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Release Date: May 18, 2012
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Peter Berg
Screenwriter: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG-13
PETER BERG (Directedby/Produced by) has enjoyed success as a writer, director, producer and actor, having re cently directed the 2009 action hit Hancock, starring Will Smith in the title role.
Berg made his feature film directorial debut (from his own original screenplay) with the 1998 cult favorite Very Bad Things, which starred Cameron Diaz, John Favreau and Christian Slater and earned kudos at the Deauville (France) and San Sebastian (Spain) film festivals. He went on to direct the actioner The Rundown, starring Dwayne Johnson and Christopher Walken, and returned to the action genre with the war drama The Kingdom, which starred Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Chris Cooper. He also executive produced the offbeat independent comedy Lars and the Real Girl, starring Ryan Gosling.
Berg is also known for his fierce portrait of high-school football in the 2004 film adaptation of H.G. Bissinger's blistering bestseller "Friday Night Lights," which starred Billy Bob Thornton. The film's success, both in theaters and on DVD, spawned the acclaimed television series of the same name, which aired its fifth and final Emmy-nominated season in 2011. In addition to serving as the series' executive producer, Berg has also directed several episodes of the show, including the 2006 pilot, for which he earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. As one of the series' writers, he also shared a Writers Guild Award nomination for New Series.
He executive produced NBC's police procedural drama Prime Suspect, starring Maria Bello, and is the creator/executive producer for the HBO documentary series On Freddie Roach, which aired in January 2012.
He previously executive produced the medical drama series Trauma and created and executive produced the ABC drama series Wonderland, for which he also wrote and directed episodes. He got his start as a writer and director earlier in his career on David E. Kelley's critically acclaimed series Chicago Hope, on which he also starred for three seasons as the brash, hockey-playing surgeon, Dr. Billy Kronk.
As an actor, Berg's recent film work includes roles in Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs, starring with Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise; Smokin'Aces, for director Joe Carnahan; and Michael Mann's Collateral, with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. His additional film acting credits include Cop Land, The Great White Hype, John Dahl's The Last Seduction, A Midnight Clear and Late for Dinner.
In addition to Battleship, the New York native (and son of a naval historian) is also developing several projects under his Film 44 banner, including another Middle Eastern thriller, Lone Survivor, the film adaptation of Marcus Luttrell's gut- wrenching true tale of an ambush by Taliban forces in Afghanistan that killed Luttrell's three Navy SEAL comrades and nearly cost him his own life.
Brothers JON HOEBER & ERICH HOEBER (Written by) have worked on numerous feature films and television shows during their 15-year stint in Hollywood. Their writing credits include the action- comedy extravaganza Red, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich; the comedic thriller and Sundance favorite Montana, starring Kyra Sedgwick, Stanley Tucci and Philip Seymour Hoffman; and the Warner Bros. action thriller Whiteout, starring Kate Beckinsale.
The Hoebers are currently in preproduction on a Red sequel for Summit Entertainment that will reunite the all-star cast of the first film. They're also developing their original comic book series "The Mission," an action thriller published by Image Comics, for television.
BRIAN GOLDNER (Produced by) is president and CEO of Hasbro, Inc., the $4.3-billion branded play company. Goldner was named to his current post in 2008 following eight years with the company, where he served in a wide variety of executive capacities.
The toy-industry veteran has been a force in transitioning Hasbro from a toy and game company into a global branded play company by reigniting many of its classic brands like Transformers and G.I. Joe, while simultaneously reinventing them in a variety of new mediums, including feature films, television, digital entertainment, publishing, consumer licensed goods and much more. MarketWatch named him CEO of the Year in 2008.
With Battleship (and potential future movie franchises based on Stretch Armstrong, Risk, Ouija and Candy Land), Goldner has led Hasbro's evolution from a traditional toy and game manufacturer into a leader of world-class entertainment, orchestrating deals with film studios such as Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Relativity Media, DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures to create movies based on Hasbro's beloved brands.
