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James Wan

James Wan attending Comic Con, 2007.
Born 27 February 1977 (1977-02-27) (age 32)
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Occupation Film director, Producer, Screenwriter

James Wan (born 27 February 1977) is an Australian producer, screenwriter, and film director. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw. He also directed Dead Silence and Death Sentence.


Life and career

Wan was born in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia of Chinese ethnicity. He was raised in Perth, Western Australia from a young age. It was his childhood dream to make films from the age of 11. He followed this dream when he went on to study at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, completing his Bachelor of Arts degree.[1]

Before becoming popular in the film industry, he made his first feature film Stygian with Shannon Young, which won 'Best Guerrilla Film' at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2000.[2]

He met future business partner Leigh Whannell while in film school. He would later go on to direct the 2004 horror film, Saw with the help of Whannell, who wrote the script. Wan and Whannell made a short version of the film to showcase the script. Whannell played the role of David in the short film, and the leading role of Adam in the feature film. The three producers who saw the short film and read Whannell's screenplay agreed to produce the film before Wan and Whannell even landed in Los Angeles. Wan and Whannell decided to forgo upfront salary in return for gross profits. Shot for a low US$1.2 million budget, the producers had a straight-to-DVD release in mind. However, Saw' was to become a surprise record breaking theatrical horror franchise, earning Wan and Whannell much more than they had originally predicted.

Since creating the franchise, Wan produced the sequels Saw II and Saw III, and served as executive producer for Saw IV. He has been busy creating other works with his film school partner Leigh Whannell. In 2007, he went on to broaden his filmography with another horror movie, Dead Silence, and the action drama Death Sentence.[3] Having worked on his last three films back to back, Wan told CraveOnline that he is ready for "a bit of time off just to chill... but at the same time I'm using this opportunity to write again."[4] Wan also directed a trailer for the survival horror video game Dead Space.

It has just been announced at the 2009 Comic-Con that James Wan would be stepping behind the camera once again to direct the film adaptation of the video game Castlevania.[5]



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