Agent: Conrad Williams
Biography: Matthew Chapman is an American and British citizen, but was raised in England. He is the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin.
He has written and directed six films. VIOLENT SUMMER (UK); HUSSY (U.K., with Helen Mirren and John Shea); STRANGERS KISS (U.S. with Peter Coyote); SLOW BURN (U.S., with Johnny Depp, Beverly D’Angelo); HEART OF MIDNIGHT (U.S. with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steve Buscemi, Peter Coyote), and most recently THE LEDGE (with Terrence Howard, Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, and Charlie Hunnam).
THE LEDGE was in competition (Best US Drama) at Sundance 2011 and has played in over 50 countries.
The latest film he wrote, REACHING FOR THE MOON, is about American poet Elizabeth Bishop’s love affair with a Brazilian woman. It was selected for both the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and the 2013 Berlinale. It won Best Film in every gay festival it was entered into, including San Fansisco and Outfest in Los Angeles. In 2014, he won an award for Best Screenplay from the Brazilian Academy of Letters (the South American equivalent of the Academie Francaise) and was nominated for Best Screenplay by the Brazilian Academy of Film.
Apart from producing credits on many of his films, he also produced the Chris Gerolmo film CITIZEN X for HBO, through his company, Asylum Films. (Actors: Donald Sutherland, Steven Rea, Max von Sidow, Joss Ackland) and co-produced the Brazilian Academy Award winning documentary, THE MAN WHO BOTTLED CLOUDS, directed by Lirio Ferreira.
He has written several mainstream pictures, among them CONSENTING ADULTS (Dir. Alan Pakula, with Kevin Spacey and Kevin Kline); COLOR OF NIGHT (Dir. Richard Rush, with Bruce Willis); and RUNAWAY JURY, initially for Alfonso Cuaron, then for director Gary Fleder. (Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, John Cusack, and Rachel Weisz.)
He has written for Harpers Magazine, famous for its literary journalism, and the longest continuously published magazine in America, the Huffington Post, National Geographic, and other publications. Chapman has also written two non-fiction books:
TRIALS OF THE MONKEY – AN ACCIDENTAL MEMOIR, published by Picador, was described in the Spectator as being “as funny and revealing as either Bill Bryson or Paul Theroux, but the autobiographical element plumbs greater depths,” and in Publisher’s Weekly as “an account that stands in favorable comparison to the best examples of eccentric English autobiography such as the work of Robert Graves and Anthony Burgess.”
40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS – DARWIN, INTELLIGENT DESIGN, GOD, OXYCONTIN, AND OTHER ODDITIES, was published by Harper/Collins. The Library Journal praised Chapman for his “easy-to-understand narration of this modern Scopes Monkey Trial, accompanied by his brilliant (and often hilarious) analysis of quite complex testimony.” Christopher Hitchens described it as “a book that restores faith – but faith in culture and free inquiry.”
Chapman is the originator, co-founder and president of ScienceDebate.org. ScienceDebate.org was created to persuade presidential candidates to hold debates on science. His thinking was that although science will determine our national and global future the presidential candidates rarely discuss it. ScienceDebate’s members and signatories include more than 20 Nobel laureates, most of Obama’s science cabinet, and more or less every university and university president in America.
He has just completed work on a movie about the early days of Greenpeace for French director Pierre Morel and is now working on another script for Bruno Barreto about Colonel Candido Rondon, a Brazilian army colonel and pacifist.