Israel-born producer, writer, and director Danny Lerner worked on over 60 films throughout his prolific career, climbing out of B-movie obscurity to eventually work with some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Beginning his career as a manager of a theater chain, Lerner joined Nu World Productions in 1986, landing a position in distribution. In the late 1990s, he launched his creative career, writing and producing several scarcely seen action thrillers, including "Merchant of Death" and "United States Seals." By 2003, he and business partner Les Weldon founded Tosca Pictures and began to release direct-to-video features, including curiosities like the military action flick "Special Forces" and the low-rent Steven Seagal thriller "Out for a Kill." Throughout the 2000s, Lerner began to step behind the camera to direct. Most of these films were in the "killer shark" genre, including 2005's " Raging Sharks" and 2008's "Shark in Venice." Lerner inched toward legitimacy when he directed the Dolph Lundgren prison escape flick "Direct Contact." By the late 2000s, he started producing glossier Hollywood pictures with big stars, including the John Cusack satire "War, Inc." and, in 2009, "Thick as Thieves" with Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas.