Alexander Proyas (Αλέξανδρος Πρόγιας born 23 September 1963) is an Australian film director, screenwriter, and producer of Greek descent. Proyas is best known for directing the films The Crow (1994), Dark City (1998), I, Robot (2004), Knowing (2009), and Gods of Egypt (2016).
Proyas’ first feature film was the independent science fiction thriller Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, which was nominated for two Australian Film Institute awards in 1988, for costume design and production design and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.
Next, Proyas directed the 1994 superhero fantasy thriller The Crow starring Brandon Lee. Lee was killed in an accident during filming, only eight days before the completion of the film on 31 March 1993. After Lee’s death, Proyas and his producers decided to complete the film, partially rewriting the script and using a stunt double and special effects to film the remaining scenes. The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.
Proyas then wrote, directed and produced the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City, which received positive critical reception and won several awards but was a commercial disappointment. In 2004, he directed I, Robot starring Will Smith, a science fiction film suggested by the Isaac Asimov short story compilation I, Robot and was a box office success despite mixed reviews.
Proyas’ next film, the thriller Knowing starring Nicolas Cage, began production in Melbourne in March 2008 and opened in North America in March 2009.
His next project was meant to be an action-oriented adaptation of John Milton’s 17th-century Christian epic poem Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper. Both Proyas and Cooper were on hand to debut concept art at ComicCon 2011, but the project was ultimately cancelled over budgetary concerns related to the effects.
Proyas also worked with John Foxx on the creation of Parallel Lives, a joint project.
In late 2012, it was revealed that Proyas was slated as director of the science fiction thriller film adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson novel Amped.
Proyas directed Gods of Egypt, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and co-written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The film was critically panned upon its release in 2016 and bombed at the box office.