Often when talking about a great film we ask "who directed it?"
But the true movie geeks will always dig down to the juicy stuff - who produced it!
In this list, we talk about 12 of the most famous film producers of all time.
Wanna end up on our list? Kickstart your career by learning the fundamentals of becoming a film producer with our 6-step guide.
1. Michael Mann
Starting off with a four-time Oscar nominee and one of the most forward-thinking and innovative producers out there - Michael Mann.
He's been overseeing some productions of several startling feature films like Thief and The Last Of Mohicans. But perhaps the most well-known one is The Insider.
Controversial as it is, The Insider wasn't an outright box-office sensation. However, it was critically acclaimed and nominated for 7 Academy Awards.
Starring the unmatched Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, the story unfolds in an offbeat format of an interview with the whistleblower of the tobacco industry in the nineties. It is vaguely based on real events, which makes it even more exciting.
Another gem of Michal Mann's work is Manhunter, based on Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecktor, anyone?). This should speak for itself.
2. Steven Spielberg
West Side Story, Men in Black, Transformers, Shrek... should I keep going?
No denying, Steven Spielberg simply takes the cake for the number of excellent films both produced and directed.
Arguably the most notable two were E.T the Extra-Terrestrial and Schindler's List. Two diametrally different movies, genres, but the same amount of raging success.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was an outright blockbuster, an adventure breakthrough of its time. Although, it was initially rejected by Columbia Pictures because of poor commercial potential.
E.T. was actually based on Spielberg's own imaginary friend from childhood. The alien instantly gains sympathy with its quirkiness and sensibility, while the kids starring do an exceptional job at building a likable relationship with it.
3. Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerry Bruckheimer is a king of action with movies like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Rock, TopGun, and Crimson Tide.
But perhaps his most renowned body of work is Pirates of the Caribbean. The famous fantasy swashbuckler series has taken the world by storm since its first appearance in 2003.
Arguably, Pirates of the Caribbean made Johny Depp's most memorable debut. In some people's minds, he will forever be associated with Jack Sparrow.
And rightfully so, because this foundational saga was and still is an absolute hit. All thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer.
4. Spike Lee
Spike Lee is known by many as the pioneer in the film production community. He was one of the first ones to so candidly and creatively pick up topics of race, inequality, poverty, and media influences in his art.
This producer's debut was made through She's Gotta Have It. This low-budget black-and-white comedy-drama kicked off Lee's career.
It was such a raging success that in 2017 Spike Lee adapted the film to a Netflix series of the same name.
Today it's also recognized by the US National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." How do you like that?
5. Quentin Tarantino
This creative genius has already produced several movies that quickly became classics of our time. Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill 1&2, the list goes on.
Quentin Tarantino is a well-known movie geek, with a distinct style and signature movie tricks.
In his creations, Tarantino has created a universe of dark humor, unconventional camera angles, nonlinear storylines, pop culture references, and, well, feet scenes.
Adored and praised by many, Quentin Tarantino's movies are forever in the hall of fame of world cinematography.
6. Irwin Winkler
The father of over 50 motion pictures, Irwin Winkler started his film career in the sixties with Double Trouble.
It was an iconic musical film starring Elvis Presley, a box-office success of its time. Double Trouble had a well-scripted comedic plot and, well, Elvis Presley!
But the absolute epiphany of Mr. Wrinkler's times was Rocky, with which the producer won an Oscar for Best Picture.
Starring the one and only Sylvester Stalone, this sports drama is still a favorite of many.
Now you know who to thank for that masterpiece - Irwin Winkler.
7. Dana Brunetti
This famous film producer was in charge of giants like Captain Phillips, The Social Network, and the Netflix series House Of Cards.
The Social Network was a particular success, telling an ambiguous biography of the biggest platform of the 21st century - Facebook. The brilliant cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, and Andrew Garfield took the movie to the next level of popularity.
Even though the actual set of Facebook founders was not involved in the making, Dana Brunetti still created a publically well-received and critically acclaimed movie.
8. Kathleen Kennedy
The first female producer on our list is Kathleen Kennedy. Her career started with close collaboration with Steven Spielberg.
Her first movies were E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the Jurassic Park franchise. Later, Kennedy and Spielberg founded Amblin Entertainment, a fairly successful production company.
Currently, she is the president of Lucasfilm, a part of Walt Disney Studios. The projects they've worked on so far are Star Wars and Indiana Jones, just to name a few.
9. Nina Jacobson
Continuing our female producer streak is Nina Jacobson. She is one of the first few women to set roots in Hollywood movie production.
While working for Walt Disney Studios daughter company, she also founded her own one called Color Force.
But when we talk about Nina Jacobsen, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, The Hunger Game series (insert Rue's Whistle here).
This fantastic dystopian adventure gained the admiration of hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world. In fact, it is one of the highest-grossing movie series of all time. Now you know who is the genius behind it.
10. Kevin Feige
Yes, Marvel fans, this one's for you!
Since 2007 Kevin Feige has been the mastermind behind the production of the whole Marvel Universe. He is now the president of Marvel Studios.
