Film and Television
Hover Car Racer: In 2004, Matthew optioned his children’s book, Hover Car Racer to Disney while the book was still in manuscript form. Al Gough and Miles Millar (Shanghai Noon, Spiderman 2, Smallville) are executive producing. This option is still current.
In September 2000, during the Olympic Games in Sydney, Matthew hired a helicopter to do some preliminary shooting for a thriller he has written called The Last Line of Defence. He has described it as a 'superfast action thriller about a pair of young federal agents who have to stop a ruthless serial bomber during the 2000 Olympic Games.' While the script is written, and Matthew has filmed some cool footage (he has cut his footage into a movie trailer, complete with music and story text, and he shows it to school students during speeches!), Matthew is not sure if he'll ever make the final film.
Ice Station had been optioned by Paramount Pictures. A screenplay for it had been written by the Hollywood screenwriter John Rogers (The Core, American Outlaws,) but the option eventually expired.
Contest was optioned in 1999, but in 2002 that option expired.
In late 2006/early 2007, Matthew sold a half-hour television pilot script called Literary Superstars to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The script was spotted by Darren Star, creator/producer of Sex and the City and Beverly Hills 90210, and Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) signed on to star in the show.
The show was largely based on my experiences in the publishing industry, with Jenna playing an overworked but optimistic publicist who manages a coterie of eccentric authors and generally negotiates her way through life, love and the unique weirdness of the publishing world.
The 2007-8 Writers' Guild of America Strike killed production before a pilot could be filmed.
During his university days, Matthew made several short films, most of them containing his brother, Stephen, in the lead role. He also co-opted all his friends (and his future wife, Natalie) into the other roles. The films were:
Highway 3 - inspired by the Jeffrey Archer short story, Never Stop on the Motorway, it was a 7-minute short, shot on video. Featured a car chase, shot in and around St Ives in Sydney.
Binary - based on the little-known but very good Michael Crichton short novel (which he wrote under a different name in 1968), this was a 28-minute epic! Again shot on video, it featured my brother Stephen Reilly as a federal agent trying to stop a villain from releasing a nerve gas device over Sydney. Big scene: Stephen's character abseiled from the 14th floor of a building down to the 13th floor (done using basic effects, Stephen actually swung from the 2nd to the Ground floor, but it looked good!)
Suburbia - supershort 3-minute entry for a short film competition, featured a serial killer burying a lost school-girl while the radio news plays... recounting the disappearance of the girl. The killer's house is then lost in the sea of lights of suburbia. And that's it. Very moody. My dad played the killer, Natalie the victim.
The Entertainer - 7-minute film shot on video for Tropfest, 1999. Featured Stephen Reilly in the title role, as a man who walks into a coffee shop... and bursts into song, singing Bobby Darin's Splish Splash. The people in the shop leap up and start singing with him, creating a big production number! Stephen's character is then taken away by the cops for disturbing the peace. I loved this one, and while it remains my favourite short film that I made, it was probably defeated by production value. If I can, I will remake this one using better film and sound-mixing equipment.