Roger Christian

Active - 1964 - Present  |   Born - Feb 25, 1944   |   Genres - Science Fiction, Drama, Comedy, Action, Thriller

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From his early work as a set designer on Star Wars (1977) and art director on Alien (1979) to making of one of the biggest box-office turkeys in cinematic sci-fi history, Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Christian has consistently proven himself a man of extraordinary vision -- even if he has yet to successfully focus that vision into a successful directorial career. It was his work on the first Star Wars and Alien films that initially got Christian interested in a career as a filmmaker, and the remarkable detail he bestowed upon those classics showed much stylistic promise. He subsequently tested the waters as a writer, and with surprising success. He penned the screenplay for a film biography of legendary visionary Nostradamus and enrolled in film school in an effort to broaden his horizons. Though his script for a medieval fantasy entitled The Black Angel (1979) was deemed too expensive to produce in a film-school environment, a chance meeting with a 20th Century Fox executive -- combined with George Lucas' stamp of approval -- helped secure financing. Spliced onto U.K. prints of The Empire Strikes Back, the short gave Christian's career just the boost it needed. Another short film, The Dollar Bottom (1980), was quick to follow, and it wasn't long before Christian got an opportunity to make a feature. A horrific thriller in which a hospitalized young man who cannot remember his name terrorizes doctors by projecting disturbing telepathic images into their minds, The Sender (1982) was an ambitious concept that failed to gel with mass audiences. (It did, however, become something of a sleeper hit among horror fans.) Although his 1987 follow-up feature, Starship, was praised for its extravagant visuals, the expectations of a high-energy, Star Wars-like sci-fi epic were dashed by a slower-paced film with a meandering plot. 1994's Nostradamus fared much better, but it still went largely unseen, much like The Final Cut (1995) and Underworld (1996). In 1997, Christian brought Die Hard to prep school with Masterminds, and joined forces with his old friend Lucas two years later to serve as second unit director on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Following the disastrous box-office performance of Battlefield Earth (2000), Christian attempted to distance himself from the film, directing the action-adventure Bandito in 2003. Never one to rest for too long, Christian was soon back behind the camera for the 2004 romance American Daylight.

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