independent film director, screenwriter, producer and actor. He served as a writer on the movie. Carnahan gained popularity when he directed and acted in the cult action movie Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane in 1998. The movie premiered at the 1997 New York Independent Feature Film Market and later at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Carnahan next wrote and directed the 2002 crime thriller, Narc. The movie was critically acclaimed and was a moderate success at the box office. Carnahan wants to write and direct a TV series based on the movie, but nothing has been finalised yet. In 2006 wrote and directed the British-American action crime-thriller film, Smokin` Aces. The movie opened to mediocre reviews but turned out to be a commercial success. Carnahan followed it up with the action-adventure movie, The A-Team in 2010. The movie was based on the TV series of the same name created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell, which ran on NBC from 1983 to 1987. With mixed reviews, the movie starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Jessica Biel, turned out to be an average performer at the box office.
Carnahan directed Liam Neeson again in the 2011 survival adventure, The Grey. It opened to good reviews and grossed $77.3 million on a budget of $25 million. In 2014 Carnahan directed the pilot episode of the action thriller TV series, Those Who Kill. The show was based on the Danish television series Den som draber (2011). The same year Carnahan also directed Patrick Wilson in the comedy-crime film, Stretch. Carnahan has also directed a couple of episodes for popular TV shows like The Blacklist (2013- ) and State of Affairs (2014-2015). Carnahan is also directing the American remake of The Raid. The original Indonesian movie was directed by Gareth Evans.
Carnahan is known to direct most of the movies he writes. In 2008 he co-wrote Pride and Glory with Gavin O`Connor, which O`Connor directed. Carnahan has also worked on the screenplay of Unchartered, which is directed by Shawn Levy. It is based on the popular adventure video game of the same name. Carnahan has also written the third part in the Bad Boys movie series, Bad Boys for Life. It is being directed by the director duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. In 2018 Carnahan worked on the screenplay of Eli Roth`s vigilante thriller, Death Wish. The movie has Bruce Willis in the lead and is a remake of the 1974 movie of the same name by Michael Winner. Both the movies are based on Brian Garfield`s 1972 novel of the same name.
His 2020 release includes Bad Boys for Life
. Directed by Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi, the movie stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in prominent roles.