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Alex Proyas
Alex Proyas by Sachyn Mital.jpg
Alex Proyas on the red carpet for Gods of Egypt, 2016
Alexander Proyas

(1963-09-23) 23 September 1963 (age 60)
Nationality Australian
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1980–present
Notable work
The Crow
Dark City
I, Robot
Gods of Egypt

Alexander Proyas (/ˈprɔɪəs/; Greek: Αλέξανδρος Πρόγιας; born 23 September 1963) is an Australian filmmaker of Greek descent. Proyas is best known for directing the films The Crow (1994), Dark City (1998), I, Robot (2004), Knowing (2009), and Gods of Egypt (2016).

Early life

Proyas was born in Alexandria, present-day Egypt, to ethnic Greek parents. His father's family had lived in Egypt for many generations, and his mother's family were from Cyprus. He moved to Sydney when he was three. At 17, he attended the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School, and began directing music videos shortly after. He moved to Los Angeles in the United States to further his career, working on MTV music videos and TV commercials.


Proyas' first feature film was the independent science fiction thriller Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, which was nominated for two Australian Film Institute awards in 1988, for costume design and production design and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.

Next, Proyas directed the 1994 superhero fantasy thriller The Crow starring Brandon Lee. Lee was killed in an accident during filming, only eight days before the completion of the film on 31 March 1993. After Lee's death, Proyas and his producers decided to complete the film, partially rewriting the script and using a stunt double and special effects to film the remaining scenes. The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.

Proyas then wrote, directed and produced the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City, which received positive critical reception and won several awards but was a commercial disappointment. In 2004, he directed I, Robot starring Will Smith, a science fiction film suggested by the Isaac Asimov short story compilation I, Robot and was a box office success despite mixed reviews.

Proyas' next film, the thriller Knowing starring Nicolas Cage, began production in Melbourne in March 2008 and opened in North America in March 2009.

His next project was meant to be an action-oriented adaptation of John Milton's 17th-century Christian epic poem Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper. Both Proyas and Cooper were on hand to debut concept art at ComicCon 2011, but the project was ultimately cancelled over budgetary concerns related to the effects.

Proyas also worked with John Foxx on the creation of Parallel Lives, a joint project.

In late 2012, it was revealed that Proyas was slated as director of the science fiction thriller film adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson novel Amped.

Proyas directed Gods of Egypt, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and co-written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The film was critically panned upon its release in 2016 and bombed at the box office.

Other ventures

In 2019 Alex Proyas founded a new production studio in Sydney, Australia, under the name of Heretic Foundation. In August 2021 Proyas has announced that he is developing a new video platform titled "VidiVerse" for independent filmmakers, as an alternative to YouTube.

Personal life

Proyas has long been married to artist Catherine Linsley, who worked in the Art Department for Proyas's first feature film, Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. She has also worked in various capacities on short subjects and animations produced by or written by Proyas. Linsley was also listed in the final credits of his film Knowing under the section "The producers wish to thank...".


Feature films

Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
1988 Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds Yes Yes Yes
1994 The Crow Yes No No Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Director
1998 Dark City Yes Yes Yes Silver Scream Award
Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay
Film Critics Circle of Australia
Pegasus Audience Award
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Director
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Writing
2002 Garage Days Yes Yes Yes
2004 I, Robot Yes No No
2009 Knowing Yes Yes No
2016 Gods of Egypt Yes Yes No Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director

Short films

Year Title Director Writer Notes
1980 Neon Yes No Co-directed with Salik Silverstein
1981 Strange Residues Yes No Also editor
1987 Spineless Yes No Also actor
1994 Book of Dreams: Welcome to Crateland Yes Yes Nominated – Short Film Palme d'Or; also cinematographer
1995 Book of Dreams: Dream 7 – Ruben's Dream Yes Yes
2019 Phobos Yes Yes
2021 Mask of the Evil Apparition Yes Yes Set in the Dark City cinematic universe

Music videos

  • "Ricky's Hand" – Fad Gadget (1980) w/Salik Silverstein
  • "Flicker" – Fetus Productions (1983)
  • "In Your Eyes" – Dropbears (1985)
  • "Kiss the Dirt" – INXS (1986)
  • "Don't Dream It's Over" – Crowded House (1986)
  • "Holiday" – The Other Ones (1987)
  • "Rhythm of Love" – Yes (1987)
  • "Better Be Home Soon" – Crowded House (1988)
  • "Magic Touch" – Mike Oldfield (1988)
  • "Bring Down the Moon" – Boy Meets Girl (1989)
  • "Nineteen Forever" – Joe Jackson (1989)
  • "Mysteries of Love" – Alphaville (1989)
  • "When We Dance" – Sting (1994)

Awards and nominations

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominated work Award Result Ref.
1987 Alex Proyas for "Don't Dream It's Over" (Crowded House) Best Video Won
Alex Proyas for "Kiss the Dirt" (INXS) Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Alex Proyas para niños

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