Rob Cohen is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. One of the 1970’s « baby moguls », he built a thriving career as a producer, before concentrating full time on directing from the 1990’s, with high adrenaline action blockbusters such as xXx (2002) and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993). He is the creator of The Fast and the Furious (2001), Universal Pictures’ biggest franchise of all time.
Born on March 12, 1949 in Cornwall, New York, USA. He attended Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude in the class of ’71, concentrating in a cross major between anthropology and visual studies. His first endeavor in filmmaking was a commissioned recruiting film for Harvard’s Admissions Office in 1970. With a career in film and television spanning more than 40 years, Cohen has distinguished himself both as a celebrated screenwriter, producer and director. In 1973, Cohen became Fox’s Vice President of TV Movies, before being poached by Gordon L. Berry and becoming Head of Production at Motown Records at the age of just 24. He went on to produce and direct some of the most iconic films and television series of the 1980’s, including Miami Vice (1984), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Ironweed (1987) and The Wiz (1978)_. From 1990 onward, Cohen moved into directing full time. Much success followed with early 90’s hits such as Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), DragonHeart (1996), Daylight (1996) and the Golden Globe award winning film The Rat Pack (1998). At 52, Cohen had become a hit action director of youth films, directing the 2001 blockbuster, The Fast and the Furious (2001). With the enormous success of Fast, he partnered up with Vin Diesel again the following year to direct yet another box office hit, xXx (2002). Cohen directed the third installed of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) in 2008, grossing $405million world-wide, and Blumhouse Production’s The Boy Next Door (2015) with Jennifer Lopez, which went on to gross five times it’s budget.
Currently on location in Sofia, Bulgaria, Cohen is shooting his next film, The Hurricane Heist (2018). Starring Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten and Ralph Ineson, the action/adventure tells the tale of a $600 million heist of a U.S. treasury facility in a small Sou then town, during the worst storm to ever hit the coastal United States. The screenplay was written by Rob Cohen, Scott Windhauser, and Jeff Dixon.
Cohen is also an accomplished commercials director, housed at Original Film, having made over 150 spots for products such as Disney’s Star Wars, Verizon, Ford, GM, Mercedes, Chevy, Saab and Burger King among many others.