Jamie Christopher, the valuable first assistant director whose work spanned such films as Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and all eight Harry Potter movies, has died. He was 52.
Christopher died Tuesday from heart complications in Los Angeles.
Hailing from a filmmaking family — his father was a production manager on Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and his mother a production coordinator — Christopher rose to become an in-demand crewmember for studio franchises and filmmakers, running and scheduling shoots.
He worked for and developed strong relationships with Rian Johnson, James Gunn, David Yates and Sam Raimi, among others, and in the process became the second highest-grossing AD in the business.
“Jamie was a good friend, and he loved making movies,” Johnson, who worked with Christopher on Last Jedi and Knives Out, said in a statement. “He loved his crew, loved his job, the process of it and the history of it. He was truly one of the greats, and this is a heartbreaking loss for everyone who was lucky enough to work with him.”
Gunn, who teamed with Christopher on Guardians of the Galaxy, added: “Jamie was one of the best in the film business, period, much less in his field. When I first met him, I didn’t know they made ADs like him, and he changed my view of them entirely. I loved him as a friend and a collaborator, and I’ll miss his laugh. I’m heartbroken to have lost him.”
Born in 1971 in Barnet, London, Christopher grew up in England surrounded by the film industry. His father, Malcolm J. Christopher, worked as a production manager over four decades, also overseeing such movies as Milos Forman‘s Ragtime (1981), Never Say Never Again (1983) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). His mother, Penny Christopher, was a production coordinator on Event Horizon (1997).
Christoper earned his first credit for serving as third AD on Alien3, the 1992 entry in the sci-fi series directed by David Fincher, when he was just 21. Other early credits included Pierce Brosnan’s first James Bond film, GoldenEye (1995), Luc Besson’s cult classic sci-fi feature The Fifth Element (1997) and Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy (1999).
Along the way, he became a regular and key player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently working on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).
“We are incredibly saddened by Jamie’s passing,” Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito said in a joint statement. “He has been a part of the Marvel Studios team for over a decade, and on productions like Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Widow and more, he was a calm presence behind the camera and a wonderful, supportive crewmember on set.
“Jamie first joined Marvel Studios as an AD on Thor: The Dark World, and because of his hard work and diligence was upped to an executive producer on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the upcoming Fantastic Four. Jamie was a beloved member of our Marvel Studios family, and he will be dearly missed.”
He first teamed with filmmaker Johnson on The Last Jedi (2017), who brought him back to launch his Knives Out series, with the first film debuting in 2019.
Christopher also played a key role in the Harry Potter franchise, serving as first assistant director, or first assistant director: second unit, on all eight of the films released from 2001-11. Other noteworthy credits included Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Paul Greengrass’ The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Survivors include his wife, Carly; their 1-year-old son, Killeon, and daughter Jasmine; and three children, Stella, Teddy and Ophelia, from a previous marriage.