Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola
15 March 1959
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter|
(m. 1993; div. 1998)
Renny Harlin (born 15 March 1959 as Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola; known since 1987 as Harlin by his father's original surname) is a Finnish film director, producer and screenwriter. His films include A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea.
Harlin's movies have earned $525,410,873 in the United States and $1,160,546,146 in the worldwide aggregate box office as of October 2016, making him the 115th highest-grossing director in the global film market. His film Cutthroat Island held the Guinness world record for "Biggest Box-Office Flop of All Time".
Harlin was born in Riihimäki, Finland, to Oiva Harjola (formerly Harlin), a chief physician at Riihimäki Hospital, and Liisa Koskiluoma, a nurse.
Harlin started his career in the film business in the beginning of the 1980s, directing commercials and company films for companies like Shell. Later, he worked as a buyer for a Finnish film distributor and met fellow Finn Markus Selin in Los Angeles in 1982. They became friends and started writing a screenplay called "Arctic Heat", which later evolved into Born American, with Mike Norris in the leading role. They secured financing from the U.S., and in 1986, Born American became the most expensive Finnish film ever. It opened in the U.S. in over 1,000 theaters.
Harlin moved to Los Angeles and got a job from Irwin Yablans, who offered him a script of Prison to film. The film was made with a low budget and distributed with only 42 copies. In the same year, 1988, he got a job from New Line Cinema to direct A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) after meeting producer Robert Shaye, who at first did not want Harlin to direct the film. It became the highest-grossing film in the series until the 2003 release of Freddy vs. Jason, and its budget was seven times greater than the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.
After the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Harlin was set to direct Alien 3. He was attached to the project for a little over a year, but in the end, he was forced to leave due to creative differences with the producers.
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Die Hard 2 were edited simultaneously and released a week apart in 1990. The former flopped, but the latter was a commercial success. Harlin achieved critical acclaim the following year when he produced Rambling Rose through his own Midnight Sun Pictures for director Martha Coolidge. The film won Best Feature at the 1992 Independent Spirit Awards and earned its star and Harlin's then-partner Laura Dern a Best Actress Oscar nomination at the 1992 Academy Awards.
Harlin, Markus Selin and a number of other businessmen founded the indoor amusement park Planet FunFun in Kerava, Finland, in 1992, which included everything from a tropical park to a cinema park, the latter of which Harlin also gave his own special stamp to by loaning his film sets and props to special theme rooms. The park also hosted sports competitions and filmed television series. However Planet FunFun was short-lived, closing in 1995.
1993's action thriller Cliffhanger had Harlin work for the first time with Sylvester Stallone. Harlin's career suffered a blow with the pirate adventure film Cutthroat Island in 1995, which starred Harlin's then-wife, Geena Davis. Cutthroat Island was one of the biggest box-office bombs of all time, losing $147 million and leading to the bankruptcy of Carolco Pictures. Harlin did go on to have moderate success with Long Kiss Goodnight, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Davis in 1996, and the science fiction horror film Deep Blue Sea in 1999.
Harlin wanted to direct a movie based on Formula One, but unable to secure the rights, he instead produced the film Driven in 2001, based on the American Champ Car series.
Harlin took over directing the action mystery film Mindhunters when the original director Peter Howitt dropped out, but the release was delayed by studio conflicts. Harlin went on to re-shoot a more traditional horror version of Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), after the studio was unhappy with the version cut by director Paul Schrader, which was more of a psychological drama. Mindhunters was released in the U.S. in 2005.
Harlin directed the WWE Studios action movie 12 Rounds, starring John Cena. It was released in March 2009. In 2009, Harlin directed an independent war film in Georgia. The film, 5 Days of War, was a story about the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia in the region of South Ossetia. The film included real-life figures, including President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, played by Andy García.
Harlin next directed the 2013 film Devil's Pass, set in Russia's Ural Mountains and loosely based on the Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959, when nine experienced hikers were found dead. Harlin then directed The Legend of Hercules, which opened in theatres on 10 January 2014. One of two Hercules movies released in 2014 – the other being Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson – it was critically panned and was a box-office bomb.
