John Woo was born on May 1, 1946, in Guangzhou. Three years later his father moved the family to Hong Kong. The Woos were quite poor and John was forced to leave school at the age of 16. It was during his teenage years he began to develop his life-long interest in film-mak ing by producing his own films, mostly 8mm and 16mm shorts. After a few years with Shaw Brothers, Woo was finally tapped by the rival Golden Harvest Studios to direct his first feature, The Young Dragons, in 1973. Woo has since produced a large number of films, including the 1977 box-office hit, The Pilferer's Progress. Yet his breakthrough did not come until the release of A Better To morrow in 1986. He reached the pinnacle of his career with the release of Killer in 1989. Mission Impossible 2 is the fourth motion picture he has directed in Hollywood.