Joel Silver
Silver at the Tribeca Film Festival in May 2008
Born (1952-07-14) July 14, 1952 (age 69)
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1976–present
Karyn Fields
(m. 1999)

Joel Silver (born July 14, 1952) is an American film producer.

Life and career

Silver was born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of a writer and a public relations executive.[1] His family is Jewish.[2] He attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. During his time there, Silver, Buzzy Hellring and Jonny Hines created the rules for what he called "Ultimate Frisbee". He was later inducted into the USA Ultimate Hall of Fame as a result of this.[3] He finished his undergraduate studies at the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Silver began his career at Lawrence Gordon Productions, where he eventually became president of motion pictures for the company. He earned his first screen credit as the associate producer on The Warriors and, with Gordon, produced 48 Hrs., Streets of Fire, and Brewster's Millions. In 1985, he formed Silver Pictures and produced successful action films such as Commando (1985), the Lethal Weapon franchise, the first two films of the Die Hard series, as well as the first two films of the Predator series and The Matrix franchise of action films.

Silver appears on-screen at the beginning of Who Framed Roger Rabbit as Raoul J. Raoul, the director of the animated short Something's Cookin. This was a prank Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis pulled on then-Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, as Eisner and Silver despised each other since their days at Paramount Pictures in the early 1980s, especially with the issues they faced making 48 Hrs.. Silver trimmed his beard off, paid his own expenses, and asked to not have his name in initial cast lists. Reportedly, when production wrapped, due to the fact that Silver was unrecognizable, Eisner questioned who played Raoul and was told it was Silver, at which point, Eisner shrugged and praised his performance.

Silver directed "Split Personality", (1992), an episode of the HBO horror anthology Tales from the Crypt. He currently runs two production companies, Silver Pictures, and Dark Castle Entertainment, co-owned by Robert Zemeckis.

Silver is also known for his eccentric temper, inspiring characters based on him in movies such as Grand Canyon, True Romance and I'll Do Anything.[4] The character of Les Grossman (played by Tom Cruise) in the movie Tropic Thunder, is a parody of Silver.[5]

He also voiced "the police chief" in the 2001 film Osmosis Jones as an uncredited role.[6]

On June 24, 2019, Silver Pictures CEO Hal Sadoff announced that Silver had resigned from the company.[7] Two days later, The Hollywood Reporter cited unnamed sources claiming that Joel Silver's overspending, dearth of recent box-office hits, and an animosity between Silver and financier Daryl Katz led to Silver's departure.[8] No official reason has yet been given by the Katz Group, Silver Pictures, or Joel Silver himself.[9][8]

Frank Lloyd Wright houses and automobiles

Silver is well known as an aficionado of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1984, he bought the Wright-designed Storer House in Hollywood and made considerable investments to restore it to its original condition. The Storer House's squarish relief ornament then became the company logo of Silver Pictures. Silver sold it in 2002 for $2.9 million. In 1986, he purchased the long-neglected C. Leigh Stevens Auldbrass Plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina, and has been restoring it since then. Both restorations have been managed and supervised by the architect Eric Lloyd Wright (grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright).

Silver has also owned and restored two Lincoln Continental automobiles previously owned by Wright, one a 1940 convertible and the other a 1941 coupe. After the 1940 car was damaged, Wright had a body shop rebuild the car based on his own custom redesign. For a time both cars were displayed in the Storer House.[10][11]

Carmel Musgrove incident

On August 19, 2015, Silver's 28-year-old assistant Carmel Musgrove drowned in a lagoon while attending a celebration with Silver in Bora Bora, on the occasion of the marriage between Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux. Later, in August 2017, Musgrove's family sued Silver and his assistant Martin Herold, arguing the latter had provided her with cocaine, which, along with alcohol consumption and exhaustion from work, they alleged had contributed to her death.[12][13] Silver was exonerated in February 2021 by a Los Angeles judge.[14]



