As the director of Swingers and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Liman is responsible for unleashing both Vince Vaughn and Brangelina on the world.
Liman was raised in Manhattan, the son of legendary attorney Arthur Liman. A self-confessed problem child who bounced from private school to private school, Doug eventually found himself as a student at Brown where, he says, his dorky weirdness helped him fit in. USC's film school followed and he made his first film, direct-to-video bust Getting In, in 1994. He hit it big two years later after buddy Jon Favreau asked him to direct Swingers. Liman managed to secure financing- a miniscule $200,000-and Swingers set the festival circuit abuzz, prompting Miramax to pay $5.5 million for the rights and launched the careers of Favreau and Vince Vaughn. In 1999, Liman parlayed his newly-acquired indie cred into Go before turning to big-budget action flicks and directing the 2002 Matt Damon spy thriller The Bourne Identity. Bourne was a huge hit-it grossed $120 million domestically and spawned a franchise-and Liman went on to exec-produce its second installment, The Bourne Ultimatum. While critics largely thumbs-upped Bourne, Liman made no pretense of directing a quality film with 2005's Mr. & Mrs. Smith, on whose set Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie famously started dating (Did he cheat on Jen or not?!?!?!). Liman's also dabbled with TV projects the last few years: He directed the pilot for Fox's The O.C. and MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back, in addition to directing films with bland names like Jumper and Fair Game.
Liman is notoriously obsessive, difficult and unpredictable to work with. Mr. & Mrs. Smith screenwriter Simon Kinberg-who Liman had write 40 or 50 different endings, only to choose the first one-calls his style of filmmaking "Limania," referring to Liman's approach to directing as a continually evolving process involving endless mind-changing, chaos and a money's-no-object attitude. [Image via Getty]