Christopher McQuarrie is a softly-spoken American screenwriter, director and producer who was born on the 12th of June 1968 in Princeton, New Jersey – a place he called home until 1986 when he graduated from high school. He moved from job to job, even spending a little time as a teaching assistant at a school in Perth, Australia. That was until 1993 when he first tried his hand at film screenwriting in the critically acclaimed movie Public Access.
This success in the film and TV industry was the first of many in McQuarrie’s career, as he would soon after write the script for the Academy Award Winning movie The Usual Suspects in 1995. Heard of Keyser Söze and the line “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist”? Well, they’re both from the brilliant literary mind of ‘magician’ McQuarrie.
McQuarrie waited just 5 more years before dipping his toe into the world of movie directing. Whilst his first effort – Way of the Gun, starring Ryan Phillippe, Benicio Del Toro, James Caan and Juliette Lewis – received mixed reviews, it still posted a $5 million profit. However, this relative setback in McQuarrie’s directing career didn’t deter him, as he went on to form a lasting professional and personal bond with Tom Cruise alias Ethan Hunt.
Collaborating with Cruise on a series of movies, such as Mission Impossible, Jack Reacher and The Mummy, McQuarrie firmly established himself as one of the best in the business. His talents also go beyond the boundaries of the silver screen, as he was the mind behind the popular Persons Unknown TV series for NBC.
The influences on his directing career come from some very well-known places, as he cites John Carpenter’s The Thing, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Peter Benchley’s aquatic horror flick Jaws as being top of his list of favourites. Having spent much of his childhood in awe of these cinematic masterpieces, it’s not hard to see why McQuarrie drew inspiration from these greats in his own career.
When asked in a recent interview about who he admired in film and TV in the modern day, he singled out the series Ozark as the one he would like to guest write and direct. Further stating that he loved the acting and direction of Jason Bateman (star of Paul, Arrested Development and the Horrible Bosses movies) and would jump at the chance of working with him.
When you watch a Christopher McQuarrie film that features either his talent for screenwriting, directing, producing – or even all three, you’re guaranteed intrigue, suspense, thrills and action. His record for creating captivating movies is proven and his name on the credits is a mark of quality.
What does the future hold for Christopher? Well, he may remain at the top, making movies with the biggest and best names in the business for some time to come, but there’s also a chance that he’ll return to the independent film world that he came from. He’s reported to have said that he has hopes to go back to his roots and get involved with the exciting indie movie scene – a world that offers much more freedom in the way of artistic expression.
Whatever he decides, he’s not likely to be short of offers!