¨Don´t wait for me!¨
Matthew "Matt" Hooper is a young oceanographer fascinated by sharks who was hired by Martin Brody, the chief of the APD (Amity Police Department) during the infamous "Amity Incident" in 1973.
Hooper crewed the vessel Orca under its captain, Quint, as part of a plan to catch or kill the predatory Great White Shark that had staked a claim off Amity Island.
Hooper is first mentioned after the death of Alex Kintner, during a town meeting on how to deal with the shark that killed him. He arrives not long after not knowing who Brody looks like and vice versa, but they bump into one and other and Brody offhandedly asks him for help in convincing the locals and tourists to not go in a frenzy hunting the shark. They formally introduce themselves to one another right after, with Brody enthusiastically glad he's shown up. Hooper requests to see the remains of Christine Watkins, a victim of a "Probable boating accident". After examining what was left of Chrissie, much to his horror, disgust and anger at the coroner for falsely claiming the cause of death; Hooper deduces that the shark that killed Alexander also killed Christine prior.
Hooper was never seen again in the series, but was mentioned in Jaws 2 being on an expedition and thus not able to help Brody out with the second shark problem.
- One of two survivors of the catastrophic boating accident during the 'First Amity Incident' wherein the fishing boat ORCA was reported missing due to a shark attack.
- Off screen, Hooper went on to be featured on a 1975 cover of National Geographic, and eventually won the America's cup in 1976.
- Spielberg has said during interviews he considered directing the sequel (JAWS2), however Universal decided not to wait for his schedule to clear. Richard Dreyfuss was then ironically working on Spielberg's Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Had Spielberg directed Jaws 2 it's likely Dreyfuss would have appeared again.
- In the novel, Hooper is killed by the shark when he is in the shark cage, however in the film, he survives.
- The relationship between Brody and Hooper in the film is one of genuine respect and amity, with Brody showing even admiration for Hooper's knowledge of aquatic biology, specifically sharks. However, in the novel the relationship between the two is noticeably opposite: Hooper is a returning resident of Amity Island who knew Brody's wife, Helen, in high school and is still attracted to her, to the point of them both having an affair. Their cavorting behind Brody's back creates even greater tension between Hooper and Brody.
- Richard Dreyfuss would actually go on to cameo in the 2010 film Piranha 3D as Matt Boyd in reference to his role in Jaws.
- Spielberg first choice for the role of Hooper was Jon Voight, but he turned it down.
- Joel Grey, Kevin Kline, Timothy Bottoms, Jan-Michael Vincent and Jeff Bridges were also considered for the role.
- Jaws 2 (mentioned) - Although Hooper never appeared in the sequel, there was a reference made during a brief phone conversation between him and Chief Brody.
- Matt Hooper's nickname is Matt Pooper in the MAD episode, "Jaws the Great and Powerful/Old Spock's Off Their Spockers".