James McTeigue

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James McTeigue
James McTeigue 2011.png
James McTeigue (2011)
Born (1967-12-29) 29 December 1967 (age 49)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Film director

James McTeigue (born 29 December 1967) is an Australian film director. He has been an assistant director on many films, including Dark City (1998), the Matrix trilogy (1999–2003) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and made his directorial debut with the 2006 film V for Vendetta to critical acclaim. Since Vendetta he has collaborated with the Wachowskis an additional three times as director on The Invasion (albeit uncredited), Ninja Assassin and Sense8.

Early life[edit]

Born on Sydney's North Shore, he grew up in Collaroy Plateau, a suburb on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. McTeigue attended Marist Brothers North Sydney then Cromer High School, in Cromer, a suburb in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. He completed tertiary study in film at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga Campus.


He first became involved in the film industry in the late 1980s, acting as production runner or production assistant in a number of small Australian films. In 1991 his role became assistant director, being the third assistant director in another Australian film, titled The Girl Who Came Late.

In 1994 he was the second assistant director in Country Life, a film adaptation based on Michael Blakemore's National Theatre production of Uncle Vanya, which had a much wider audience than his previous affairs. He also acted again as second assistant director in a small Australian television film.

It was however, later in the year of 1994 the McTeigue broke into mainstream Hollywood, being the second assistant director for No Escape, and the big budget Street Fighter. In 1996, McTeigue again assumed the role of second assistant director, with an American television film and a small Australian film being completed that year.

In 1997 he was the second assistant director for WWII film, Paradise Road, as well as The Well, that year he also became first assistant director for a television series, Big Sky. The following year he was the second assistant director for the American science-fiction film, Dark City as well as Australian film, The Sugar Factory.

It was the following year, 1999, that McTeigue really came to prominence. McTeigue was apparently going to act as second assistant director for The Matrix film, that is, until the first assistant director, a friend of McTeigue who told him about the project had to drop out, which saw The Wachowskis make McTeigue first assistant. The film was released in 1999 and became a huge success.

The following year he acted as first assistant director on the massively popular Australian film, Looking for Alibrandi. He was also involved in The Monkey's Mask that year, again as first assistant director.

In 2000, McTeigue worked with George Lucas and became the first assistant director for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, which was released in 2002. Following this, he was also the first assistant director for both Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

In 2006 McTeigue made his directorial debut directing V for Vendetta, written and produced by the Wachowskis. After spending so much time on The Matrix film series, the sisters gave the opportunity to McTeigue to direct, first showing him a copy of the Vendetta graphic novel during post-production of The Matrix Revolutions.[1]

Warner Bros. expressed dissatisfaction with the way Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Invasion shaped up and brought in James McTeigue for an additional 17 days of filming based on rewrites by the Wachowskis. The film was released in 2007 with the involvement of McTeigue and the Wachowskis being uncredited.[2]

In 2008 he did second unit directing work on the Wachowskis' Speed Racer.[3]

McTeigue directed Ninja Assassin, produced by the Wachowskis, which was out in 2009.[4] The same year he was said to be directing a reboot of the Superman film series, a rumor that he neither confirmed nor denied, but Warner Bros. ultimately gave the job of rebooting the Superman franchise to Zack Snyder.[5]

In 2012, he directed the thriller The Raven, a fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which the poet and author pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in Poe's stories.

He partnered again with the Wachowskis to direct the Mexico City, Mumbai and parts of the Reykjavik units on their Netflix science fiction drama Sense8 which debuted in 2015.[6][7] McTeigue got directing credit in two episodes.[8]

Over the years McTeigue has been linked as director of the films Osiris Release,[9] Richard K. Morgan's Altered Carbon,[10] Message From The King,[11] Bloodsport[12] and Alien Sleeper Cell[13] but as of May 2016 none of them have moved forward.




  1. ^ "V for Vendetta". warnerbros.com. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Who's behind Invasion?". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Jette Kernion (27 November 2009). "Interview: James McTeigue, 'Ninja Assassin' (Part 1)". AOL Moviefone. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Exclusive: James McTeigue Talks Ninja Assassin and The Raven". DreadCentral. 
  5. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Rumored 'Superman' Director Reveals His Vision For Man Of Steel". MTV. 
  6. ^ "APDG – INTERVIEW – HUGH BATEUP a.p.d.g – Production Designer – SENSE8". APDG. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Interview: Director James McTeigue on Survivor and Netflix's Sense8 - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Jordan Farley. "First Trailer For The Wachowskis' Sense8 Released". gamesradar. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  9. ^ [1] Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "News - Studios and Production Companies set their pre-strike priorities". FilmJerk.com. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  11. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "James McTeigue Directing 'Message From The King'". Deadline. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "Relativity Reboots Jean-Claude Van Damme's 'Bloodsport' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. 24 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Toronto: 'V for Vendetta' Director Tackling 'Alien Sleeper Cell' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 4 September 2014. 

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