Matthew Cooper, Director—looks back at Hollow Man (2000)

My feature debut as a director is due out in a few days or so Markham–will be available from 31 August.

I’m starting to move onto my next project as a director, and in the meantime I have some work as a script writer for hire which is my real bread and butter business at the moment and how I earn my living.

While waiting for Markham’s release I’ve been studying the careers of some of my favorite filmmakers–the people who really influenced me.   One of those directors is Paul Verhoeven, who made one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made–RoboCop (1987)

Verhoeven was a Dutch director who made it in Hollywood by treating sci-fi action pictures with a huge amount of humour and intelligence.

Hollow Man–his take on the invisible man story was a big flop back in 2000. Recently The Invisible Man (2020 starring Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss) took similar territory and scored with a more financially successful reboot, but personally, I found Hollow Man to be a LOT more entertaining.

Hollow Man seems to have a kind of stalled Verhoeven’s career in the US. Maybe he’d had enough, or the studios didn’t trust him after a couple of mis-fires (including the famous bomb ‘Showgirls’).

Recent reboots of RoboCop and Verhoeven’s Total Recall have bored me to tears–the originals are soo much better and even feel more modern than recent remakes despite being made nearly 30+ years earlier.

Verhoeven himself has stated that he wants to look into the past now as a director, and work on true life historical pieces—like his own Black Book (2006)  I realised looking at his career on the IMDb that I hadn’t seen any of his films since 2006 – this is something I need to correct, because Verhoeven is a major talent, from his early films in Holland to his work in Hollywood, he seems largely to have been ahead of the game in many respects.  I’d take Hollow Man, Total Recall, Starship Troopers and RoboCop over just about anything else made in Hollywood at the time.

As well as being a freelance film director for hire, Matthew has also enjoyed a long career as a script writer for hire, and UK script consultant. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer.

You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.Matthew’s work as a director here.

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