Date of Birth: April 27, 1966
Born Matthew George Reeves in Rockville Center, New York and raised in Los Angeles, the writer, director and producer is best known for his work on films such as Cloverfield (2008), Let Me In (2010) and the “Apes” franchise sequels Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).
Matt displayed a love for movies at a young age. It was in his youth that he became friends with now well-known director J.J. Abrams. Together, the duo would direct their own films, some of which would eventually screen at Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles. After an article about them appeared in the Los Angeles Times, they were contacted by Steven Spielberg to help him restore old home movies he made when he was roughly their age. The films had been found by the owner of Spielberg's old childhood home and Spielberg wanted to ensure the films would not further deteriorate. This was Matt's first encounter with Hollywood, and it certainly wouldn't be his last.
It was while Matt was studying at the University of Southern California that he produced his own award-winning student film and also co-wrote his first feature film, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. After graduating, he directed his first professionally feature, The Pallbearer (1996), starring David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow. Matt also co-wrote the script with Jason Katims.
Matt and J.J. later teamed up again to create popular '90s show Felicity, which was nominated for Best Television Series - Drama at the 1999 Golden Globes. In addition to co-creating the series, Matt also directed the series' pilot as well as additional episodes.
Having established himself firmly as a top-notch writer and director on the small screen, Matt moved back to directing and producing feature films. In 2008, he directed the found-footage sci-fi hit Cloverfield, which longtime friend J.J. Abrams produced, and went on to produce the successful 2016 sequel to the film, 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Matt also wrote and directed 2010 horror flick Let Me In, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as a child vampire who befriends a bullied boy. At the Fright Meter Awards, Matt was also nominated for Best Director and won the Best Screenplay Award. The film also received nominations from the Gotham Awards and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
With a proven talent for delivering sci-fi and horror hits, Matt was originally slated to direct a film based on the hit series The Twilight Zone in 2012, but later had to drop the project in order to take over directing duties for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
He went on to direct the third installment of the “Apes” franchise - 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes, having co-written the screenplay with Mark Bomback. Matt has stated he's had a love for apes since he was a child, telling the Wall Street Journal, "I desperately wanted to be an ape." In addition to wanting to be one, he owned much ape-related memorabilia, including books and dolls. His love for the animals paid off as the movies have been box office hits.
Matt's talent for writing and directing horror films continues as since 2014 he has also been working on a script for another film that he will also direct — 8 O'Clock in the Morning, which is a science fiction film based on the short story of the same name by author Ray Nelson. This story also was the basis for John Carpenter's horror classic The Thing.
It was also announced that Matt is slated to direct the upcoming Batman film after actor Ben Affleck relinquished his directorial duties to focus on playing the film's title role of Batman.
Matt is married to animator Melinda Wang, with whom he has a son.
Filmography:War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)