Mike Newell (director)

Mike Newell (director)
Mike Newell

Newell at WonderCon, 2010
Born Michael Cormac Newell
28 March 1942 (1942-03-28) (age 69)
St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Cambridge University
Occupation Director, producer
Years active circ. 1960 – present
Spouse Bernice Stegers

Michael Cormac "Mike" Newell (born 28 March 1942) is an English[1] director and producer of motion pictures for the screen and for television. After the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Newell became the third most commercially successful British director in recent years, behind Christopher Nolan and David Yates, as confirmed by the UK Film Council in their 2010 Statistical Yearbook.[2] Newell won the BAFTA Award for Best Direction in 1994 for Four Weddings and a Funeral and the BAFTA Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing for his career prior to 2005.[3]


Early life

Newell was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, the son of amateur actors.[4] Newell was educated at St Albans School and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He then attended a three year training course at Granada Television, with the intention of entering the theatre.


Newell directed various British TV shows from the 1960s onwards (Such as Spindoe (1968), credited as Cormac Newell, and Big Breadwinner Hog). However, he eventually graduated into film direction and then he went on to make the horror film The Awakening (1980) and Bad Blood (1981) about a New Zealand mass murderer.

His first film was The Man in the Iron Mask (1977), made for TV. His first critically acclaimed movie was Dance with a Stranger (1985), a biographical drama starring Miranda Richardson as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Great Britain. For his directing efforts, Newell won the Award of the Youth at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

Newell continued his successes in the film industry with Enchanted April (1992), an adaptation of the 1922 novel The Enchanted April; Miranda Richardson received a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical and Joan Plowright won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy/Musical.

The comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) was also critically acclaimed – it won numerous awards, including a César Award (Best Foreign Film), a Golden Globe (Best Actor – Hugh Grant), and a number of London Critics Circle Film Awards (Best Director, Film, Producer, and Screenwriter).

Since these award-winning productions, Newell has directed a number of films in Hollywood, such as Donnie Brasco (1997) (starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp), Pushing Tin (1999) (starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, and Angelina Jolie), and Mona Lisa Smile (2003) (starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, and Julia Stiles).

In 2005, Newell became the first British director of the Harry Potter film series. The previous directors in the series, Chris Columbus and Alfonso Cuarón, were American and Mexican, respectively. Newell directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth adaptation, which became a major success worldwide gross $895,921,036. Newell is heard briefly as the radio announcer at the beginning of the film, and he received a fee of $ 1 million to direct the film.

In 2005, Newell was presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts by the University of Hertfordshire which has a campus in St Albans, his birthplace. He directed Love in the Time of Cholera in 2007 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2010. In February 2011, Newell was joined by author J. K. Rowling, David Heyman, David Barron, David Yates, Alfonso Cuarón, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in collecting the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema on behalf of the Harry Potter film franchise at the British Academy Film Awards.[5]

He is set to direct an adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations.[6] Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Jeremy Irvine are expected to star.[7][8][9][10][11]



External links

Preceded by
Alfonso Cuarón
Harry Potter film director
Succeeded by
David Yates

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