Born in 1964 and raised in Flint, Michigan, Kerry Conran came from a family of aspiring artists: his older brother Kevin Conran was an illustrator and his younger sister Kirsten Conran an art director at an ad agency. Growing up watching classic sci-fi films such as Metropolis (1927), King Kong (1933) and Superman (1941), Kerry often imagined recreating the atmospheres of those films as his own, and spent most of his childhood making short super-8 movies, imagining his fantasy worlds.
Pursuing his dream to become an illustrator and an animator, Kerry went to and graduated from the animation school, CalArts. It was there that he started to form the idea of his own sci-fi serial in the spirit of those of the 1930s, entitled The World of Tomorrow (2005) (V). With the digital technologies he had at his disposal, he planned to make an entire feature-length film without even having to leave his apartment. Working independently with help from his brother and a few friends, Kerry created his fantasy world on his personal computer and set up a blue screen in his apartment, using other friends as actors. After four years of working on his own time, he had completed only six minutes of footage, but it was these six minutes that would set his career in motion.
His brother Kevin invited a friend of his wife's and the only person in the film industry he knew, Marsha Oglesby, to take a look at the short. Oglesby, deeply impressed by their work, immediately referred them to producer Jon Avnet (Risky Business (1983), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)), who agreed to finance their project, with Kerry directing as well as penning the script. Now armed with a studio, a team of over 100 animators, and a cast of A-list actors (Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie among others, all of whom signed on immediately after seeing the 6-minute reel), Kerry was able to complete his project, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (2004), the first film entirely shot on blue screens. The film, though not a box-office success, was a relative hit among critics, impressive for a newcomer with no major writing or directing experience.
Conran was chosen to direct the screen adaption of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'John Carter of Mars', a sci-fi piece, after 'Robert Rodriguez dropped out, but was replaced by John Favreau, who was in turn replaced by Andrew Stanton. Kerry and Jude Law also expressed interest in turning "Sky Captain" into a franchise, but due to the film failing at the box office, there has been no news of any sequels or prequels.