John Coles is an award-winning director and producer of films, television, and theater, known for work that features compelling performances from some of today’s most respected actors. He was nominated for an Emmy and a PGA award for his work as an Executive Producer and Director on the Netflix phenomenon House of Cards. Other directing credits include the Emmy Award-winning Showtime series Homeland, the Disney+ series The Right Stuff, the Epix original series Berlin Station, 11/22/63 for Hulu, and Amazon’s Mad Dogs. Recently he directed and executive produced USA’s hit drama The Sinner. Other credits include Bates Motel, Power, Damages, Justified, Sex and the City, and The West Wing. He has also directed and executive-produced Elementary, Thief, Unforgettable, 3LBS, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, New Amsterdam, and Wonderland.
He shot his first full-length 16mm film at 17 – a wry update of Casablanca re-imagined in a high school. While at Amherst College he directed a documentary about the school that was aired on PBS, and soon after was making short films for Saturday Night Live. He then went on to become an editor on Francis Coppola’s Rumble Fish and The Cotton Club. His feature directorial debut, Signs Of Life won the International Critics Prize at Deauville. Other long form credits include Rising Son with Matt Damon and Brian Dennehy, and Darrow with Kevin Spacey.
John continues to write and create both feature and television projects through his production company, Talking Wall Pictures, which produced the CBS drama Songs in Ordinary Time (based on the Oprah Book Club pick) starring Sissy Spacek and Beau Bridges and co-created and executive produced the series Crash and Burn. Talking Wall has developed numerous projects with HBO, CBS, New Line, IFC, Bravo and has worked with numerous distinguished writers, including Academy Award-nominated Michael Weller (Hair), Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (Quills), Kate Robin (Six Feet Under) and Ann Peacock (Nights in Rodanthe).
In the theatre world, John has worked as both an actor and a director. He was a member of the Circle Rep Lab and an alumnus of Wynn Handman at the American Place Theater. His Off-Broadway credits include directing the critically acclaimed play The Impostor starring Austin Pendleton and Calista Flockhart, as well as Johnny Suede, starring Tom DiCillo.
A Sundance Director’s Lab alumnus, John has taught at the Columbia University Graduate Film Program, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and the School of Visual Arts.