In the movie arena, he served as an executive producer on all three of Michael Bay's Transformers films, which have grossed more than $3 billion at the global box office and more than $1.6 billion in merchandising sales. He also executive produced two dozen episodes of the 2007 animated television series Transformers: Animated, and serves in a similar capacity of the new small screen series Transformers Prime, which features the voices of Dwayne Johnson and Adam Baldwin. He also produced the 2009 global hit G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, based on Hasbro's classic action figure, and will reprise his producer's role on the forthcoming sequel from Paramount, G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Off the movie set, Goldner drove the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Discovery Communications to create The Hub, a television network and website (hubworld.com) dedicated to high quality children's and family entertainment and educational content built around some of the most well-known and beloved brands in the world. He also helped start up Hasbro Studios, which creates world-class television shows based on Hasbro's beloved brands for The Hub network in the U.S. and globally for a variety of top-notch television networks.
He was also instrumental in formulating the company's digital strategy, highlighted by a long-term alliance with Electronic Arts, Inc., which promises to transform the interactive family-entertainment landscape, and the most recent agreement to make games and toys based on a wide variety of Zynga's popular social-gaming brands.
Prior to joining Hasbro, Goldner held a number of management positions, including executive vice president and COO of Bandai America, worldwide director in charge of the Los Angeles office of advertising giant J. Walter Thompson, and vice president and account director in the Chicago headquarters of Leo Burnett Advertising.
Goldner sits on the board of directors for Hasbro, Inc. and Molson Coors. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
Goldner hails from Huntington, New York, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Executive Education Program at the Amos Tuck School.
SCOTT STUBER (Produced by) is the founder and CEO of Bluegrass Films (formerly Stuber Pictures), which has been based at Universal Pictures since 2006.
Recent Bluegrass Films releases include Safe House, directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds; Love and Other Drugs, directed by Edward Zwick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway; and Couples Retreat, featuring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman.
Stuber is currently in postproduction on the comedy Ted, written and directed by Seth MacFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and the voice of MacFarlane, and the 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.
This fall marked Bluegrass Films' first foray into television with the series debut of the comedy NBC Whitney, created by and starring comedian Whitney Cummings.
Stuber's first production under the Bluegrass banner was summer 2006's romantic comedy The Break-Up, starring Vince Vaughn and JenniferAniston. That summer also saw the release of the hit You, Me and Dupree, starring Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson. Those films were followed by Peter Berg's critically acclaimed film The Kingdom; the Martin Lawrence comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins; and the David Wain hit Role Models, starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott.
During Stuber's eight years at Universal—five of which he spent running Worldwide Production with Mary Parent—he was responsible for many ofthe studio's critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including King Kong, Jarhead, A Beautiful Mind, Seabiscuit, Cinderella Man, Munich, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, About a Boy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 8 Mile, Spy Game, The Family Man, The Nutty Professor, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, The Mummy franchise, the American Pie franchise, The Fast and the Furious franchise, Friday Night Lights, Bring It On and many others. More than 20 of the films Stuber supervised have grossed more than $100 million domestically.
SARAH AUBREY (Produced by) reunites with director Peter Berg after serving as co-producer on his 2004 football drama Friday Night Lights and as executive producer on the critically acclaimed television series based on that motion picture, which debuted on NBC in 2006. The series, a darling among both critics and fans, ended its original run with its fifth and final season and now airs jointly on DirecTV/NBC.
Aubrey, who is also partnered with Berg in the production company Film 44, served as executive producer of Berg's gritty 2007 action film The Kingdom and again joined him behind the scenes as executive producer of his 2009 FOX sci-fi pilot Virtuality, which garnered an Emmy nomination for its visual effects.
With Berg, she also executive produced the recent NBC medical drama series Trauma. The pair also has several projects in development, including areimagination of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi saga "Dune," and Lone Survivor, the film adaptation of Marcus Luttrell's gut- wrenching true tale of an ambush by Taliban forces in Afghanistan that killed Luttrell's three Navy SEAL comrades and nearly cost him his own life.
The Austin native and former entertainment lawyer (who earned her law degree at the University of Texas after graduating from Princeton University) also produced (in conjunction with the Coen brothers) Terry Zwigoff's' irreverent hit comedy Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton, which marked her first motion picture producing credit. She also served in a similar capacity on the original romantic comedy- drama Lars and the Real Girl, starring Ryan Gosling and Patricia Clarkson.
