Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura parlayed his lengthy, successful career as a production head at Warner Bros. into an even more lucrative run as producer on such films as "Transformers" (2007), "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" (2009), "RED" (2010), as well as various sequels and additional franchises. Born in New York in 1957, di Bonaventura was raised in New Hampshire and attended Harvard University before earning his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He worked on Wall Street before launching his film career in 1986 with Columbia Pictures, where he worked in distribution and marketing before moving to Warner Bros. in 1989. There, he began a wildly successful 13-year stint as an executive, overseeing such blockbuster properties as "The Matrix" franchise (1999-2003), "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), and the first three titles in the "Harry Potter" franchise (2001-2011) as president of worldwide production. In 2002, di Bonaventura was phased out of Warners as part of a executive realignment, which prompted him to launch his own production shingle, di Bonaventura Productions, which set up shop at Paramount Pictures. The company debuted with a property he had brought from Warners: "Constantine" (2005), an adaptation of the popular graphic novel series, with Keanu Reeves as its star. Though a modest hit, the supernatural action film would serve as a template for di Bonaventura's subsequent productions: splashy, big-budget action-dramas with top-name talent that included recurring appearances by Reeves and Mark Wahlberg, who was top-lined in "Four Brothers" (2005), "Shooter" and "Transformers: Age of Extinction" (2014). The company did not earn its first breakout hit until 2007, when he adapted the wildly popular line of Transformers robot toys into a feature film. A major hit, it led to further tentpole action titles, including a second collaboration with the Transformers' creators, Hasbro, on "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" (2009), and three additional "Transformers" features with director Michael Bay. Di Bonaventura moved successfully from action features like "Salt" (2010) and the popular Bruce Willis vehicle "Red" (2010) to smaller productions like "The Devil Inside" (2012), a "found footage" horror film about an alleged exorcism that performed exceptionally well at the box office. Di Bonaventura also found time to produce more arthouse-minded efforts like "Side Effects" (2013) for "Ocean's Eleven" director Steven Soderbergh, and relaunched both the film career of Arnold Schwarzenegger with "The Last Stand" (2013) and the Jack Ryan franchise, based on the character created by Tom Clancy, with "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (2014). That same year, he rebooted the "Transformers" franchise with "Transformers: Age of Extinction" (2014) which became the highest-grossing film of 2014. Its success gave di Bonaventura exceptional leverage to oversee a slew of projects, including new "Transformers," "Salt" and "Red" entries, as well as a feature and television series based on the popular "Dead Rising" (Capcom, 2006- ) video game franchise.