Darren Aronofsky (born February 12, 1969) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He attended Harvard University to study film theory and the American Film Institute to study both live-action and animation filmmaking. He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, “Supermarket Sweep”, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist.
Aronofsky’s feature debut, ‘Pi’ was shot in November 1997. The low-budget, $60,000 production, starring Sean Gullette, was sold to Artisan Entertainment for $1 million, and grossed over $3 million; Aronofsky won the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirir Award for best first screenplay.
Aronofsky’s follow up, ‘Requiem for a Dream’, was based on the novel of the same name written by Hubert Selby, Jr. The film depicts different forms of addiction, leading to the characters’ imprisonment in a world of delusion and reckless desperation that is subsequently overtaken and devastated by reality. Following three seasons in the lives of Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), her son Harry (Jared Leto), Harry’s girlfriend Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly), and Harry’s friend Tyrone C. Love (Marlon Wayans). The film received an Academy Award nomination for Ellen Burstyn’s performance.
After turning down an opportunity to direct Batman Begins and writing the World War II horror film Below, Aronofsky began production on his third film, ‘The Fountain’. The film received mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box-office, but has since garnered a cult following.
With his fourth film, ‘The Wrestler’, both of the film’s stars, Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, received Academy Award nominations. Rourke also won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor and Bruce Springsteen won for Best Original Song. In 2010 Aronofsky was an executive producer on ‘The Fighter’; and in 2011 his fifth feature film, ‘Black Swan’, received further critical acclaim and was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, four Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a record 12 Broadcast Film Critics nominations and a Directors Guild nomination.
Aronofsky will next direct an HBO series pilot called ‘Hobgoblin’. Announced on June 16, 2011, the series will depict a group of magicians and con artists who use their powers of deception to defeat Hitler during WWII. Aronofsky will work on this project with Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman. Aronofsky will also produce an upcoming horror film, ‘XOXO‘, written by Mark Heyman. His next directorial film project will be his long-rumored project Noah, a re-telling of the Bible story of Noah’s Ark. Thus far, the $115 million film has secured funding and distribution from New Regency and Paramount.