DUNCAN HENDERSON (Produced by) is a fourth-generation Angeleno who earned his BS degree in economics from UCLA, then an MBA from USC, before embarking on his lengthy and estimable career in motion pictures, which culminated with Oscar®, BAFTA and Producers Guild of America nominations for his work on Peter Weir's epic seafaring adventure, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
Henderson began his career by graduating from the Directors Guild of America training program, which resulted in work as an assistant director on such films as Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate; Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year and Racing With the Moon; Sylvester Stallone's Rocky IV, Rhinestone, Staying Alive and Cobra; Peter Hyams' The Star Chamber; Paul Schrader's American Gigolo; John Cassavetes' Big Trouble; and Ulu Grosbard's True Confessions, among other titles.
He graduated to unit production manager on such projects as Francis Veber's Three Fugitives (also associate producer); and Joel Schumacher's Dying Young (doubling as co-producer). He earned his first producing credit on the 1987 comedy Earth Girls Are Easy, and has since served as executive producer on G-Force; Chris Columbus' Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; The Program; and Renny Harlin's thriller Deep Blue Sea.
Henderson began a lengthy association with German filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen when he executive pro duced the 1995 thriller Outbreak, and he continued that collaboration on The Perfect Storm and the 2006 remake of The Poseidon Adventure, on which he served as producer. He has also enjoyed an ongoing partnership with director Peter Weir, which began with 1989's Oscar®-nominated Best Picture Dead Poets Society (as associate producer) and continued on Green Card (as co-producer), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (which garnered 10 Academy Award® nominations) and his most recent film, The Way Back, a fact-based story depicting an escape from a Siberian gulag and the prisoners' 4,000- mile odyssey to freedom from Russia to India.
Outside the freelance production ranks, Henderson served as executive vice president at 20 th Century Fox from 1995 to 1997, supervising filming of such productions as Roland Emmerich's Independence Day; Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet; Tom Hanks' directorial debut, That ThingYouDo!; Nicholas Hytner's The Crucible; Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Alien: Resurrection; and James Cameron's Oscar®-winning Best Picture of 1997, Titanic.
BENNETT SCHNEIR (Produced by) joined Hasbro, Inc. (the $4 billion leader in leisure time enter tainment services and products) in 2008 as senior vice president and managing director of motion pictures, serving as the Rhode Island-based toymaker's lead creative executive for feature films. That role centers on creating motion pictures based on Hasbro's iconic brands and includes overseeing Hasbro's films with Universal Pictures, as well as other Hasbro partners including Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Relativity Media.
Schneir hails from Los Angeles, where he majored in English literature at UCLA and later returned to attend UCLA's prestigious graduate film school. He began his entertainment career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), before becoming an executive at Robert Zemeckis' production company, ImageMovers.
As head of creative affairs at ImageMovers, Schneir worked on a number of major films, including What Lies Beneath, Cast Away, Matchstick Men, Last Holiday, The Polar Express, Beowulf and Monster House, which earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Film and on which he served as an associate producer.
He currently oversees the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises for Hasbro at Paramount Pictures, as well as a host of other projects, including Risk and Candy Land, at Sony; StretchArmstrong, an adaptation of the iconic 1970s action figure, at Relativity Media; Clue, with Gore Verbinski; and Monopoly, with Ridley Scott.
JONATHAN MONE (Executive Producer) recently served as an executive producer on Bluegrass Films' Your Highness, starring James Franco, Danny McBride and Natalie Portman; Repo Men, starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker; and the action-horror film The Wolfman, starring Oscar® winner Benicio Del Toro, Oscar® winner Anthony Hopkins and Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt. Mone also serves as an executive producer on Universal Pictures' upcoming comedy Ted, directed by Seth MacFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.
Currently an executive vice president at Bluegrass Films, Mone previously worked as an associate producer on two successful sports dramas for Disney: 2004's Miracle, starring Kurt Russell, and 2006's Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg.
A graduate of Middlebury College, Mone currently lives in Los Angeles.
BRADEN AFTERGOOD (Executive Producer) is vice president of features at Film 44. He joined the company seven years ago after spending time at Sony Pictures and the production company Red Wagon.
Braden grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California, where he studied both film and political science.
Former United States Navy Gunner's Mate JACQUELINE CARRIZOSA ("Raikes" Technical Advisor) is an ex-military student and an athletic adrenaline junkie who currently serves as an instructor at Machine Guns Vegas, a high-end indoor firing range in Las Vegas. She studied at Pima Medical Institute, in Chula Vista, San Diego, and at Central Texas College, where she was enrolled in Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) courses during her military deployment.
