Daniel John “D.J.” Caruso, Jr. (born January 17, 1965) is an American director and producer. Caruso has directed the films Disturbia, Two for the Money, Taking Lives, The Salton Sea, Eagle Eye, I Am Number Four and Standing Up. He has also directed television episodes for shows such as The Shield, Over There, Smallville, and Dark Angel.
Early life and education
Caruso was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, the son of Lorraine (Zullo) and Daniel John Caruso, who owned a salon, House of Beauty. He is of Italian descent.
Caruso graduated from Norwalk High School in 1983. He is a graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Career
His first feature film as a director was The Salton Sea which starred Val Kilmer. It was released in 2002. The film was a stylish noir thriller that has garnered a cult status.
In 2004, Caruso directed Taking Lives with Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland. The film was released in theaters on March 16, 2004 but did not gross as much at box office as expected, only grossing $65,470,529. The film was later released on DVD the same year and was number one on the charts for three straight weeks.
Two for the Money was Caruso's next film which was considered “a well done sport thriller, but with too many details”. The film was released on October 7, 2005 and was a moderate success, grossing $30,526,509 worldwide with a modest budget of $18 million. It was later released on DVD on January 17, 2006.
In 2007, Caruso was asked by Steven Spielberg to direct Disturbia. The movie was Caruso's first big hit, grossing over $117 million on a $20 million budget. It starred Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, and Carrie-Anne Moss. It was released April 13, 2007 in theaters and on DVD August 7.
Eagle Eye was Caruso's second collaboration with Shia LaBeouf. It also starred Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson and was released in theaters September 26, 2008. It was produced by Steven Spielberg. Critic reactions were mixed to negative but, on its opening weekend the movie grossed $29.1 million in 3,510 theaters in the United States and Canada. It has grossed $201 million worldwide with a movie budget of $80 million.
He directed 2011's I Am Number Four, based on a book by Pittacus Lore. The film grossed $161 million worldwide.
His most recent film is the coming of age flick Standing Up, the director's first family film. It is based on Brock Cole's novel, The Goats. The film stars Chandler Canterbury and Annalise Basso as two geeky children who embark on a journey of discovery and self-discovery after they are stripped naked and left stranded together on an island as part of a summer camp prank. Caruso began adapting the novel 11 years ago with then-partner Ken Aguado, who produced the film. Standing Up was made with a budget of $3 million and released on August 16, 2013.
Caruso is working on a film entitled Invertigo for Sony Pictures, but it remains unreleased.
As of August 2013, Caruso plans to direct the film adaptation of the comic Preacher.
Caruso's next film is set to be Selling Time, a supernatural thriller potentially starring Will Smith, about a man who is given the unique opportunity to relive the worst day of his life, in exchange for seven years off his own life expectancy.
He was a guest judge on the Fox reality television show On the Lot for the episode of May 28 and 29 in 2007.
Caruso directed his first music video in 2007 for the song “Don't Make Me Wait” by This World Fair. In 2009, he directed the music video for Airborne Toxic Event's song “Sometime Around Midnight”.
Caruso remains attached to direct Selling Time starring Will Smith.
Caruso married actress Holly Kuespert on July 6, 1991. They have five children: Brandon, Daniel, Sophia, Charlie and Sally.