MATTHEW WEAVER (Producer) got his start in the entertainment business at age 17, when, while a senior at University High School in Los Angeles, he got a job at Walt Disney Studios, first in the mailroom and later as a gofer for studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. He spent the next seven years at Disney, primarily working for Marty Katz, President of Production.
Soon after, Weaver was ready for independent producing and, with Tony Lord, he formed Lord/Weaver Productions. They hit the ground running and in their first year set up a wide range of projects with various studios. Their frenetic energy and activity caught the eye of TriStar President Stacey Snider, who gave them a two-year deal at the studio, where they continued to develop projects.
In 1999, Weaver produced his first film, "Chain of Fools," starring Steve Zahn, Selma Hayek, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Orlando Jones, Michael Rappaport and Jeff Goldblum. The following year, he was named Head of Production at Immortal Films, an offshoot of Immortal Records, home to acts such as Korn, Incubus and 30 Seconds to Mars.
While at Immortal, Weaver produced several films, including the hit "My Baby's Daddy," starring Eddie Griffin and Anthony Anderson. "Searching for Debra Winger," directed by Rosanne Arquette, was Weaver's first documentary. The film, which included interviews with Winger, Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow, Whoopi Goldberg and Sharon Stone, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was acquired by Showtime. During his time at Immortal, Weaver also ventured into television, executive producing the Vh1 reality series "Rock the House."
Weaver formed Prospect Pictures in 2002, with director Marcos Siega, and together they made the film "Pretty Persuasion," with a cast that included Evan Rachel Wood in her first starring role, James Woods, Ron Livingston and Jane Krakowski. The film premiered in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Samuel Goldwyn and Roadside Attractions.
While at Prospect, Weaver's second documentary, "Surfwise," was produced. The story of the legendary Paskowitz family, the film was directed by acclaimed documentarian Doug Pray, co-produced with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, and financed by Mark Cuban's HD Net Films. The widely praised documentary premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Weaver also produced "The Heartbreak Kid," starring Ben Stiller and written and directed by the Farrelly brothers. During this time, Weaver was exposed to the theater world through his wife, Hillary, who was producing "The Pussycat Dolls: Live at The Roxy."
Shortly thereafter, Weaver conceived of the idea for a rock musical and, collaborating with book writer Chris D'Arienzo and others, created the stage show "Rock of Ages." The show opened on Broadway in 2009 to rave reviews, and later received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Now in its third year on Broadway, having grossed over $50 million, it has been touring nationally and internationally, again to great reviews.
Weaver continues to produce independent films, such as "Sympathy for Delicious," starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney and Orlando Bloom, which premiered in dramatic competition at Sundance and won a special Jury Prize; and "Hesher," starring Natalie Portman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which also premiered at Sundance.
Most recently, Weaver executive produced the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," directed by David Gelb. Widely regarded as one of the top five films at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, it was the first film sold, acquired by Mark Cuban's Magnolia Pictures and released in theaters this year.
Weaver is currently collaborating with legendary concert promoter Michael Cohl on several Broadway shows and live events.