Oscar-winning editor David Brenner, who cut nine of Oliver Stone‘s movies, died suddenly on Thursday morning at his home in West Hollywood. He was 59.
Brenner had spent the past year editing James Cameron‘s long-awaited Avatar sequels, so, fortunately, he was able to spend his final days with his family.
Brenner began working with Stone in 1986 when he served as an assistant to British film editor Claire Simpson on Platoon, Salvador, and Wall Street before taking the reins himself with the Eric Bogosian film Talk Radio in 1988. The following year, he won an Oscar for editing Stone’s anti-war drama Born on the Fourth of July starring Tom Cruise, and re-teamed with the director four more times on The Doors (1991), Heaven & Earth (1993), World Trade Center (2006) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
Brenner also worked on multiple movies from top action directors such as Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Zack Snyder’s Justice League), Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012) and James Mangold (Kate & Leopold, Identity), and cut blockbuster action films from Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted).
But the size of the movie never mattered to Brenner, who was always focused on making the story work and getting the audience to buy into a film’s characters and their particular plight.
Brenner was born in Hollywood and attended Stanford before getting his start in the industry, and Avatar producer Jon Landau is hoping said industry will now take care of one of its own, as Lightstorm Entertainment has organized a GoFundMe campaign to assist Brenner’s family. May he rest in peace.