A longtime friend and associate of producer-director J. J. Abrams, Matt Reeves helmed one of the most popular and talked-about science fiction films of the early 21st century, "Cloverfield" (2008), as...
First feature credit, his 1993 student short "Mr. Petrified Forrest" incorporated into the thriller "Future Shock"
At age eight, began making movies with a wind-up camera
Helmed episodes of the TV series "Relativity" (ABC), created by Katims, and NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street"
Received co-writer credit on the Steven Seagal vehicle "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory"
Directed the Abrams-produced feature, "Cloverfield"
Feature directorial debut "The Pallbearer"; also co-wrote screenplay with Jason Katims
Watched a cable access TV show at age 13 and managed to get the station to air his amateur films; met future collaborator J.J. Abrams
Wrote and directed "Let Me In," a remake of the Swedish film "Let the Right One In"
As part of his Touchstone Television pact, signed with ABC to develop an hourlong coming-of-age 1970s-set drama series loosely based on his own experience
With J.J. Abrams, co-created and served as executive producer on the TV series "Felicity" (The WB); also directed early episodes
Directed the pilot episode of the ABC drama "Gideon's Crossing"
Signed a multiyear overall development deal with Touchstone Television
A longtime friend and associate of producer-director J. J. Abrams, Matt Reeves helmed one of the most popular and talked-about science fiction films of the early 21st century, "Cloverfield" (2008), as well as "Let Me In" (2010), a much-debated remake of the Swedish vampire film, "Let the Right One In" (2008). Despite his love of genre film, Reeves' first came to prominence as the co-creator of "Felicity" (The WB, 1998-2002), a gentle college romance for teen audiences starring Keri Russell. But he soon showed his true colors with scripts for the thriller "The Yards" (2000) and "Cloverfield," which attained blockbuster status through its documentary style and complex marketing campaign. Its success led to the directing assignment for "Let Me In," which signaled that Reeves was poised to become a major force in fantasy filmmaking.<p><p>Born Matthew George Reeves in Rockville Centre, NY on April 27, 1966, he was raised in Los Angeles, where he began making 8mm movies at the age of eight. As a teenager, he discovered that a local cable system was broadcasting homemade movies on its public access channel, and contacted the program, "Word of Mouth," to air his own productions. Reeves not only managed to get his movies shown on the program, but was also interviewed by its host, Gerard Ravel. Through him, Reeves met J.J. Abrams, another aspiring teenage filmmaker, and Bryan Burk. The trio became fast friends and subsequent production partners.<p>Reeves and Burk eventually attended the University of Southern California, where they collaborated on Reeves' thesis project, a short fantasy film called "Mr. Petrified Forest," about a photographer obsessed with disaster. The project required a plane crash sequence, which Abrams returned from college on the East Coast to construct on the front yard of his parents' home. The short eventually turned up in the direct-to-video compilation film, "Future Shock" (1993). "Mr. Petrified Forest" made the rounds of student film festivals, where it netted not only an award but also an agent for Reeves. He soon set to work on several feature scripts, including an action-adventure film that later became the Steven Seagal picture "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" (1995). After graduation, he completed the script for a black comedy called "The Pallbearer" (1996). The film starred David Schwimmer as a hapless twenty-something who becomes involved with both the mother (Barbara Hershey) of a friend he cannot remember, but also his long-ago high school crush (Gwyneth Paltrow). Produced by Abrams for Miramax, it did not connect with audiences, but helped to set Reeves' film career in motion.<p>Reeves soon dove headlong into television, directing episodes of "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99) while co-creating "Felicity" (The WB, 1998-2002), a much-loved college drama about a plucky young woman (Keri Russell) who follows a college crush (Scott Speedman) to New York instead of pursuing a college degree at Stanford. Reeves also directed five episodes while collaborating with James Gray on the script for "The Yards" (2000), a noirish thriller with Mark Wahlberg as a recently paroled inmate who becomes embroiled with his uncle's (James Caan) shady business dealings. Shot in 1998, it was delayed due to issues with its studio, Miramax, and arrived in theaters, largely without fanfare, two years later.<p>In 2008, Reeves shot to international attention as the director of "Cloverfield," a clever and relentlessly jarring science fiction thriller about the arrival of a giant monster in New York City and its impact on the lives of several young people there. Shot in verite style with a single camera carried by one of the protagonists, the film spoke to post-9/11 fears while delivering a special effects tour de force. Its marketing campaign, built around a teaser trailer and several elaborate and deceptive web sites, built a year-long word of mouth for the film that resulted in a box office take that exceeded $100 million. Its success naturally launched speculation of a second film, which Reeves was rumored to direct and produce in 2012.<p>"Cloverfield" also paved the way for Reeves to tackle other films; the first of which was a controversial remake of the Swedish horror film "Let the Right One In" (2008), about the relationship between a bullied young boy and his new neighbor, a young girl who turns out to be a vampire. An award-winning and popular feature, "Let the Right One In" was widely embraced by American audiences, who saw it during a limited theatrical run and on DVD; many of these viewers, as well as filmmaker Tomas Alfredson, who directed the Swedish version, reacted strongly against a stateside remake, which they viewed as pure Hollywood greed. Reeves stated in interviews that his approach would be an entirely different take on the source novel by Ajvide Lindqvist, who supported the new version, renamed "Let Me In" (2010).
University of Southern California
Matt Reeves on "The Pallbearer": "There's sort of a sadly comic approach to situations and the thing that we really wanted to do was a comedy based on excruciatingly embarrassing situations, loneliness and moral ambiguity. What I wanted to do in the movie was deal with a situation where you didn't know whether to laugh or turn away in discomfort." - from Film.com in a 1996 interview.
Matt Reeves on the freshman season of "Felicity": "In many ways it was like our first year of college, and our experiences mirrored Felicity's rollercoaster experiences over the course of the year. J J [Abrams, "Felicity" co-creator] and I were both embarking for the first time in this whole new world of television, and there were all kinds of things that we knew nothing about." - quoted in the Touchstone Television press information for "Felicity," August 1999.
"I always like things that come from a passionate point of view based on people's life experiences. If there's a passion, there's usually a lot of depth, too." - Reeves to the Daily Variety, Oct. 6, 2000.