Harlin directed the 2016 action comedy film Skiptrace, which starred Jackie Chan alongside Johnny Knoxville and Fan Bingbing. He then directed the 2018 film Legend of the Ancient Sword for Alibaba Pictures, based on a Chinese role-playing video game. The film was a box-office bomb, grossing only $1.25 million against a budget of $11 million. More recently, his upcoming film The Misfits received U.S. and international deals.
Harlin's next project after Driven was to be a movie adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story A Sound of Thunder, but Harlin left the project after a disagreement with Bradbury. Although the director was changed, Harlin was credited as a producer when the finished film was released in 2005.
In 2006, Harlin collaborated with Markus Selin to direct a biopic of the Finnish President and Marshall of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, but budget constraints put the project on hold. Instead, Harlin made another foray into low-budget horror with The Covenant, which was another moderate commercial success. In 2007 the Mannerheim film project resumed temporarily and Harlin returned to Finland. Production began in 2008 with Mikko Nousiainen starring as Mannerheim. However, 30% of the funding was cut by one of the financiers due to the global economic recession, and the delay meant that the time window for shooting the winter scenes during the spring of 2009 passed. Pre-production finally commenced in 2010, and the project was assigned to Dome Karukoski in August 2011.
In 2007, it was announced that Harlin would direct an adaptation of the comic-book series Brodie's Law.
In 2011 it was reported that he was planning a sequel to The Long Kiss Goodnight.
On 16 June 2017 it was announced Harlin will direct Hanging Coffins for Shanghai Film Group and Shanghai New Wave Films. On 18 June 2017 it was announced Harlin will direct Operation Somalia. The film's story, based on true events, revolves around a rescue operation against Somali pirates mounted by Chinese special forces. On 8 May 2018 it was announced Harlin will direct Solara, a Chinese sci-fi epic revolving around an international team that must work together to save Earth from a global catastrophe. On 18 June 2018 it was announced Harlin will direct Operation Wild.
On January 19, 2021, it was announced that Harlin will direct the new Inspector Palmu film.
Harlin was married to actress Geena Davis from 1993 to 1998. Harlin was unfaithful to Davis and she filed for divorce shortly after Harlin's personal secretary, Tiffany Bowne, gave birth to Harlin's child, Luukas "Luke" Harlin, in August 1997.
Harlin lived in the United States from the mid-1980s until 2014, when he moved to China. After Harlin finished the shooting of the film Luokkakokous 3 in 2020, he moved to Sofia, Bulgaria.
Harlin's half-brother Veli-Pekka Harjola competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics in sprint canoeing.
|1988||A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master||Yes||No||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Director|
|1990||The Adventures of Ford Fairlane||Yes||No||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director|
|Die Hard 2||Yes||No|
|1991||Rambling Rose||No||Yes||Winner—Independent Spirit Award|
|1995||Cutthroat Island||Yes||Yes||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director|
|The Long Kiss Goodnight||Yes||Yes|
|1999||Blast from the Past||No||Yes|
|Deep Blue Sea||Yes||No|
|2001||Driven||Yes||Yes||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director|
|Exorcist: The Beginning||Yes||No||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director|
|5 Days of War||Yes||Yes|
|2014||The Legend of Hercules||Yes||Yes||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director|
|2018||Legend of the Ancient Sword||Yes||No|
|2019||Bodies at Rest||Yes||No|
|2021||Reunion 3 (Luokkakokous 3)||Yes||No|
|1980||Huostaanotto||Yes||No||as Lauri Harjola|
|1981||Kohtauspaikka 33||Yes||Yes||as Lauri Harjola|
|1994||The Foot Shooting Party||No||Yes|
|1993–1994||Gladiaattorit||Yes||Yes||Produced 53 episodes, directed 21 episodes|
|2011–2012||Burn Notice||Yes||No||Season 5, Episodes 514 & 518 [Season Finale], and Season 6, Episodes 606 & 610|
|2012||White Collar||Yes||No||Season 4, Episode 409|
|2012||Covert Affairs||Yes||No||Season 3, Episode 316 [Season Finale]|
|2013||Graceland||Yes||No||Season 1, Episodes 103, 105 & 108|
... vuoden 1984, jolloin ... Renny Harlin poistui Suomesta Yhdysvaltoihin ...
Viisi vuotta Kiinassa asunut Ohjaaja ... En kaipaa Amerikassa asumista yhtään, vaikka asuin siellä 30 vuotta.