Oliver Wood, Cinematographer on ‘Bourne’ Franchise and ‘Face/Off,’ Dies at 80
Oliver Wood, whose work as a cinematographer included such big-budget action films as The Bourne Identity and two of its sequels, along with studio comedies like Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, has died. He was 80.
Wood died Monday, Feb. 13, surrounded by loved ones at his Hollywood home following a battle with cancer, his agent Ann Murtha told The Hollywood Reporter.
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He is known for working with a long list of prominent directors, including John Woo on Face/Off (1997); Adam McKay on Talladega Nights (2006), Step Brothers (2008), The Other Guys (2010) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013); Edward Zwick on Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016); Antoine Fuqua on The Equalizer 2 (2018); and Daniel Espinosa on Safe House (2012), Child 44 (2015) and Morbius (2022). His work on Paul Greengrass’ The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) earned Wood a BAFTA Award nomination for best cinematography.
Born on Feb. 21, 1942, in London, Wood moved to New York City at age 19 and went on to shoot various B-movies and independent films, leading to work as a camera operator on Body Rock (1984) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). A big break came when he lensed 53 episodes of 1980s action television hit Miami Vice, serving as the show’s primary director of photography from 1987-1989.
After Miami Vice, he was a cinematographer on a number of prominent films, including Die Hard 2 (1990), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), Rudy (1993), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995), Mighty Joe Young (1998) and U-571 (2000).
Wood lensed Doug Liman’s 2002 action hit The Bourne Identity, which was based on the Robert Ludlum book series and starred Matt Damon. On the next two sequels, The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum, Wood worked with director Greengrass to create a naturalistic style that often used handheld cameras.
He was also known for his work on comedies, with his DP credits including Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), I Spy (2002), National Security (2003), Freaky Friday (2003), 2 Guns (2013), Grimsby (2016) and Holmes & Watson (2018).
Wood’s other high-profile credits include 2004’s Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, 2005’s Fantastic Four and the 2016 Ben-Hur remake.
He is survived by Sabina Groh, Katharine Wood, Fiona Wood and Emerson Forth.