Len Wiseman
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Fremont, California
6' (1.83 m)
Famous for:
Helming the first two “Underworld” movies: “Underworld” (2003) and “Underworld: Evolution” (2006)
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Die Hard 4


“I'd been jumping on movies as the prop guy or drawing storyboards before I joined the art department on 'Stargate,' 'Independence Day' and 'Godzilla.' When I was pitching the script for 'Underworld,' I did 12 detailed production drawings, which the producers later told me made them feel more comfortable about going with a first time director.” Len Wiseman

American filmmaker Len Wiseman is recognized as the director of “Underworld” (2003) and “Underworld: Evolution” (2006), both of which starred his wife Kate Beckinsale, and “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007). He also served as a producer for “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” (2009). Starting out in the art department for films like “Independent Day” and “Godzilla,” the California native directed TV commercials and music videos before starting his work with the “Underworld” movies. He took home a MVPA Award and a MTV Video Music Award for the Rufus Wainwright video “Across the Universe” and for Quarashi's “Stick 'Em Up,” respectively.

Wiseman's future film projects include “Motorcade” (2011) and “Gears of War,” an adaptation of the popular video game of the same name.

Beckinsale's Man

Childhood and Family:

Len Wiseman was born Len Ryan Wiseman on March 4, 1973, in Fremont, California. Growing up, he was a fan of comic books and hoped one day he would pursue a career in filmmaking. He attended American High School in Fremont and later studied film at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. While in college, he made two short films, the second of which helped him get his first professional job.

On May 9, 2004, Len married actress Kate Beckinsale, whom he met on the set of “Underworld” (2003). He is the stepfather of Beckinsale's daughter, Lily, with former longtime boyfriend Michael Sheen (also a star of “Underworld”).

Len lives in Venice Beach, California.



Len Wiseman got his start as a property assistant for “Stargate” (1994), a sci-fi film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich that starred Kurt Russell and James Spader. He also worked with the art department for the popular films “Independent Day” (1996), “Men in Black” (1997) and “Godzilla” (1998). Both “Independent Day” and “Godzilla” were also directed by Roland Emmerich, while “Men in Black” was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

Wiseman moved on to direct commercials for “PlayStation,” “Oracle,” “Intel,” “Time Warner” and “Activision,” but did not find early success until he turned to video music directing. He directed the video “Across the Universe” by Rufus Wainwright (from the “I Am Sam,” 2001 soundtrack) and won the Best Director Award at the 2002 MVPA Award for his effort. He also received a 2002 MTV Video Award in the category of Best Art Director for his work on Quarashi's “Stick 'Em Up.” Other artists or groups he has worked with include Static-X, Megadeth, En Vogue, Vega, Brooke Allison and Mephisto Odyssey. It was his award winning job with Rufus Wainwright that put the aspiring filmmaker on the radar of Skip Williamson, the President of Lakeshore Records, which later led to Wiseman's high profile work in the “Underworld” movie series.

Wiseman made his feature film directorial debut with “Underworld,” which he also created. Released on September 19, 2003, with future wife Kate Beckinsale starring as a vampire named Selena and Scott Speedman as a human/werewolf to whom Selena is attracted to, the action horror movie became a hit with audiences. “Underworld” was nominated for a Saturn for Best Horror Film and a Teen Choice for Choice Movie - Thriller.

Wiseman returned to the director's chair to helm “Underworld: Evolution” (2006), which he also executive produced in addition to providing the story and characters. Like its predecessor, the sequel experienced box office success. With an original budget of $50 million, it grossed over $62 million in the U.S. and more than $111 million worldwide. Beckinsale, who reprised her role of Selena, was nominated for a MTV Movie Award for Best Hero.

Wiseman next received the opportunity to direct “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007), the forth installment in the “Die Hard” series. Starring Bruce Willis as John McClane, the film marked the most successful film in the franchise by making over $383 million worldwide. It also earned generally good reviews from critics and was nominated for a 2007 National Movie Award for Best Action/Adventure, a 2007 Teen Choice for Choice Summer Movie - Drama/Action Adventure and a 2008 Golden Trailer for Best Action. Wiseman, who saw the movie “Die Hard” at age 15 and shortly thereafter made his own version of the film in his backyard with the family video camera, recalled, “’Die Hard,' 'Indiana Jones' and 'Lethal Weapon' were the movies that really kicked it off for me in high school. I saw a making of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' documentary and thought, 'Man, that's the job I want to do.’”

“The third film is going to be a prequel. It will be the origin story and we find out things we didn't know about Lucian. He'll have a much bigger part in it. It will be about the creation [of the races] and what started the war. It will be a period piece. The movie will also focus for the first time through the Lycans' point of view.” Len Wiseman

2009 saw Wiseman revisit the “Underworld” series as the producer and writer of “Rise of the Lycans,” which was released on January 23, 2009, with Patrick Tatopoulos replacing him in the director's chair. The third film received mixed reviews and grossed over $45 million domestically and $89 million worldwide.

It has been announced that Wiseman will direct the upcoming action film “Motorcade” (2011), whose screenplay was written by Hans Bauer, Craig Mitchell and Billy Ray. Tom Cruise is rumored to be starring in the film. Wiseman is also set to work on “Atlantis Rising,” “Nonstop,” “Shell Game,” “Shrapnel” and the film version of “Gears of War.”


  • MVPA: Best Director, “Across the Universe,” 2002

  • MTV Video Music: Best Art Director, “Stick 'Em Up,” 2002

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SP_COP - April 23, 2014 -
You might think that between the Underworld franchise and his duties as producing director on madcap TV drama Sleepy Hollow, Len Wiseman would be looking to take a break from the blend of action and s...
© Retna
© Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Kate Beckinsale & Len Wiseman Hook Arms at Fred Segal!
SP_COP - January 30, 2014 -
Kate Beckinsale hooks arms with her husband Len Wiseman while doing some shopping at Fred Segal on Tuesday (January 28) in Santa Monica, Calif.The night before, the 40-year-old actress was all dressed...
© Retna
© Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Kate Beckinsale: Warner Music Group Grammys 2014 After Party
SP_COP - January 27, 2014 -
Kate Beckinsale steps out looking gorgeous at the Warner Music Group annual 2014 Grammy celebration on Sunday evening (January 26) in Los Angeles.The 40-year-old actress attended the VIP after party h...
© Retna