Daniel “Danny” Boyle (born 20 October 1956) is an English filmmaker and producer. He is best known for his work on films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Shallow Grave, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Trainspotting. For Slumdog Millionaire, Boyle won numerous awards in 2008, including the Academy Award for Best Director. Boyle was presented with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the 2008 Austin Film Festival, where he also introduced that year’s AFF Audience Award Winner Slumdog Millionaire. On 17 June 2010, it was announced that he will be the Artistic Director for the 2012 Olympic games opening ceremony.
The first movie Boyle directed was Shallow Grave. The film was the most commercially successful British film of 1995 and led to the production of Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.Working with writer John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald, Shallow Grave earned Boyle the Best Newcomer Award from the 1996 London Film Critics Circle. Shallow Grave and Trainspotting caused critics to claim that Boyle had revitalised British cinema in the early 90’s.
He then moved to Hollywood and sought a production deal with a major US studio. He declined an offer to direct the fourth film of the Alien franchise, instead making A Life Less Ordinary using British finance.
Boyle’s next project was an adaptation of the cult novel The Beach. Filmed in Thailand with Leonardo DiCaprio in a starring role, casting of the film led to a feud with Ewan McGregor, star of his first three films. He then collaborated with author Alex Garland on the post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later.
He also directed a short film Alien Love Triangle (starring Kenneth Branagh), and was intended to be one of three shorts within a feature film. However the project was cancelled after the two other shorts were made into feature films: Mimic starring Mira Sorvino and Impostor starring Gary Sinise.
In 2004 Boyle directed Millions, scripted by Frank Cottrell Boyce. His next collaboration with Alex Garland was the science-fiction film Sunshine, featuring 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy, and was released in 2007.
In 2008 he directed Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished child (Dev Patel) on the streets of Mumbai who competes on India’s variant of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, for which Boyle won an Academy Award. The film won eight Academy Awards in total. “To be a film-maker…you have to lead. You have to be psychotic in your desire to do something. People always like the easy route. You have to push very hard to get something unusual, something different.” Andrew Macdonald, producer of Trainspotting, said “Boyle takes a subject that you’ve often seen portrayed realistically, in a politically correct way, whether it’s junkies or slum orphans, and he has managed to make it realistic but also incredibly uplifting and joyful.”
In 2010, Boyle directed the film 127 Hours, starring James Franco, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara. It was based on Aron Ralston’s autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which detailed his struggle of being trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorting to desperate measures in order to survive. The film was released on 5 November 2010 to critical acclaim and to which Franco received an Oscar nomination.
Boyle’s next film will be another installment of the 28 Days Later franchise. Boyle has stated previously that in theory it will be a sequel titled 28 Months Later, but alluded to a film taking place somewhere else in the world he created in 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later. He will also help produce the upcoming film Paani.
In a webchat interview with Empire Magazine, Boyle stated on more than one occasion his enthusiasm to work again with Ewan Mcgregor on his next feature film.
First Published: May 6, 2012 – Last Updated: Jan 26, 2013
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