From August 2007 to August 2011, Carrizosa was a gunner's mate and a search and rescue swimmer, rank E-5, and garnered four years of expert rifleman and expert pistol experience. During this time, she also performed range safety and conducted numerous line- shooting operations. She also coached 850 military personnel on an assortment of automatic, semiautomatic and bolt-action rifles, handguns, machine guns, and grenade-launching and tactical shooting placements.
From April 2008 to August 2011, Carrizosa was a coach, a team captain and a player ambassador for the United States Navy Soccer Team, playing in games and tournaments in more than seven countries.
Carrizosa's accolades include a Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon, a Navy Expert Pistol Medal Ribbon and several trophies and banners for winning soccer games in foreign countries.
TOBIAS SCHLIESSLER, ASC (Director of Photography) reunites with director Peter Berg after their collaboration on three previous projects: the action hit The Rundown, the fierce sports drama Friday Night Lights and the box-office smash Hancock, with Will Smith.
The German native studied filmmaking at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. He began his career in Canada, shooting documentaries such as Close to Home, and then segued into music videos, independent features, television movies and commercials. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1997, after he had firmly established his career, particularly in the commercial and telefilm arenas.
He was honored in consecutive years by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) for his cinematography on two celebrated TV spots: in 2001 for Lincoln Financial's 90-second spot "Doctor" and in 2000 Audi's 30-second "Wake-Up" commercial. Both are now part of the permanent archives of The Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) Department of Film and Video in New York City.
In addition to his commercial work (for such companies as Lexus, Ford, AOL and AT&T) and music video photography (for such artists as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera), Schliessler has also compiled a lengthy list of credits on both the motion picture and television screens, which include Tony Scott's 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Bill Condon's rousing big-screen musical Dreamgirls, which earned eight Academy Award® nominations (and two wins) upon its release in 2008.
His other feature credits include Bait, The Guilty, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Killer. His television work includes such telefilms as Legalese, The Long Way Home, Outrage, The Escape, The Limbic Region and Joseph Sargent's Mandela and de Klerk, among several other titles.
NEIL SPISAK (Production Designer) reunites with director Peter Berg following their initial collaboration on Berg's 2009 blockbuster Hancock.
In addition to designing that global box-office hit, Spisak also created the look for Sam Raimi's Spider- Man trilogy, which has collectively grossed $2.5 billion to date. He first worked with Raimi on his 1999 romantic baseball drama For Love of the Game, then reteamed with the filmmaker the following year on the gothic thriller The Gift, which boasted an all-star cast that included Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves and Hilary Swank.
His other big-screen collaborations include Nora Ephron's Bewitched; John Woo's Face/Off, with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage; Michael Mann's action- packed thriller Heat, with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro; John Schlesinger's thriller Pacific Heights, with Michael Keaton and Melanie Griffith; and Barry Levinson's sexually-charged legal drama Disclosure, which starred Michael Douglas and Demi Moore.
Spisak has also worked three times with actor/ director Peter Masterson, on Night Game, Full Moon in Blue Water and The Trip to Bountiful, the film adaptation of Horton Foote's play, which netted star Geraldine Page the Best Actress Academy Award® in 1986.
His other feature production-design credits include Benny & Joon (which coincidentally starred Masterson's daughter Mary Stuart Masterson), My Life and End of the Line. His first production-design credit was for the Disney telefilm Tiger Town, which earned a CableACE Award for Best Dramatic Special.
Spisak, a graduate of Pittsburgh's prestigious Carnegie Mellon University (in scenery and costume design), began his career designing clothes before his focus changed to sets. Upon relocating to New York City after college, he landed a job assisting veteran costumer Ann Roth, and assumed the wardrobe responsibilities for the touring companies and London production of the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, directed by Peter Masterson, with whom he would later collaborate in the film world.
He continued working with Roth on the Broadway stagings of The Crucifier of Blood and They're Playing Our Song, in addition to several Circle in the Square productions. Back in the feature-film arena, he assisted Roth on such movies as Maxie, Jagged Edge, Silkwood and The World According to Garp, before graduating to assistant designer on The Last Dragon, The Morning After and Stars and Bars. He earned his first costume design credit on the 1989 thriller The January Man, and also created the wardrobe for Sidney Lumet's 1990 police drama Q&A. His costume work in the television medium garnered him an Emmy nomination for the 1986 American Playhouse presentation of Roanaok.