Year Film Role
1978 The End Assistant to producer
Hooper Assistant to executive producer
1979 The Warriors Associate producer
1980 Xanadu Co-producer
1981 The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper Creative consultant
1982 48 Hrs. Producer
Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again Executive Producer
Streets of Fire Executive Producer
1985 Brewster's Millions Producer
Weird Science Producer
Commando Producer
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Producer
1987 Lethal Weapon Producer
Predator Producer
1988 Action Jackson Producer
Die Hard Producer
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Actor "Raoul J. Raoul"
1989 Road House Producer
Lethal Weapon 2 Producer
1990 Die Hard 2 Producer
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Producer
Predator 2 Producer
1991 Hudson Hawk Producer
Ricochet Producer
The Last Boy Scout Producer
1992 Lethal Weapon 3 Producer
1993 Demolition Man Producer
1994 Richie Rich Producer
1995 Assassins Producer
Fair Game Producer
Demon Knight Executive Producer
1996 Executive Decision Producer
Bordello of Blood Executive Producer
1997 Fathers' Day Producer
Conspiracy Theory Producer
Double Tap Producer
1998 Lethal Weapon 4 Producer
1999 The Matrix Producer
Made Men Producer
House on Haunted Hill Producer
2000 Romeo Must Die Producer
Dungeons & Dragons Executive Producer
Proximity Executive Producer
2001 Exit Wounds Producer
Swordfish Producer
Thirteen Ghosts Producer
Osmosis Jones Voice actor "Police Chief"
2002 Ghost Ship Producer
Ritual Executive Producer
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave Producer
The Matrix Reloaded Producer
The Matrix Revolutions Producer
Gothika Producer
The Animatrix (Direct-to-video) Executive Producer
2005 House of Wax Producer
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Producer
V for Vendetta Producer
2007 The Reaping Producer
The Invasion Producer
The Brave One Producer
Fred Claus Producer
Return to House on Haunted Hill (Direct-to-video) Executive Producer
2008 Speed Racer Producer
RocknRolla Producer
2009 Orphan Producer
Whiteout Producer
Ninja Assassin Producer
Sherlock Holmes Producer
The Hills Run Red (Direct-to-video) Executive Producer
Splice Executive Producer
2010 The Book of Eli Producer
The Losers Producer
2011 Unknown Producer
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Producer
2012 Dragon Eyes Producer
Stash House Producer
The Apparition Producer
The Factory Producer
Transit Executive Producer
Project X Executive Producer
The Philly Kid Executive Producer
El Gringo Executive Producer
Bullet to the Head Executive Producer
2013 Getaway Executive Producer
Enemies Closer Executive Producer
2014 Non-Stop Producer
Veronica Mars Executive Producer
2016 The Nice Guys Producer
Collide Producer
2017 Superfly Producer
2018 Suburbicon Executive Producer


Year Title Credit Notes
1958 Kraft Television Theatre Actor "Insp. Davis"
1976 The Bette Midler Show Assistant to the producer Television special
1983 The Renegades Production executive
1990 Parker Kane Executive producer Television film
1991 Tales from the Crypt Actor "Crypt Keeper's Chainsaw Victim"
1992 Two-Fisted Tales Executive producer Television film
1993–94 Tales from the Cryptkeeper Executive producer
1995 The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies Documentary
W.E.I.R.D. World Executive producer Television film
1989–96 Tales from the Crypt Executive producer
1992 Tales from the Crypt Director
1996–97 Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House Executive producer
1997 Perversions of Science Executive producer
1999 Tales from the Cryptkeeper Special thanks
1999–2000 The Strip Executive producer
Action Executive producer
2000 Freedom Executive producer
2001 Jane Doe Executive producer Television film
2003 Newton Executive producer Television film
Future Tense Executive producer Television film
2004 Next Action Star Executive producer
Bet Your Life Executive producer Television film
Prodigy Executive producer Television film
2005 The Studio Executive producer
2004–07 Veronica Mars Executive producer
2007–08 Moonlight Executive producer
2007 Entourage Actor "Himself"
2010 The Odds Executive producer Television film
2011 Hail Mary Executive producer Television film
2014 My Friends Call Me Johnny Executive producer
TBA Twist Executive producer


  1. ^ "Joel Silver Biography (1952–)".
  2. ^ James, Clive (2009). The Blaze of Obscurity. Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd. ISBN 9780330515252.
  3. ^ "Founders (Class of 2005)". USA Ultimate. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (February 21, 1993). "Enough Already: Joel Silver, Model Mogul". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Most Tolerable Works of Tom Cruise: A Retrospective". IndieWire. June 25, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  6. ^ Steve Weintraub (November 24, 2009). "2nd Joel Silver Interview NINJA ASSASSIN. Plus Info on Dark Castle Projects, Remakes, SHERLOCK HOLMES, More". Collider.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b ""He Felt Strangled": Joel Silver's Lavish Spending, Lack of Hits Angered Producing Partners Ahead of Exit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (June 25, 2019). "Joel Silver Exits Silver Pictures, Hal Sadoff to Run Company". TheWrap. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Shea, Terry (May 29, 2017). "Art of the design - 1940 Lincoln Continental". Hemmings Motor News. American City Business Journals Inc. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  11. ^ Lee, Matt; Lee, Ted (November 30, 2003), "Auldbrass Wasn't Rebuilt in a Day", New York Times
  12. ^ "Producer Joel Silver sued over death of assistant".
  13. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (August 18, 2017). "Joel Silver Sued for Wrongful Death by Family of Assistant Who Drowned in 2015". TheWrap. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  14. ^