John Guillermin, born Yvon Jean Guillermin, was a French-British film director, writer, and producer. Born in London to French parents, Guillermin joined the British Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and became a British citizen at the age of 18. Ever since seeing Treasure Island in the cinema as a child, Guillermin aspired to be a film director. He got his start in documentary filmmaking in France at the age of 22, then returned to London to collaborate with Robert Jordan Hill on several films. After studying filmmaking methods in Hollywood, Guillermin continued to make often low-budget films in his native England before receiving an offer to work in Hollywood in the late 1960s. Earning a reputation as a temperamental pipe-smoking perfectionist, Guillermin's work was characterized by its use of unconventional camera angles and handheld camera shots. Guillermin was most active in big-budget blockbuster action adventure films during his Hollywood career, including directing Dino De Laurentiis' King Kong in 1976. Guillermin's career stalled in the 1980s, as he found himself working on far less prestigious lower-budgeted films. He returned to direct King Kong Lives in 1986 shortly after the tragic death of his son in a car accident, and was still grieving during filming. As a result, he clashed with the production staff and stayed away from the production for long periods of time, resulting in filming needing to be completed by the uncredited Charles McCracken. King Kong Lives was Guillermin's final theatrical film credit, and he retired after working in television for the remainder of the 1980s. Guillermin died of a heart attack in Topanga, California on September 27, 2015, at the age of 89.
- The character Guillermin in Godzilla vs. Kong, portrayed by Lance Reddick, is named after John Guillermin.
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