Haute 100 Miami Update: Brett Ratner

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—MiamiNew YorkLos Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 Miami list is famed director and producer, Brett Ratner.


Category: Thinkers

Company: HIS Productions

Industry: Film

What Made Him Haute: Ratner’s is the ultimate story of local boy gone big time. As a blockbusting director (and former Haute Living cover subject and also cover photographer), Ratner has racked up a list of films that have grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide, but he never forgets his Miami Beach roots. He made his first entrée into the world of film at age 13 by stalking around the set of Scarface, scoring a cameo as a background extra in the 1983 Brian De Palma film. He has referred to himself as the “Ferris Bueller of Miami Beach,” and his connections led him to be accepted into NYU’s prestigious film school when he was only 16. His paternal grandfather, Lee Ratner, a mega-developer responsible for the naming of Lee County in Southwest Florida, was a close friend of Haute 100 member Al Malnik, who became like a father to Brett. Because of this relationship, Brett can claim some responsibility in the transformation of Miami Beach from a geriatric haven into an international haute spot. When photographer Bruce Weber came to town in 1985 to shoot a Calvin Klein campaign, the Beach was suddenly crawling with models with nothing to do. It was Ratner and Al Malnik’s son Shareef to the rescue, and Malnik’s restaurant The Forge became the go-to haute spot. Brett got on the payroll, earning $500 per week for his efforts turning the restaurant into a must-see on Miami Beach. Today, the Hollywood great continues to turn out blockbusters while also operating Rat Press, a publishing company that is described as “everything that film is not.”

What Makes Him Haute Now: After weeks and weeks of tiresome back-and-forth negotiations, it is official that Ratner’s hour-long, action packed series, Chaos, was finally picked up by CBS. The show is said to be a dramedy about a CIA agent who spies on his colleagues. Ratner will act as executive producer to the series along with Tom Spezialy from Desperate Housewives.

And that’s not all – Ratner also recently acquired the rights to produce an adaptation of the comic book series, The Unknowns, a story about a woman who has had her memory erased, but comes to find out that she once led the elite team of killers.

Though it’s hard to say when or if The Unknowns will be made into a feature film, for now Ratner is focusing on his latest project, Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller. Ratner says about the upcoming flick, “It’s really like an old-school, ’70s heist thriller. But with comedy.”

With a dozen or so other projects in the works, do we think Ratner will abandon his Miami roots for good for Hollywood?  Not likely – Ratner was spied last month at the trendy club, SET in South Beach.