Raised in Sydney, Australia, James McTeigue inherited his father's love for movies when he was growing up, but it wasn't until he was in university that he decided upon a career in film.
He began as a third assistant director in Aussie films, and eventually worked his way up to first assistant director. He also landed work in American movies shot in Australia, such as No Escape (1994) starring Ray Liotta and Paradise Road (1997) starring Glenn Close.
In 1998, he signed on as first assistant director on The Matrix (1999), written and directed by the Wachowski brothers. He also worked on both Matrix sequels, as well as being first AD on Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002).
McTeigue made his feature directorial debut with the Wachowskis' screenplay, V for Vendetta (2006), starring Natalie Portman. He then went on to helm Ninja Assassin in 2009 followed by The Raven (2012), about famed writer Edgar Allen Poe. McTeigue currently makes his home in Los Angeles.