U.K. native Paul McGuigan established himself as one of the more unique directors to make his presence known in Britain and Hollywood during the 2000s; he unveiled a particularly strong knack for handling crime material and thrillers with a gritty intensity that became a personal trademark and that prompted more than one comparison to Martin Scorsese. McGuigan grew up in England as the son of a Bellshill-based publican and began his occupational life as a still photographer, then worked his way into the documentary field, helming nonfiction assignments for Channel 4. McGuigan's foray into fiction work commenced with his short The Granton Star Cause, about a man who morphs into a fly as a divine curse; the critical acclaim netted by that effort inspired him to helm two additional self-contained episodes, also adapted from the work of Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and stitched together as a well-received omnibus. That laid the groundwork necessary for McGuigan to move into features on a full-time basis, which he did with the inventive crime sagas Gangster No. 1 (2000) and Lucky Number Slevin (2006); in-between, McGuigan exhibited diversity by helming the compelling, IRA-themed nonfiction opus Facing the Enemy (2001) and the eerie, atmospheric romantic mystery Wicker Park (2004), and the same year's period whodunit The Reckoning. In 2008, McGuigan directed the supernatural thriller Push, starring Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning; it told of a bunch of psychics who band together to rebel against the vile government agency controlling them.