The Spierig Brothers
The Spierig Brothers
|Other names||Spierig Brothers|
|Occupation||Film directors, screenwriters, film producers|
Identical twin brothers Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig (// (listen); born 29 April 1976), known collectively as the Spierig Brothers, are German-Australian film directors, producers, and screenwriters.
Peter and Michael made their directing debut in 2003 with Undead and won a prize for Best Visual Effects at the Australian Film Institute Awards for their second film Daybreakers (2010) starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe. They write, direct, and produce their films together, and are heavily involved in the editing, sound, and visual effects of all their work.
Their 2014 film, Predestination, based on the science fiction short story "—All You Zombies—" by Robert A. Heinlein, opened at SXSW in March 2014. It was co-written and co-directed by the twins, and was filmed in Australia during Spring of 2013. It stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, and Noah Taylor. The film was positively received by critics, including those of Variety, The Guardian, and IGN Movies.
Early life and education
Peter and Michael Spierig were born on 29 April 1976 in Buchholz, Germany, to John and Marianne (née Nierle) Spierig. The identical twins were four years old when their parents immigrated to Sydney, Australia, where they spent their childhood. The family then moved to Brisbane in the late '80s, where the twins continued their high school and university education. For a short time, both brothers lived in Berkeley Heights, NJ and attended Governor Livingston High School. Both Peter and Michael earned their Bachelor's Degree from Queensland College of Art (QCA) where Michael majored in Graphic design and Peter in film and television.
When they were children, Peter and Michael developed a fascination with filmmaking after discovering their father's video camera at age 10. They directed their first short film at the age of 12 which mainly consisted of blowing up teddy bears in their backyard using fireworks.
Throughout high school and college, the twins kept directing short films, many of which were featured in local film festivals and film awards ceremonies. The twins earned over 15 different awards for their short films. Their work eventually caught the attention of Queensland's foremost commercial director Dick Marks, who subsequently hired the brothers to direct television commercials. Peter and Michael ended up jointly directing over sixty television commercials for a large list of clients including Coke, Universal, Myer, Lend Lease, Energex, and Telstra, to name a few.
While working in the advertising industry, Peter and Michael continued to write and direct short films. Their final short film The Big Picture went on to screen and win awards at several prestigious national and international film festivals including Rotterdam International Film Festival. After making over fifteen short films and dozens of television commercials, the Spierig Brothers finally ventured into feature film production in early 2000.
"Undead" screened at 17 film festivals, including Edinburgh, Montreal, Toronto, Sitges, Berlin, Amsterdam and Puchon. At the Melbourne International Film Festival, the International Federation of Film Critics awarded "Undead" the prestigious Fipresci Award. The film was sold to 41 countries, and was released in the US and Canada by Lions Gate Entertainment, who developed a close relationship with Peter and Michael, and backed their second production "Daybreakers."
Their second feature film Daybreakers starred two-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan, Vince Colosimo, Michael Dorman, and Isabel Lucas. The film was released in the United States on 2,500 screens in January 2010, and has gone on to gross US$51.4 million worldwide.
The Spierig brothers' third film is the action sci-fi thriller Predestination based on the science fiction short story '"—All You Zombies—" by Robert A. Heinlein. The film stars Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook, and includes an appearance by Noah Taylor. The story recounts that of a detective from a covert government agency (Hawke) who embarks on an intricate series of time-travel journeys in order to catch a master criminal and ensure his own existence. After its premiere at SXSW on 8 March 2014, the film received many positive reviews including Variety, The Guardian, and IGN Movies. The film was released later that year.
The two directed the eighth Saw film, Jigsaw, which was released on 27 October 2017. Their next film was Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built, a horror film about the Winchester Mystery House, starring Helen Mirren as heiress Sarah Winchester, and released on 2 February 2018.
|2000||The Big Picture||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|2003||Undead||Yes||Yes||Yes||Lions Gate Entertainment||Also editors, visual effects supervisors and sound designers|
|2009||Daybreakers||Yes||Yes||No||Also visual effects supervisors|
|2014||Predestination||Yes||Yes||Yes||Stage 6 Films||Also visual effects supervisors and music composer (Composed by Peter Spierig)|
|2018||Winchester||Yes||Yes||No||CBS Films||Also music composer (Composed by Peter Spierig)|
Awards and nominations
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|Best Original Music Score||Nominated|
|2010||Daybreakers||Best Visual Effects||Won|
|2014||Predestination||Special Award for Best Sci-Fi Film||Won|
|Special Award for Best Screenplay||Won|
|Audience Award for Best Feature Film||2nd Place|
- "Movies". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- "Predestination Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "The Spierig Brothers Interview:". Phillyburbs.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Moore, Debi (15 May 2012). "International Rights for the Spierig Brothers' Predestination Acquired by Arclight Films". Dread Central. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (13 July 2016). "Lionsgate Dates New 'Saw' Movie & Ryan Reynolds Action Comedy 'The Hitman's Bodyguard'". Deadline.
- "Winchester House Movie". Winchestermysteryhouse.com. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2017.