COLBY PARKER JR. (Film Editor) continues his longtime collaboration with filmmaker Peter Berg on Battleship, which marks their seventh project together. After working with Berg on his original ABC television series Wonderland, he served as an additional editor on the action hit The Rundown and co-edited Friday Night Lights and The Kingdom. The pair first worked together on a music video produced in conjunction with Berg's big-screen directorial debut, the 1998 black comedy Very Bad Things. Their professional partnership recently continued on Berg's 2009 megahit, Hancock.
Parker grew up in Brooklyn and studied film at SUNY New Paltz. He began his professional career editing sports segments for WPIX-TV in New York before branching out on his own. He opened his own music video and commercial editing facility, where he cut more than 100 videos for such musical artists as Missy Elliott, Green Day, P. Diddy and Alien Ant Farm. In addition to working in feature films, Parker is also a resident editor at Whitehouse Editorial, one of the industry's top commercial editing houses.
BILLY RICH (Film Editor) originally studied to be an auto mechanic, but discovered an interest in editing while working the night shift at a television production company. In 2001, film editor Pietro Scalia hired him as a production assistant on Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down. While working on the film, Rich was exposed to a whole new world of cinematic storytelling, which deepened his understanding and love for the art of editing.
Pietro Scalia would become a great friend and mentor to Rich, who went on to assist Scalia on many films over the course of 10 years, including The Great Raid, directed by John Dahl, and American Gangster and Body of Lies, both directed by Ridley Scott. In 2008, he was hired by Scott to help edit Michael Cuesta's Tell Tale. In 2010, Scalia accorded him an additional editor credit for his contribution to Ridley Scott's Robin Hood.
Rich also lent a hand to Oscar®-nominated editor Matt Chesse, as an additional editor on Machine Gun Preacher, directed by Marc Forster.
When he's not in the cutting room, Rich dedicates his time to surfing the spectacular beaches of Southern California.
PAUL RUBELL, ACE (Film Editor) has been nominated for two Academy Awards®, and both nominations were for films directed by Michael Mann. In 2000, he shared his nomination with William Goldenberg and David Rosenbloom for The Insider; in 2005, with Jim Miller for Collateral.
Recently, Rubell edited the feature films Thor; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Michael Mann's Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp; Hancock, starring Will Smith; and Transformers, starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.
His other film credits include Miami Vice, The Island, Peter Pan, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, S1m0ne, xXx, The Cell, Blade, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Ruby Cairo, The Stone Boy and The Final Terror.
Rubell has extensive television movie credits and received Emmy Award nominations for Andersonville and My Name Is Bill W., sharing the honor with John Wright for the latter.
LOUISE MINGENBACH (Costume Designer) recently collaborated with director Todd Phillips on Due Date, following their work on the feature comedies The Hangover, Starsky & Hutch and School for Scoundrels and the 2007 telefilm The More Things Change.
Her designs were seen on screen in the action epic X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Farrelly brothers' romantic comedy The Heartbreak Kid and Peter Berg's Hancock, starring Will Smith.
Mingenbach previously teamed with director Bryan Singer on five films, starting with the 1995 thriller The Usual Suspects. Their association continued on X-Men, for which she earned a Saturn Award and received a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination, X2, Apt Pupil and Superman Returns. The two also collaborated on the 2004 television pilot for House M.D.
One of the most widely accomplished record producers of the past 25 years, RICK RUBIN (Executive Music Producer) is also one of music's biggest fans, a quality oftentimes lost in the commerce of the record industry. Whether he is working with an artist in his capacity as a producer or running a record label, Rubin is guided by the principles of common sense: to be the best you can be and to keep it about the music. If an album achieves commercial success, that's a bonus.
Rubin doesn't read music or operate a recording console or a mixing board, and he'll spend more time working closely with an artist in preproduction than he will in the studio. His methods of producing a record are considered unconventional and are easily misunderstood. His goal is not to make a target album release date or to focus on making sure there are a certain number of radio-friendly singles. He told one writer, "I try to get the artists I work with into the mind set that they're not writing music for an album. They're writing music because they're writers and that's what they do." He may be unorthodox, but it's hard to find fault with someone who has produced multiplatinum albums in just about every musical genre—rock, country, soul, pop, hip-hop and metal. His aesthetic range is essentially limitless.
