Michael Keillor

Writer/Director

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Film, TV & Theatre

Agent: Michelle Archer
Assistant: Grace Baxter

Film, TV & Theatre

Michael Keillor grew up in rural Scotland, where the local video store sparked dreams of moviemaking. After law school, travel and a few years on set, Michael finally picked up a camera and started making films of his own. Shorts, ads, pop promos and sketches, Michael shot everything and anything before a Channel 4 commission opened the door to directing projects with Andrew Davies, Peter Moffat, Jed Mercurio, Lucy Kirkwood and most recently David Hare.

Driven by great writing and nail-biting action, Michael kicked off the multi award winning third season of anti-corruption thriller LINE OF DUTY with Danny Mays, delivering a ratings smash for BBC2 and garnering a Scottish Bafta best director nomination.

“It’s stomach-clenchingly tense, visceral, shocking – television best watched in body armour” - Sam Wollaston - The Guardian

Michael then launched JK Rowling’s much-loved detective Cormoran Strike on BBC1 with Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger in STRIKE: THE CUCKOO’S CALLING.

"Vintage and modern, highly watchable and brilliantly cast, Strike is a sure hit" Matt Baylis, The Express

"Great cast, perky dialogue, and considering the creator, a not entirely unexpected degree of wit and imagination" -  Barbara Ellen - The Guardian

Revisiting the history of the Tiananmen square massacre drew Michael to CHIMERICA, a four-part adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood's Olivier award-winning play for Playground Entertainment/Channel 4, starring Alessandro Nivola, Sophie Okenedo, Cherry Jones and Terry Chen.

“A strikingly intelligent drama, capturing big ideas without sacrificing story or character, and making the personal political and back again – particularly in the scenes set in China.” - Lucy Mangan - The Guardian

Most recently Michael has delved into domestic politics with ROADKILL, a four-part political drama charting the rise of a corrupt politician, written by David Hare and starring Hugh Laurie and Helen McCrory, due to air on both BBC1 in the UK and PBS in the States in Autumn 2020.

Michael is represented in the US by Phil D'Amecourt and Ryan Draizin at WME, and Attorney Michael Schenkman.

Television

ProductionCompanyNotes

ROADKILL

2020

The Forge/BBC 1

Director and Executive Producer
4-part Drama.
Writer: David Hare.
Producer: Andy Litvin
Exec Producers: Mark Pybus, Lucy Richer.
Starring: Hugh Laurie and Helen McCrory
Forceful and charismatic politician Peter Laurence is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse as his public and private life seems to fall apart. As the personal revelations spiral with enemies ever closer to home, Peter expertly walks a high wire between glory and catastrophe, all while seeking to further his own agenda and win the ultimate prize.

2018 - 2019

Playground Entertainment/Channel 4

Director
4-part Drama.
Writer: Lucy Kirkwood.
Producer: Adrian Sturges.
Executive Producers: Lucy Kirkwood, Sophie Gardiner, Colin Callender.
Starring: Alessandro Nivola and Cherry Jones
A photojournalist travels to China with the hopes of finding out who the mysterious man was who was photographed standing defiantly in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square twenty years ago. Adaptation of the Olivier award-winning play.

2017

BBC/HBO/Bronte

Lead Director.
Producer: Jackie Larkin
Executive Producers: Ruth Kenley Letts, Neil Blair, JK Rowling.
Starring: Holliday Grainger and Tom Burke
Adapted from the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels by JK Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

2015

BBC2/World Productions

Lead Director.
3 episodes.
Creator and Writer: Jed Mercurio.
Producer: Peter Norris.
Executive Producer: Simon Heath and Jed Mercurio.
Starring: Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Stephen Graham.
*Highest-rating BBC2 drama since modern TV ratings began.
*Nominated, Best Drama Series, Royal Television Society Awards, 2017.
*Nominated, Best Writer (Drama), Royal Television Society Awards, 2017.
*Nominated, Best Drama Series, TV Choice Awards, 2016.
*Nominated, Best Director, Bafta Scotland Awards, 2016.
*Nominated, Best Drama Series, Broadcast Awards, 2017.

CRITICAL

2014

Sky One/Hat Trick

Director.
3 episodes.
Creator: Jed Mercurio.
Producer: Chris Hall.
Exec Producer: Mark Redhead / Cameron Roach.
Starring: Lennie James and Kimberley Nixon.

SILK III

2013

BBC 1

Director.
2 episodes.
Creator: Peter Moffat.
Producer: Matt Strevens.
Executive Producer: Hilary Salmon.
Starring: Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones

MR SELFRIDGE

2012

ITV Studios

Director.
3 episodes, including series finale.
Creator and Writer: Andrew Davies
Producer: Chrissy Skinns.
Exec Producer: Kate Lewis.
Starring: Jeremy Piven

YOUNG JAMES HERRIOT

2011

BBC 1/KoCo Media

3 part series about the life of the young Vet.
Producer: Alan J. Wands.
Writer: Ann McManus and Eileen Gallagher
Exec Producer: Cameron Roach.
* Nominated for Best Director at British Academy Awards Scotland, 2012.
* Nominated for Best Actor for Iain De Caestecker at British Academy Awards Scotland, 2012.

SHAMELESS VIII

2011

Company Television/C4

HOLBY CITY

2011

BBC 1

EASTENDERS: E20

2010

BBC 3

* Rose D'Or Nominee, 2010.

THE BILL

2009

ITV 1

EASTENDERS

2008

BBC 1

DOCTORS

2007

BBC 1

DREAM TEAM

2006

Sky

In Development

ProductionCompanyNotes

TIGHTROPE

2020

STV/BBC

Executive Producer: Sarah Brown
Writer: Rae Brunton
A low rent lawyer loses his loose grip on reality

TOO FAR NORTH

2020

WILD MERCURY/BBC

Executive Producer: Derek Wax
Writer: David Macpherson
Prodigal son returns home to a kick in the teeth.

Short Films

ProductionCompanyNotes
2014

Warp Films/BFI

Writer and Director. Love on the run with a girl and a gun.
Producer: Ally Gipps.
Starring Iain De Caestecker, Katarina Cas.
*Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014 Premiere.

2010

BBC, Scottish Screen & Lighthouse Arts

Writer and Director. 15'. Father and son lost in the Highlands.
Starring David Hayman, Jamie Michie.
* Encounter Short Film Festival, 2009.
* Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2010.
* Austin Film Festival, 2010.

2009

UK Film Council, Scottish Screen & Digicult

15'. Life, for a young man and an old soul.
Starring Michael Socha.
* Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010.

2006

Channel 4 'Coming Up' 2005

Writer and Director. 23'. Gang rivalry tears a friendship apart.
Starring Daniel Anthony, Josef Altin, Aml Ameen.
*Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2006.