THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER AND PETE
After seeing the films Cooley High and Taxi Driver, Milwaukee, Wisconsin native GEORGE TILLMAN, JR. (Director/Producer) became inspired to make films on his own.
In 1994, Tillman wrote and directed his first feature film, Scenes for the Soul. It was shot
entirely in Chicago, using local talent and resources. The film, which cost $150K to make,
caught the attention of Doug McHenry and George Jackson who acquired it for Savoy Pictures
for $1 million.
Following on the momentum of this success, Tillman began to write a script, loosely based on
his own life -- Soul Food. Soul Food's cast included Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long,
Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Irma P. Hall, and Brandon Hammond. Modestly budgeted at $7
million, Soul Food opened to critical and financial success, grossing over $43 million
domestically. As a result, Tillman and his producing partner, Bob Teitel, landed a two-year, first
look deal at Fox 2000.
George's next directorial effort was Men of Honor, an epic story inspired by the life of Carl
Brashear, a man who battled the obstacles of racism, a lack of education, and the loss of his leg
to become the United States Navy's first African-American Master deep sea diver. The film
winning actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro with an ensemble cast
that included Charlize Theron, Michael Rapaport, Lonette McKee, Glynn Turman, and Hal
Holbrook. The film grossed $85 million worldwide.
After the success of Men of Honor, Tillman ventured into producing. He co-produced with
partner, Bob Teitel, the MGM film, Barbershop. The film starred Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson,
Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve and Cedric the Entertainer. Widely praised by moviegoers and critics
alike, Barbershop opened to record-breaking box office success. With a domestic gross of $75
million, Barbershop has become the most profitable African-American themed film of all time,
spawning the sequel Barbershop 2: Back in Business, which was number one in an opening
weekend, and the subsequent sequel, Beauty Shop starring Queen Latifah.
Tillman went on to produce the Fox Searchlight/Fox 2000 film Roll Bounce, a 70s-inspired
coming-of-age comedy featuring an all-star cast led by Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Khleo Thomas,
Mike Epps, Meagan Good, Nick Cannon and Kellita Smith; and Nothing Like the Holidays for
Overture Films, which starred Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Jay Hernandez,
Luis Guzman, Melone Diaz, Freddy Rodriguez and Elizabeth Pena.
Tillman returned to his directing career with Notorious -- about the life and death story of the
Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), which was released by Fox Searchlight and
grossed over $43 million worldwide. Most recently, Tillman directed Faster, starring Dwayne
"The Rock" Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace, and Tom Berenger.
Tillman resides with his family in Los Angeles.
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