To only name a few of his achievements, Avengers: Endgame is the highest-grossing movie released so far. On top of it, Kevin Feige is the highest-grossing film producer known to the industry.
MCU superhero movies took the world by storm, turning the heads of people who had never even been into Marvel Comics before.
The most renowned titles are Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, Spiderman: Far From Home and so, so much more!
11. John Davis
John Davis might not be the most well-known name among the average film viewer, but it certainly is in Hollywood.
With such an impressive portfolio of comedies and action movies, John Davis is one of the most productive producers out there.
His forte has always been feel-good family movies, something you'd watch on a lazy Saturday, the most blissful of entertainment. He stood behind titles like Mr. Popper's Penguins, Jungle Cruise, Jump In, Fat Albert, First Daughter, A Little Bit Of Heaven, and many more.
12. Jason Blum
And to top it all off, let's dive into the world of horror movies.
It's hard to find a producer who has more horrors and psychological thrillers on his filmography list than Jason Blum. His most famous works were Sinister, Oculus, Whiplash, Get Out, and BlacKkKlansman.
Impressive, isn't it?
Moreover, Blum was the one behind famous franchises like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Purge. I'm spooked out only just naming so many horror movies.
Become the next producer on the list
I hope you gained some insight into the world of top-level movie production and gained some inspiration too!
Although, this list only scratches the tip of the iceberg of great movie creators.
If you're a beginner in the industry yourself, you could find our 6-step guide and masterclass on film production helpful.
And for even more inspiration, take a look at the list of the 10 best film producers in London.
Famous Film Producers
About the instructor
Sophie Haines - the co-founder and producer at AFGP production company - will tell you some of the best tips about film production and what it means to be a film producer.
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Who is the most famous executive producer? ›
|Rank||Name||Domestic Box Office|
- Producer. This person is essentially the group leader and is responsible for managing the production from start to finish. ...
- Director. ...
- Screenwriter. ...
- Production Designer. ...
- Art Director. ...
- Costume Designer. ...
- Cinematographer. ...
Shah Rukh Khan (born Shahrukh Khan, 2 November 1965), popularly called as SRK, is sometimes referred to in the media as the "Baadshah of Bollywood", "King Khan", "King of Romance".Who is the highest grossing director of all time? ›
Steven Spielberg. Spielberg is simply one of the most influential and famous American movie producers in the history of cinema.What is the highest producer title? ›
The highest ranking producer is simply called Producer. This is the person ultimately responsible for the film.Who is widely considered the best actor of all time? ›
- Al Pacino.
- Tom Hanks.
- Tom Cruise.
- Gary Oldman.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman.
- Leonardo DiCaprio.
- Joaquin Phoenix.
- Tom Hardy.
Sherlock Holmes awarded title for most portrayed literary human character in film & TV | Guinness World Records.Who is the most important actor of all time? ›
- 8 James Cagney.
- 7 Clark Gable.
- 6 Henry Fonda.
- 5 Fred Astaire.
- 4 Marlon Brando.
- 3 James Stewart.
- 2 Cary Grant.
- 1 Humphrey Bogart.
A film producer manages the business side of the production, while the director handles the creative side. There are also many producers, (because there are many moving parts to producing a film), while there is typically only one director making the majority of the creative decisions.
Who is the king of Hollywood? ›
Clark Gable's nickname. The King of Hollywood: The Story of Clark Gable, a 1962 book by Charles Samuels.Who is bigger director or producer? ›
Producers often have more responsibility than directors because they oversee all aspects of the production as well as its budgeting and scheduling. A producer or director is in charge of the production process for both movies and television shows.Who is the best movie production? ›
|Rank||Movie Production Company||No. of Movies|
|4||Walt Disney Pictures||130|
For example, a producer may receive 20% of the total production fee before principal photography, 50% during photography, and then the rest after. Most producers are also promised a cut of the film's profits. Again, how high of a percent you get usually depends on your reputation and level of success.Who is the golden star of film industry? ›
|Also known as:||Golden Star Ganesh|
|Occupation:||Actor • Director|
|Born:||July 2, 1980|
|Birthplace:||Bengaluru, Karnataka, India|
Avatar, directed by James Cameron, is the highest grossing movie of all time, having a lifetime gross of over $2.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro.Which producer has the most number 1 hits? ›
Martin is the songwriter with the third-most number-one singles on the chart, behind only Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). In addition, he is tied with George Martin for the most Hot 100 number-one songs as a producer, with 23 as of 2021.
- Kenny Beats. Vince Staples. 528K subscribers. ...
- DJ Muggs. Soul Assassins Records. 53.3K subscribers. ...
- Navy Blue. Wiki. 32.9K subscribers. ...
- Take A Daytrip. LilNasXVEVO. ...
- Cardo. Larry June. ...
- Tasha Catour. Republic Records. ...
- Hit-Boy. MaxoKreamVEVO. ...
- Dom Maker. MaxoKreamVEVO.
