Weir, Peter: Writer/Director profile

Peter Weir is the director of "The Way Back," starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, and Ed Harris. The film, about the Soviet Gulags, is being released by Newmarket Films on December 29.

Weir first achieved recognition, as well as an Australian Film Institute award for Best Director, with “Gallipoli” in 1981.  Quickly thereafter he made “The Year of Living Dangerously,” also staring Gibson, as well as Sigourney Weaver.  A romance set against the backdrop of the toppling of Indonesia's Sukarno regime in 1965, it was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and proved to be Weir's first international commercial success.


Weir made his first excursion onto American soil with “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford, which documented a culture clash viewed from the eyes of a wounded Philadelphia cop recovering from his injuries in a Pennsylvania Amish community. The film was a worldwide success, earning Weir and Ford their first Academy Award nominations.


Following the Harrison Ford and River Phoenix starring “Mosquito Coast,” Weir directed the breakout hit “Dead Poets Society,” which garnered him his second Oscar nomination for Best Director, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, and, a French César for Best Foreign Film.  Weir subsequently went on to direct his own screenplay and independent production of “Green Card,” the romantic comedy starring Gérard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.


After directing “Fearless,” starring Jeff Bridges, Weir helmed the blockbuster hit “The Truman Show.”  The film earned Weir his third Best Director Oscar nomination, as well as a host of other honors.


Weir took five years to follow up “The Truman Show” with the Napoleonic-era naval epic, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” in 2003.  It was greeted with stellar reviews and 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and, yet another Best Director nod for Weir.