Matthew Cook

Journalist Matt Cook's career as a screenwriter had a lot of press but no completed projects until 2015, when three of his scripts went before the camera, including the long-gestating police thriller "Triple 9" (2015) and the historical drama "Apostle Paul" (2016). The Austin, Texas native was a 23-year-old college student when the events of September 11, 2001, convinced him to enlist in the U.S. Army to join in the fight against terrorism. Cook was deployed to northern Iraq, where he was promoted to staff sergeant before receiving an honorable discharge in 2006. He returned to Texas, where he took a job in the oil and gas industry in Fort Worth, but found the experience unfulfilling. Cook quit his job and pursued a career as a writer, first as a journalist and later as a screenwriter for Hollywood features. He also completed "Swim" (2008), a documentary about two Air Force veterans who attempt to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar to raise awareness about disabled Iraq War veterans. Cook's screenwriting career began to gain traction in the late 2000s - two original scripts, the thriller "Triple 9" and "By Way of Helena," found purchase on the famed Blacklist of unproduced screenplays - but he stepped away from the industry in 2012 to return to the Middle East, this time as a reporter embedded with the military in Afghanistan. Upon his return, Cook's body of unproduced work had finally paid off, as both "Triple 9" and "By Way of Helena" were purchased for production in 2015. That same year, Cook was announced as the writer for "Apostle Paul," a biopic of the warrior turned Christian apostle with Hugh Jackman in the lead.