Hurd, Gale Anne

Tagged: Film | People

(1955-    ) US film producer who cut her teeth on Roger Corman's New World Pictures' exploitation movies; she was production manager on Battle beyond the Stars (1980) and coproduced the car-chase movie Smokey Bites the Dust (1981) with Corman. She came to prominence with the excellent low-budget independent film The Terminator (1984), whose screenplay was cowritten by her and her then husband James Cameron (also a graduate of the Corman school of low-budget film-making skills): both were in their twenties; he directed and she produced. This was sufficient to get them the high-status job of producing and directing Aliens (1986), which they did with panache. They next worked together on The Abyss (1989), whose screenplay (by Cameron) contained roman à clef elements in its story of the break-up of a marriage between two highflying professionals; they had separated personally by then, and to a degree professionally, although Hurd was billed as executive producer on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), then perhaps the most expensive film ever made. (The actual producer was B J Rack.) Hurd's expertise with genre movies was underwritten by two sf films she produced apart from Cameron, Alien Nation (1988) and Tremors (1990), the latter being an especially craftsmanlike work; she . Among the non-sf and marginal sf features she has produced are Bad Dreams (1988), horror; The Waterdance (1992), a drama about paraplegics; Raising Cain (1992), a confused thriller from her then-husband Brian de Palma, of some sf interest with its strange experiments in the Psychology of child-raising. Hurd returned to sf to produce two films directed by Martin Campbell (see Green Lantern [2011]), the Cthulhu Mythos television oddity Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) and the disappointing No Escape (1994), a future Prison movie set on a tropical island. Subsequent credits in the genre include Peter {HYAMS}' mutant-Dinosaur rampage The {RELIC} (1997); Asteroid blockbuster Armageddon (1998); the comic-book adaptation Virus (1999) about a maritime alien Invasion; teen Time Distortion adventure {CLOCKSTOPPERS} (2002); the live-action version of Æon Flux (2005); and the Hulk and Punisher films from Marvel Comics properties, as well as Frank {DARABONT}'s Zombie series The {WALKING DEAD} for television. Although it is difficult to gauge the creative influence of producers as opposed to directors, Hurd's track record has been impressive across a wide range of subgenres and production values; most of her films (even the low-budget ones) are polished and look good, and she seems to have an affinity with sf subjects. [PN/NL]

Gale Anne Hurd

born Los Angeles, California: 25 October 1955



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