Birthdate: September 10, 1968
Birthplace: Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Guy Ritchie (birthname: Guy Stuart Ritchie) is a brand unto himself as a British crime fiction moviemaker of hyper action and exaggerated macho violence, launching the careers of such macho-styled actors as Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones.
Never a critics darling (and a multiple winner-nominee of the Razzie and Stinkers Bad Movie awards), Ritchie immediately established his style with his smash hit ($28 million gross) debut writing-directing feature, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), which probably remains his best-reviewed and most awarded movie co-starring Jones and Statham in their own feature debuts, with Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, and Sting.
Ritchie’s second, extremely similar movie was Snatch (2000), with Statham, Jones, Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro, Dennis Farina, and Rade Šerbedžija, and was an even bigger hit with a global take of $83.6 million. Ritchie’s third feature, Swept Away (2002), was a disastrous and universally panned remake of Lina Wertmüller’s Italian movie, starring Madonna and Adriano Giannini, followed by a failed return (a weak $6.7 million return) to the crime genre with the panned Revolver (2005), co-written with producer Luc Besson, and starring Statham and Ray Liotta.
Slightly more successful was writer-director Ritchie’s RocknRolla (2008), produced by Joel Silver and co-starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandiwe Newton, Mark Strong, and (in early film performances) Idris Elba, and Tom Hardy. Guy Ritchie reinforced his collaboration with producer Joel Silver for the $90 million big-budget hit, Sherlock Holmes (2009), on which he was director only, starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams, and grossing $524 million globally.
The success spawned the sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), again with Ritchie as director only, and stars Downey Jr., Law, and McAdams grossing $544 million. As director-writer-producer, Ritchie turned to a more modern franchise, a big-screen version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, and Elizabeth Debicki, but with middling box-office results ($107 million return).
Again as director-writer-producer, Ritchie shifted back in the period to medieval fantasy with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), with Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, and Law, though it failed to make back its big budget of $175 million. In a departure, Guy Ritchie (as writer-director) worked in lighter fantasy mode for his biggest box-office hit ($1.05 billion), Disney’s Aladdin (2019), with Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott.
In the same year, Ritchie enjoyed a second hit ($115.2 million) back in his familiar crime-comedy mode with The Gentlemen (2019), starring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, and Michelle Dockery. Ritchie loosely adapted Nicolas Boukhrief’s French film, Le Convoyeur (2004) for the commercially successful ($104 million) heist movie, Wrath of Man (2021), reuniting with Jason Statham, Josh Hartnett, Raul Castillo, and Eddie Marsan, and then re-upped with Statham as well as regulars Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett and new collaborators Aubrey Plaza and Cary Elwes for the spy comedy, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre (2023), released theatrically by Lionsgate and then streaming on Amazon.
Guy Ritchie shifted to the more serious mode of the contemporary war movie set during the U.S. war in Afghanistan with one of his best-reviewed movies, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant (2023), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim, released by MGM in the U.S. (and on Amazon Prime internationally) with an 82% Rotten Tomatoes rating. In another departure from his crime movie brand, director-writer-producer Guy Ritchie turned to a true drama of World War II for The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Henry Cavill, Eiza Gonzalez, Alan Ritchson, Henry Golding, and Cary Elwes
Guy Ritchie was born and raised in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield by parents Amber Ritchie and Capt. John Ritchie (ad executive and veteran Seaforth Highlander serviceman). Ritchie has one older sister, Tabitha, as well as a half-brother named Kevin who was put up for adoption. Ritchie’s parents divorced when he was five years old; both of his parents re-married. John married Shireen Ritchie, Baroness Ritchie of Brompton, and a life peer; Amber married Sir Michael Leighton, 11th Baronet of Loton Park, and assumed the title Amber, Lady Leighton. Ritchie was expelled from school when he was 15 years old.
He quickly gained his first job in filmmaking as a production runner/gofer and never attended film school. Ritchie was married to Madonna from 2000 to 2008 when they divorced; the couple has two children, Rocco and adopted Malawi-born son David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie. Ritchie has been married to model-actor Jacqui Ainsley since 2015; the couple has three children, Rafael, Rivka, and Levi Ritchie. Ritchie’s height is 5’ 11”. Ritchie’s estimated net worth is $150 million.
Condition: Guy Ritchie has a dyslexic condition.
Fighter: Ritchie holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shotokan Karate, and Judo.
Memorialized in Song: Guy Ritchie is accused of gold-digging by ex-wife Madonna in two of her songs, “Love Spent” and “I Don’t Give A.”
Loyalty: Ritchie has repeatedly and regularly worked with many male actors, including Jason Statham, Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Hugh Grant, Vinnie Jones, Eddie Marsan, Josh Hartnett, Mark Strong, Jared Harris, Jason Flemyng, Alan Ford, Geoff Bell.
Home Invasion: In 2011, Guy Ritchie’s home was briefly occupied by members of the squatter organization, The Really Free School.
Cameo Man: As a director, Ritchie loves playing cameos in his own movies, including Snatch, RocknRolla, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and The Gentlemen.