From a job sweeping soundstages, Charles 'Chuck' Russell worked his way up to line producer and assistant director on low-budget items for Sunn Classics and for producer Roger Corman (as on "Death Rac...
Breakthrough feature as director, "The Mask"; also served as executive producer
First executive producer credit, "Hell Night"
Directed first feature film, "A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors", also co-wrote the screenplay (with Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner)
Worked for a time as an assistant director at American International Pictures (dates approximate)
Worked as an assistant director and a line producer for low-budget production companies including Sunn Classics and Roger Corman's New World Pictures
Made the thriller "Bless the Child", featuring Kim Basinger
First screenplay credit, "Dreamscape" (written with David Loughery and director Joseph Ruben); also served as an associate producer
Directed "The Scorpion King", based on a character featured in 2001's "The Mummy Returns"
Doubled as producer and production manager on the popular comedy, "Back to School"
First producing credit, "The Hearse"
Helmed and executive produced the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "Eraser"
From a job sweeping soundstages, Charles 'Chuck' Russell worked his way up to line producer and assistant director on low-budget items for Sunn Classics and for producer Roger Corman (as on "Death Race 2000," 1975). He copped his first producing credit on the modestly made and rather routine horror flick "The Hearse" (1980) and moved to executive status for the similarly derivative "Hell Night" (1981) and "The Seduction" (1982). Russell's first produced screenplay, "Dreamscape" (1984), showed considerably more imagination, with Dennis Quaid discovering he has the ability to enter other people's dreams. For several years Russell continued making ordinary teen-oriented fare, reteaming with Corman for "Body Rock" (1984). His most notable film during this period was the popular and enjoyable Rodney Dangerfield comedy, "Back to School" (1986).<p>Russell finally got hold of the director's reins for a reasonably well-done installment of Freddy Krueger's horrific misdeeds, "A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors" (1987). He brought a similar energy and familiarity with genre fare to the remake of "The Blob" which he wrote and directed the following year.<p>Switching his billing from 'Chuck' to 'Charles', Russell essayed his most ambitious film to date with "The Mask" (1994). With the help of Industrial Light & Magic's impressive technical wizardry and comic star Jim Carrey's equally remarkable facial paroxysms, "The Mask" became a huge hit, grossing more than $35 million in its first weekend and eventually earning more than $100 million domestically. Russell's next film, the actioner "Eraser" (1996), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was Warner Brothers' only action hit that year, grossing more than $100 million during its initial summer release.<p>After a four-year absence, Russell returned to features as a director-for-hire on the thriller "Bless the Child" (2000). Although he managed to wring suspense from the material, Russell's direction could do little to compensate for the weak script. Additionally, the cast performed in a variety of styles that didn't exactly mesh into a coherent ensemble. As a follow-up, Russell took on "The Scorpion King" (2002), which took a character that was featured in 2001's sequel "The Mummy Returns" and built an action-adventure around him. The director showed particular skill in coaching wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as the titular character.
born on March 19, 2000
born on October 18, 1998
University of Illinois
"I purposely do not deal with how the effects will be done--I deal with what would be exciting to have happen in the story. You end up with effects that are more organic with the story when you don't worry about how to do them, because you are forced to come up with new creative solutions." --Russell quoted in Film Threat, October 1994.
Not to be confused with Charles Russell (also known as Charles W Russell), a character actor in Hollywood features of the 1940s, TV producer Charles Russell, whose credits include such series as "Crime Photographer" (1951-52), "You Are There" (1953-57), "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955-65), "The Untouchables" (1959-63), "The Naked City" (1960-63), and "Judd, for the Defense" (1967-69), or NBC sound technician Chuck Russell, busy on Maria Shriver and Jane Pauley interview specials since the late 80s.