Guy Ritchie booking

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Guy Ritchie hit upon a successful formula when directing his first two films, bringing his unique sense
of style and panache to the crime thriller genre, but then blotted his copybook when he attempted new
things in his following two movies. The husband of mega-popstar Madonna cast his famous wife in
one his biggest commercial and critical flops, but has since tried to get his career back on track after
divorcing her in late 2008.
Guy Stuart Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, to successful marketing executive
John Vivian Ritchie and Amber Parkinson. His parents divorced when he was five, and his mother
would later marry Sir Michael Leighton, a baronet. Ritchie spent a fair amount of his childhood at the
Leighton estate, although his mother and Sir Michael would divorce seven years later. Ritchie was
born with severe dyslexia, and at 15 was expelled from Stanbridge Earls School, a specialist school
for dyslexics. He worked as a labourer before getting into the film industry at age 25. He began as a
film runner (an odd jobber on film and TV sets) before trying his hand at directing music videos, doing
“20 videos back to back, really crappy ones with sort of German rave bands”. This gave him some
valuable experience behind the camera, and he moved on to doing commercials. With the muchneeded grounding, he went on to direct a 20 minute short, ‘The Hard Case’ (1995), which aired on
Channel 4. As it did so, it caught the attention of Trudie Styler, the wife of singer Sting, and she
invested money into what would become Ritchie’s first feature full-length film, ‘Lock, Stock and Two
Smoking Barrels’ (1998). ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ introduced Guy Ritchie to the world
in the most remarkable and emphatic manner. A rip-roaring peek at the London underworld, it was in
equal parts a caper romp, a heist flick, and with Ritchie’s pen at its best, it utilised the quickfire wit and
pithy dialogue of Cockney Londoners. Colourful characters, a convoluted plot, stylised violence and an
emphasis on dialogue led comparisons to be drawn between Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino. Indeed,
‘Lock…’ is as seminal to Ritchie’s career as ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (1992) or ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994) was to
Tarantino’s. A largely unknown cast as leading characters helped Ritchie keep a lid on things, and
‘Lock…’ is credited with kick-starting Jason Statham’s career – he has now forged a career in
Hollywood playing action-type characters with a tendency to shoot off at the mouth. With footballer
Vinnie Jones (a fatherly thug), comedian Rob Brydon (as an unfortunate traffic warden) and Sting (an
unfatherly pub landlord) being the best known names among the cast, ‘Lock…’ was a surprise hit at
the box office.
Ritchie was the hottest new director in Britain after the release of ‘Lock…’ and there was a clamour for
more of the same rambunctious rollicking roller-coaster Ritchie rides. Finally, it was Sony that backed
Ritchie’s sophomore effort, ‘Snatch’ (2000), which followed very much in the vein of ‘Lock…’. Where
‘Lock…’ was centred around a card game gone awry, ‘Snatch’ made bareknuckle boxing and
diamonds the premise on which the fantastical and outrageous antics of the characters were based.
Ritchie re-called Jason Statham, Alan Ford, and Vinnie Jones from ‘Lock…’, but ‘Snatch’ featured
Hollywood big names like Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina and Benicio Del Toro. The casting of Pitt especially,
as a gypsy bareknuckle boxer, was the cause of much hilarity, as Pitt was forced to learn an
incomprehensible Pikey accent; he pulled it off with uncustomary aplomb. The public loved ‘Snatch’,
although the critics complained that Ritchie followed the ‘Lock…’ formula so slavishly that they were
essentially identical movies with different actors. Ritchie wed pop singer, ‘Material Girl’ and seemingly
bionic lady Madonna, she of the conical brassieres in the eighties, on 22 December 2000, after their
son Rocco was born on 11 August 2000. Soon after, Ritchie directed Madonna in a commercial for
German car-maker BMW, a series of advertisements called ‘The Hire’. With BMW cars used for the
first time in the Pierce Brosnan/James Bond movies ‘GoldenEye’ (1995), ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
(1997) and ‘The World Is Not Enough’ (1999), BMW were keen to cash in on their image as a car for
the young and sporty, but with the cool edge of danger.

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