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|Also Known As:||Brian Thomas Grazer||Died:|
|Born:||July 12, 1951||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Los Angeles, California, USA||Profession:||Producer ... producer executive screenwriter script reader legal intern|
yed by news of the long-rumored resurrection of "Arrested Development" (Netflix, 2013- ) for a fourth season to be aired on the media company¿s live-streaming application. Returning cast members included Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jessica Walter and Jeffrey Tambor, prompting devotees of the dysfunctional Bluth dynasty to once again hold out hope for a feature film adaptation.. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat" (2003), a live-action remake starring Mike Myers that was panned, but nonetheless a box office hit, followed by the smaller projects "Intolerable Cruelty" (2003) and "The Missing" (2003).
In the midst of churning out box office hits, Grazer finally hit pay dirt on the small screen with the groundbreaking and critically hailed series "24" (Fox, 2001-2010), a dark action thriller about a counter-terrorist officer (Kiefer Sutherland) having exactly 24 hours to save the world. The series was nominated for an Emmy award in 2002 for Best Drama Series ¿ the first of several nominations it received over the course of its long run. Sticking with the small screen, Grazer had a couple of misfires: "Miss Match" (NBC, 2003-04), a sitcom about a divorce attorney (Alicia Silverstone) juggling her job and her hobby as matchmaker for her friends, and "The Big House" (ABC, 2003-04), about a wealthy Malibu man who g s back to his blue-collar beginnings when his father loses all his money. Grazer then produced "Arrested Development" (Fox, 2003-06), a highly-touted and oft-troubled sitcom about a wealthy, but estranged Orange County family who bond together in order to survive after their patriarch (Jeffrey Tambor) is convicted of fraud and sent to prison, effectively freezing the family's considerable assets. With its stinging humor and cast of oddball misfits, "Arrested Development" became a critical darling while earning a small, but loyal audience.
But the highly dysfunctional Bluth family proved to be too much for mainstream audiences to understand. After constant questioning of whether or not the show would survive, "Arrested Development" was finally canceled due to poor ratings in 2006. Glazer, however, still had plenty of projects on his plate. He produced the well-received high school football feature "Friday Night Lights" (2004); "Inside Deep Throat" (2005), a documentary that probed the porn phenomenon from the early 1970s; and "Fun with Dick and Jane" (2005), a disappointing remake of the George Segal-Jane Fonda comedy starring Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni. After two more series ¿ "Quintuplets" (Fox, 2004-05) and "The Inside" (2004-05) ¿ came and went, Grazer focused almost exclusively on features, including "Flightplan" (2005), an action thriller starring Jodie Foster as a frantic mother determined to find her supposedly vanished daughter (Marlene Lawston). Though not an overwhelming success, "Flightplan" did manage to take in a respectable $86 million at the box office.
Grazer teamed once again with Ron Howard, Russell Crowe and scribe Akiva Goldsman for "Cinderella Man" (2005), the heartwarming underdog tale of famed prize fighter James Braddock (Crowe). Once a promising contender, Braddock's life and career were upended by a stinging defeat to lightweight champion Tommy Loughran. As the Great Depression forced him to work the docks to support his wife (Renee Zellweger) and family, Braddock was determined to get back into the ring even though he was considered to be too old and out-of-shape to fight. The rags-to-riches tale earned plenty of critical kudos and award nominations, particularly for supporting actor Paul Giamatti. His next producing effort was "Inside Man" (2006), Spike Lee's impressive crime thriller about a brilliant and cool-headed thief (Clive Owen) who remains one step ahead of a smooth-talking hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington) in an effort to pull off the perfect heist.
Grazer and Howard then made one of the most controversial and awaited movies to have come along in decades, "The Da Vinci Code" (2006), adapted from Dan Brown's mega-blockbuster book. A famed symbologist (Tom Hanks) is called to the Louvre where the murder of a curator has left behind a trail of mysterious symbols and clues leading to a secret society that has spent the past 2000 years guarding a secret that could destroy the very foundations of society if it were revealed. Even before its release ¿ highly anticipated to be one of the summer's biggest blockbusters ¿ the Catholic Church urged its faithful to boycott the film because of its depiction of members of Opus Dei, a group of lay people and secular priests committed to spreading the gospel. The Church wanted filmmakers to put a disclaimer before the movie stating that it was fiction, not fact; a demand Howard and Grazer rightly refused. Though controversial before its release, critics were largely underwhelmed, many of whom considered the film to be dull and plodding. Nonetheless, "The Da Vinci Code" took in more than $200 million at the box office.
Once again turning to television, Grazer pushed forth a one-hour small screen version of Peter Berg's feature, "Friday Night Lights" (NBC/DirecTV, 2006- ), which struggled throughout its first season to find ratings. In fact, the show teetered on the fence for the entire year. But its small, fiercely loyal viewership made their collective voice be heard and managed to save the day. "Friday Night Lights" was also helped by a vast majority of critics, who placed the show on their top ten lists. Eventually, "Friday Night Lights" survived for a few more seasons, though it remained seemingly forever on the chopping block. After "How to Eat Fried Worms" (2006), a coming-of-age tale about an 11-year-old boy's first day at school adapted from Thomas Rockwell's classic children's novel, Grazer produced "American Gangster" (2007), a real-life telling of drug kingpin-turned-informant Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) and his efforts to aide lawman Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) in bringing down the crooked cops and foreign nationals running the rampant heroin trade. Also that year, Grazer made rare personal news when he filed for divorce from his wife, Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of The Starter Wife, citing irreconcilable differences.
Grazer continued having mild success on television, producing the short-lived, but critically accepted drama "Shark" (CBS, 2006-08), starring James Woods as a former hot shot attorney-to-the-stars who suddenly flips sides and becomes a prosecutor of high profile cases. Following the Golden Globe-nominated made-for-television movie "24: Redemption" (Fox, 2008), Grazer served as producer on "Changling" (2008), Clint Eastwood's compelling period thriller about a distraught mother (Angelina Jolie) fighting the corrupt Los Angeles Police Department in order to find her missing son. Grazer and Howard then teamed up for the excellent political drama, "Frost/Nixon" (2008), a behind-the-scenes look at the famous 1977 interviews between David Frost (Michael Sheen) and Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). "Frost/Nixon" was hailed by critics and nominated for several awards, including a Best Picture nod at the Academy Awards. Meanwhile, Grazer and Howard followed up their "Da Vinci Code" success with the sequel, "Angels & Demons" (2009), also starring Hanks.
After a successful updated version of the series "Parenthood" (NBC, 2010- ), Grazer produced the Russell Crowe-Ridley Scott rehash of "Robin Hood" (2010), before returning to the small screen with the much-hyped, but short-lived drama series "The Playboy Club" (NBC, 2011). While awaiting the release of his next biopic, "J. Edgar" (2011), Grazer was named as one of the producers for the 84th Annual Academy Awards after previous producer, Brett Ratner, stepped down amidst controversy for making derogatory remarks against gays. Grazer¿s first task was to find a new host for the show after Ratner¿s pick, Eddie Murphy, stepped down as well. Fans of another Howard-Grazer collaboration were overjo
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