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Christopher McQuarrie

American screenwriter, Producer and Director: Valkyrie and The Usual Suspects

American screenwriter, Producer and Director: Valkyrie and The Usual Suspects

Travels From Travels From:
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Christopher McQuarrie Biography

McQuarrie was born and raised in the Princeton Junction section of West Windsor Township, New Jersey, where he attended West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South with director Bryan Singer, actor Ethan Hawke and musician James Murphy.

In lieu of college he took a job working as an assistant teacher at Christ Church Grammar School in Perth, Western Australia, and later hitchhiked around the western half of the continent.

Returning to the United States a year later, he went to work for a detective agency in New Jersey for the next four years.

In 1992, he applied to the New York City Police Department and was on his way to the academy when former schoolmate Singer offered him the opportunity to write their first feature film, Public Access, winner of the 1993 Sundance Film Festival’s grand jury prize.

Singer and McQuarrie collaborated again on the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, for which McQuarrie received best screenplay awards from Premiere magazine, The Texas Board of Review, and the Chicago Critics as well as the Edgar Award, The Independent Spirit Award, and the British and American Academy Awards.

The film was later included on the New York Times list of the 1000 greatest films ever made, and the character Verbal Kint was included on AFI’s list of the 100 greatest Heroes and Villains of all time. In 2006, the Writers Guild of America voted The Usual Suspects #35 on their list of 101 Greatest Screenplays.

McQuarrie spent the next several years dividing his time between rewriting studio movies (such as Singer’s X-Men) and developing a screenplay on the life of Alexander the Great, written with Peter Buchman, for Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. (Scorsese and DiCaprio chose to do The Aviator first, making way for Oliver Stone to produce his version of Alexander.)

McQuarrie also wrote and directed The Way of the Gun, starring Benicio del Toro, Ryan Phillippe, and James Caan. Despite a desire to move away from the crime genre, it was the only arena in which he could find any creative control.

He set out to make a crime film about truly "criminal" criminals – a revisionist modern-day Western populated with multi-layered characters whose actions are not motivated by backstories contrived to make them endearing and sympathetic.

He also rejected the stylized approach that had come to define the action-crime genre – choosing instead to rely on story and performance. The film failed to live up to the acclaim of McQuarrie’s earlier films, but has since become a cult favourite.

He wrote and produced Valkyrie, which opened on December 25, 2008. The story is based on the real-life July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The script was co-written with Nathan Alexander.

The pair had access to members of the Stauffenberg family as well as a book written by Fabian von Schlabrendorff - a conspirator who survived.

While doing research for the screenplay, they also spoke with Hitler's bodyguard. In an interview, McQuarrie talked about how the plot succeeded in one key respect; despite the conspirators' obvious failure to kill Hitler, one of their objectives was also for history to reflect that they tried so the world would know that not all of Germany or its military was sympathetic to Hitler.

The film stars Tom Cruise and is directed by Bryan Singer.

McQuarrie directed Jack Reacher, an adaptation of One Shot, a 2005 best selling novel by Lee Child. Paramount Pictures released the film.

Josh Olson worked on the early screenplay and adapted it from the original novel, while McQuarrie worked on the finished script.

Tom Cruise played Jack Reacher amidst much criticism from fans claiming that he had neither the tough image or the physique to carry out the role.

Cruise also acted as a producer on the film.

In an interview with the BBC, Lee Child stated that it would have been impossible to find a suitable actor to play the giant Reacher and that it would have been impossible to recreate the feel of the book on the big screen, but Cruise had the talent to make an effective Reacher.

Filming began in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area on October 3, 2011, and continued through the end of January 2012. The film was released in December 2012.

McQuarrie will reteam with Cruise for the fifth Mission: Impossible film.

Christopher McQuarrie Videos

  • Jack Reacher - Interview with Christopher McQuarrie, Dave Oyelowo
  • 2:42 Jack Reacher de Christopher McQuarrie: Notre avis sur le film
  • "Valkyrie" - Interview with Christopher McQuarrie - Part 1 - YouTube

FAQs on booking Christopher McQuarrie

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  • What topics does Christopher McQuarrie speak about?

    Christopher McQuarrie is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Actors, Arts & Humanities, Producers and Directors.
  • Where does Christopher McQuarrie travel from?

    Christopher McQuarrie generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Christopher McQuarrie for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Christopher McQuarrie for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Christopher McQuarrie or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Christopher McQuarrie is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Christopher McQuarrie for your event is available upon request. Christopher McQuarrie generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Kevin Willmott, Mark Ronson, Alfonso Cuarón, Michael Stuhlbarg and Logan Lerman. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Christopher McQuarrie for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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