Matthew Chapman


Matthew Chapman was born in Cambridge, England. He came to America in the 80s and has lived here ever since, first in Los Angeles, then, for the last ten years, in New York. He writes and directs films but also works as a journalist and author. He has written for Harpers Magazine, Huffington Post, and National Geographic among others. His second book, "40 Days and 40 Nights - Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin, and Other Oddities On Trial in Pennsylvania" was published by Harper/Collins. It tells the story of a small town ripped apart when fundamentalism and science came in conflict and was described by Christopher Hitchens as "A book that restores faith - but faith in culture and free inquiry." He also wrote "Trials Of The Monkey - An Accidental Memoir". Published by Picador, it is an account of the Scopes Trial told in the form of a road trip Chapman took to the Tennessee town where the trial took place, along with a memoir of his childhood growing up as a descendant of Charles Darwin. The Spectator wrote of it, "The publisher's blurb nudges us in the direction of bestsellers like Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux but, while Chapman can be as funny and revealing as either in the travel sections of his book, the autobiographical element plumbs greater depths."

He has written and directed five independent movies, most recently "The Ledge" starring Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Terrence Howard, and Patrick Wilson.

He has written several mainstream pictures, among them Consenting Adults (1992), (Dir. Alan J. Pakula, with Kevin Spacey and Kevin Kline); Color of Night (1994) (Dir. Richard Rush, with Bruce Willis) and co-wrote Runaway Jury (2003), (Dir. Gary Fleder, with Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, John Cusack and Rachel Weisz). "Reaching For The Moon" with Miranda Otto and Glroia Pires, directed by Bruno Barreto

He is a noted speaker on the importance of science and science education and is the founder and president of, which advocates that presidential candidates hold a live debate solely dedicated to science and technology issues. In the last two presidential elections, all final candidates (Obama, McCain, and Romney) answered a list of questions developed from Science Debate's 40,000 plus members including 30 Nobel Laureates. When published, the answers reached almost a billion people, making this the largest science policy initiative in history.

He is married to Brazilian actress, record producer and documentary film-maker, Denise Dumont, with whom he has a daughter, Anna Bella Chapman, and a stepson, Diogo Marzo.

Producer ( 1 credit )

The Man Who Bottled Clouds (2009) associate producer

Writer ( 11 credits )

Reaching for the Moon (2013) (screenplay) and
The Ledge (2011) (written by)
Black Water Transit (2009) (screenplay)
Runaway Jury (2003) (screenplay) and
What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)
Color of Night (1994)
Consenting Adults (1992) (written by)
The Knife (1991)
Heart of Midnight (1988) (written by)
Strangers Kiss (1983) (screenplay)
Hussy (1980) (writer/director/producer)

Director ( 4 credits )

The Ledge (2011)
Heart of Midnight (1988)
Strangers Kiss (1983)
Hussy (1980)