About Guy Stuart Ritchie
Guy Ritchie, September 2008
Born Guy Stuart Ritchie
10 September 1968 (1968-09-10) (age 41)
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England
Occupation Filmmaker, Screenwriter
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Madonna Ciccone (2000–2008) (divorced)
Guy Stuart Ritchie (born 10 September 1968) is an English screenwriter and filmmaker.
Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the second of two children born to Amber (née Parkinson) and John Vivian Ritchie, an advertising executive. Ritchie, who is dyslexic, was expelled from Stanbridge Earls School, one of the most prominent institutions specialising in dyslexia in the UK, at the age of 15. He has stated that drug use was the reason for the expulsion; his father, however, has said that it was because his son was caught "cutting class and entertaining a girl in his room." He also attended Sibford School.
In addition to his elder sister, Tabitha, a dance instructor, Ritchie has a half-brother, Kevin Bayton, who was born to Amber Parkinson when she was a teenager and given up for adoption. From 1973 until 1980, when they divorced, Ritchie's mother was married to Sir Michael Leighton, 11th baronet. As a divorcée, she is correctly styled as Amber, Lady Leighton.
Ritchie directed a 20-minute short film in 1995 entitled The Hard Case. His first full-length feature was the successful Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998. He was introduced to Madonna when the soundtrack to "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" was issued on her Maverick Records label. The film introduced actor Jason Statham (The Transporter) to worldwide audiences, and introduced former footballer Vinnie Jones to a new career as a film star. In 2000 Ritchie won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. Ritchie created and produced a spin-off television series called Lock, Stock....
His second feature film was Snatch, released in the year 2000. Originally known as Diamonds, it was another caper comedy, this time backed by a major studio following the previous success of Lock, Stock. The cast featured such Hollywood big names as Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro and Dennis Farina, along with the returning Vinnie Jones and Statham. Similar to "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" in featuring a complex and inventive storyline in which the characters weave in and out of each others' lives, the film also plays with time, depicting events from various perspectives. It currently has a rating of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ritchie accompanied Madonna to the debuts of her film The Next Best Thing and album Music. Following his marriage to Madonna, Ritchie began focusing his filmmaking on his famous wife, directing her in both a music video (for the song "What It Feels Like for a Girl", a controversial video that showed Madonna engaging in violent behaviour, ostensibly directed at men, including T-boning a car with three men in it, tasering and robbing a man at an ATM, scratching a police car and shooting two officers with a water gun, driving her car through a group of men playing street hockey and incinerating a man by throwing a lighter into a pool of gasoline) and a short film, "Star", for the BMW films series. Ritchie's next film, also featuring Madonna, was a remake of the 1974 Lina Wertmüller hit Swept Away (also entitled Swept Away). Ritchie cast Madonna as a rich, rude, socialite who, after a shipwreck, is trapped on a deserted island with a slovenly Communist sailor who humiliates her. Ritchie renamed the woman Amber Leighton after his mother. This film was both a critical and commercial disappointment. He later accompanied Madonna to the debuts of her films Die Another Day, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, Arthur and the Invisibles, and I Am Because We Are, as well as her West End play debut in Up for Grabs. Madonna supported her husband by attending the debuts of Ritchie's films Snatch, Revolver, and RocknRolla.
Ritchie's next project was a Vegas-themed heist film entitled Revolver, which was critically panned in the US and UK. It was however a underground success in Germany, where it was released very late, as a straight-to-DVD release.
Another project Guy Ritchie was involved with was a hidden camera show called Swag, for channel Five in the UK, which turned the table on criminals and opportunists by using stunts to trap them in the act.
Ritchie has also written and directed RocknRolla starring Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Gerard Butler, Tom Hardy, Jeremy Piven, Thandie Newton, and Tom Wilkinson It scores 60% on Rotten Tomatoes & was generally received well. Ritchie will also direct a film based on a comic book series he created with Virgin Comics entitled Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper. The film rights were acquired by Warner Brothers in July 2007. The film's being produced by Silver Pictures.
In 2008, Ritchie directed a commercial for Nike called "Take It To The Next Level", about a young Dutch footballer who signs for Arsenal, showing the progression of his career from his viewpoint, until he makes his debut for the Netherlands. The commercial features cameo appearances from some football players with music by Eagles of Death Metal.
Ritchie's latest movie, Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, made its theatrical release on December 25, 2009. The film received generally positive reviews and grossed more than $515 million worldwide, becoming Ritchie's most successful film financially.
On 18 May 2000, Ritchie was arrested by the police after he assaulted a 20-year-old man outside the Kensington home he shared with Madonna, causing actual bodily harm.
On 22 December 2000, Guy married the American pop singer and actress Madonna at Skibo Castle in Scotland. They have a son, Rocco, born 11 August 2000 in Los Angeles, California, and adopted a Malawian baby boy named David. On 15 October 2008, British media reported that a split was "imminent" between Ritchie and Madonna. The split was confirmed by their spokesperson and Ritchie and Madonna went public with the split because they "can’t bear to live with the pretence any longer".
Ritchie was the inspiration for, and is the subject of, singer Robbie Williams' single "She's Madonna" from his 2006 album Rudebox.
During his marriage to Madonna, he followed Kabbalah and was a regular attendee of services at the Kabbalah Centre which his former wife is heavily involved in. Although Ritchie is no longer affiliated with Kabbalah his children are still raised according to the teachings.
Ritchie started training in Shotokan karate at the age of seven at the Budokwai in London, where he later achieved a black belt in judo. He also has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ritchie is a fan of the English football team Chelsea.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie's marriage was dissolved by District Judge Reid by decree nisi at the clinical Principal Registry of the Family Division in High Holborn, London. Madonna and Ritchie entered into a compromise agreement for Rocco and David, then aged eight and three respectively, and divided the children's time between Ritchie’s London home and Madonna’s in New York, where the two will be joined by her daughter Lourdes, from a previous relationship.
On 15 December 2008, it was announced by Madonna's spokeswoman that the singer had agreed to a divorce settlement with Ritchie, the terms of which grant him between £50million and £60million, a figure that includes the value of the couple's London pub and residence and Wiltshire estate in England.
Year Film Notes Credited as
1995 The Hard Case 20 min short film Director Writer
1998 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Feature film debut Director Writer
2000 Snatch Director Writer
2001 The Hire: Star BMW Short Film Commercial Director
2002 Swept Away With Madonna Director Writer
2005 Revolver Director Writer
2007 Suspect Television Director
2008 RocknRolla Director Producer Writer
2009 Sherlock Holmes Director