Rubin has been nominated for and taken home the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year several times for his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks, Neil Diamond, Metallica, Tom Petty, Justin Timberlake and the late Johnny Cash. He has also been awarded countless Grammys other in categories such as Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Country Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year and Best Metal Performance.
And there is no "Rubin sound": You can't listen to a handful of records he's produced and hear a similar "stamp" on them. Rubin considers it his job as producer to get the best out of the artist, to make it the artist's record and not to leave his own mark on it.
In addition to his production work, Rubin owns his own record label, American Recordings, and is co chairman of Columbia Records. He has produced records for a number of Columbia artists including Neil Diamond, Adele, Gossip, The Avett Brothers and Jakob Dylan.
"I always assumed I'd have a regular job, and music would be my hobby": That's the way Rubin saw his life when he was still just a student at NYU. He had an active music life, having played in punk bands and deejayed at various rock clubs. He'd grown up listening to metal and punk in Long Beach, Long Island, but also had an abiding interest in hip-hop, particularly the early'80s "hardcore" of Run-DMC.
But when the 21-year-old produced his first single, "It's Yours," by T La Rock and Jazzy Jay, he was acting more as a fan than a mogul-in-training. Even when he and Run-DMC manager Russell Simmons put up $4,000 each to found Def Jam Recordings, the idea had less to do with empire building than with being able to record and make available great music.
In 1985, Rubin's second production, "I Need a Beat," by 16-year-old rapper LL Cool J, became an unexpected hit. Cut for $700, it sold more than 100,000 copies. A half dozen singles later, Def Jam was hot enough to be offered a distribution deal by Sony Music.
In addition to LL Cool J, Rubin had begun working with a former punk group called the Beastie Boys, producing their first rap single, "Rock Hard," and deejaying for them. Not only did the Beasties overcome early incredulity about being a white rap group deejaying but their Rubin-produced debut, "Licensed to Ill," also became the first rap album to top the Billboard charts, in 1986. That same year, Rubin also produced Run-DMC's epochal "Raising Hell"— which featured the genre-busting hit "Walk This Way," with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry—and in 1989, he helped usher LL Cool J into adulthood with "Walking With a Panther."
Despite his hip-hop success, Rubin was diversifying. In 1985, he began a long association with speed-metal legends Slayer, producing the genre-defining "Reign in Blood." He also brought Slayer guitarist Kerry King along for a cameo on "Licensed to Ill." Two years later, his production on the album "Electric" transformed The Cult from a slightly quasi-goth British post-punk act (originally called the Southern Death Cult) to a hard-rock powerhouse. In 1988, he launched the solo career of former Samhain and Misfits singer Glenn Danzig.
As the'80s slipped into the'90s, the demand for Rubin's production skills continued to grow. He helped Red Hot Chili Peppers move from cult-hero status to genuine superstardom with "Blood Sex Sugar Magik," the first album to successfully translate the band's onstage energy into tuneful pop singles.
Even as he was helping others rack up hits, Rubin was building an empire of his own. In June of 1988, Rubin dissolved his partnership with Simmons, moved to Los Angeles and formed his own label, Def American Recordings (which became simply American Recordings in August 1993). Within two years, the label had its first chart topper, The Black Crowes' "Shake Your Money Maker," and further success was to follow, thanks to artists as diverse as Sir Mix-a-Lot (responsible for the booty classic "Baby Got Back"), Johnny Cash and System of a Down. Then as now, Rubin approached the marketing, promotion and publicity of his label's artists in a very specific way. Imaginative and creative campaigns have always been Rubin's preferred approaches, and he's consistently encouraged his staff to err on the side of art and to never do something just because "that's the way we've always done it."
STEVE JABLONSKY (Music by) has composed the music for the films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Amityville Horror (2005), The Island, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The Hitcher, Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Your Highness and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He also works for Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions, and with Zimmer, he has provided the scores for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Pearl Harbor and Hannibal, among many others.
Jablonsky's television credits include the series John Doe, Threat Matrix, The Contender, Desperate Housewives and Threshold. He also composed music for the HBO telefilm Live From Baghdad.
Jablonskyhas also scoredmusic foranumberofvideo games, including Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, Transformers: The Game, Gears of War 2, The Sims 3, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and Gears of War 3.
Studio photos, notes and videos © 2012 Universal Pictures