Born: September 15, 1976
Date of Birth: September 15, 1976
Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jonathan Liebesman studied filmmaking at the South African School of Film and Drama. In 1996, his cousin, who was studying at New York University, convinced Liebesman to come and check out the school's arts program. He immediately fell in love with not only the program, but the passion that Americans show for films and filmmaking. He enrolled at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Liebesman chose Roald Dahl's short story Genesis and Catastrophe for his first film. He wrote to Dahl's estate and obtained the rights for non-commercial use, then wrote the screenplay and filmed an 8-minute short. The film and its clever twist at the end gave him the entrance to Hollywood that he'd hoped for, winning him a Hollywood Young Filmmaker Award at the Hollywood Film Festival in 2000, as well as an award from the Austin Film Festival. He was contacted by producers and began discussing potential projects.
In 2002, Liebesman negotiated a deal to direct a horror film, even though he'd never been a fan of that genre. However, after having the project offered to him, he watched several horror films and attended several conventions in preparation, and in the process, developed an appreciation for the genre. He made his directorial debut with Darkness Falls (2003), about a young man who is haunted by an evil spirit called The Tooth Fairy. Three years later he put out another horror flick, this time a prequel with Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Then in 2011, Liebesman decided to try his had at something slightly different with the action movie Battle: Los Angeles. He followed that up with the highly-anticipated sequel, Wrath of the Titans, starring Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson.