Stephen Hopkins was born in Jamaica in 1958 and grew up in England and Australia. After graduating from high school he began to work as a designer of record covers and was eventually introduced to film by director Russell Mulcahy. He first worked as a storyboard artist and a set designer for Mulcahy's video clips before helming the second unit in Mulcahy's feature film debut "Highlander" (US/GB 1986).
In 1987, Hopkins's directorial debut "Dangerous Game", an Australian production, premiered. Over the course of the next years, he focused on genre films like "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" (US 1989), "Predator 2" (US 1990) and "Blown Away" (US 1994). His adventure film "The Ghost and the Darkness" (US 1996) starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer received positive reviews as well as an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. Critics also loved his made-for-TV biopic "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (US 2004) which received more than 30 awards, including nine Emmys and two Golden Globes. Among Hopkins's other works are the horror film "The Reaping" (US 2007) as well as various episodes of the series "24" (US 2001/02), "Californication" (US 2007-13) and "House of Lies" (US 2012-14), some of which he also produced.
The sports drama "Zeit für Legenden" ("Race", DE/FR/CA 2016), a German co-production about the African American track and field athlete Jesse Owen's sensational triumph at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany premiered in Toronto in February 2016. It opened in German movie theaters in the summer of 2016.