Metro Boomin is now the producer with the most albums EVER over one billion streams 🤯🐐 Quite simply one of the greatest of all time. He surpasses David Guetta & Avicii who have 4 while Dj Khaled & Calvin Harris both have 3.Do producers get paid royalties? ›
Most of the time, a producer will get paid a flat fee for their work in addition to some royalties on the backend. Like, $1,500 fee to record the song plus 20% on the net royalties. For indie artist deals (self-released or small indie label) producers are typically getting 15-25% of net royalties.
How much royalties do producers get? ›
Most times producers receive a percentage of around 3 to 5% of the record's sale price or 20 to 25% of the artist's share. This can vary depending on the producer and on the recording artist. If the artist is signed to an indie label or is independent, the producer usually takes a higher percentage.Who is the boss of a producer? ›
Actually, both the producer and the director are the bosses. As a rule of thumb, the Director handles all the major creative decisions, while the Producer handles the business of side of creating the film.Who is considered the greatest actress of all time? ›
1 Katharine Hepburn
The African Queen star is the record-holder for the number of Academy Award wins for Best Actress, having claimed the prestigious gong on four separate occasions between 1934 and 1982, for Morning Glory, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter, and On Golden Pond.
No male actor has yet won four Academy Awards but three have achieved a hat-trick, with Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis and the little-remembered Water Brennan, all in the three Oscars club.Who has won the most Oscars? ›
Walt Disney created beloved characters and so many iconic movie moments that it's really no surprise that he's won an impressive 26 Oscars, including four honorary ones, out of 59 total nominations. That feat makes him the most awarded Oscar winner in the history of the Academy.Who is the oldest actor still making movies? ›
- Al Pacino, 82. Al Pacino has portrayed some of cinema's most famous characters. ...
- Lily Tomlin, 83. Actress Lily Tomlin started her career as a stand-up comic. ...
- Ian McKellen, 83. ...
- Anthony Hopkins, 85. ...
- Julie Andrews, 87. ...
- Donald Sutherland, 87. ...
- Judi Dench, 88. ...
- Michael Caine, 89.
Gwilym Hughes, of Dolgellau in Gwynedd, used to watch up to 14 films a week and kept a record of each one he had seen. He held the Guinness World Record from 2008 having sat through more than 28,000 movies.What movie took the most time made? ›
The Other Side of the Wind holds the record for a movie to be in production for the longest time: it was in production stage for 48 years (1970–2018). Shooting began in summer 2004. Numerous versions of the film have been screened over the years, including a rough cut at Star Wars Celebration IV.What is considered to be the most disturbing movie ever made? ›
1. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini – 1975) Writing about Salò is as challenging as watching the film itself because it goes against everything that conventional definitions of cinema prescribe.Who earned the most in Hollywood? ›
Brad Pitt – US$30 million.
Who is considered the queen of Hollywood? ›
Gene Autry is the only entertainer to have all five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for Radio, Recording, Motion Pictures, Television, and Live Performance.Who is the biggest star in film industry? ›
|2||Robert Downey, Jr.||43|
|3||Samuel L. Jackson||64|
Producers often have more responsibility than directors because they oversee all aspects of the production as well as its budgeting and scheduling. A producer or director is in charge of the production process for both movies and television shows.Who is the most important person in the film industry? ›
- 1 WK Laurie Dickson. (1860-1935) Inventor of Kinetophonograph, True "Father" of Film. ...
- 2 Edwin S. Porter. (1869-1941) ...
- 3 Charlie Chaplin. (1889-1977) ...
- 4 Mary Pickford. (1893-1979) ...
- 5 Orson Welles. (1915-1985) ...
- 6 Alfred Hitchcock. (1899-1980) ...
- 7 Walt Disney. (1901-1966) ...
- 8 D. W. Griffith. (1875-1948)
Most Grammys won by a producer
Quincy Jones holds the record for most Grammy Awards won by a producer, with 28 awards. Eleven of these were awarded for production duties; Jones has also received Grammys as an arranger and a performing artist.
As of 2022, Katharine Hepburn maintained her lead as the actor with the most Oscar wins of all time. While the "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" star scored four acting accolades during her career, six fellow actors tied for the second spot with three wins each.Who has the most creative control over a movie? ›
Because the producer is the one who assembles, supervises, (and pays!) the crew, they usually have creative control of the project.Who is the most important person in any stage production? ›
As the primary visionary and unifying force behind a theatrical production, the director is responsible for shaping every aspect of the final performance—from the actors' performances to the setting and design choices.Who gets paid more producer or director? ›
The average salary for directors is $84,086 per year . For producers, the typical annual salary is approximately $53,919 per year . A film's success can affect a director's or producer's salary because some of these specialists earn a percentage of the profits from ticket sales.
What movie had the biggest impact on film history? ›
"Citizen Kane" is worth the hype.
In 2007, the American Film Institute named it the greatest movie of all time, and when it was released in 1941, it ended up setting the standard for all films that came after.
From films to TV shows and playback singing, Puneeth Rajkumar had the Midas touch. So much so that the Kannada media, along with his fans, coined a new term for him: 'Powerstar'.