10 Directors That Need a Hit

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Peter Jackson’s anticipated return to Middle Earth with The Hobbit series wasn’t what fans were hoping for

List compiled by Eddie on 15/03/2018

Like any artist, filmmakers have their ups and downs, but sadly for some, the down times seem to keep on rolling.

Each director listed below has proven to the world that they have what it takes to make a high-quality and memorable feature film.

Each director below also has found the going tough over more recent times, even though some have still found success at the box office; their recent output has been far less than what we all know they’re capable of.

Some of the filmmakers in this list appear likely to sadly end their careers on a low rather than a high but there’s hope here for some that a hit is just around the corner, reminding us all of the talent that they possess.

Happy reading and happy watching

10. Peter Jackson

peter

With the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson conquered the movie making world

Last good film: The Lovely Bones (2009)

Sure the Hobbit films made more than a few wagon’s full of money but the general sentiment around Jackson’s return to Middle-Earth was mediocre at best. A filmmaker with runs on the board, the native New Zealander has been suspiciously quiet over the last few years and one does begin to wonder if Jackson’s creative fire has burnt out unfortunately early.

Upcoming hit chances: Medium

9. John Carpenter

john

Carpenter and some of his crew on the set of cinema classic The Thing

Last good film: They Live (1988)

Master director John Carpenter doesn’t need to prove to anyone that he can make a good film but considering just how long we’ve waiting for another truly good Carpenter feature (Masters of Horror aside) it’d be nice if the living legend could stop playing Destiny for a while and release another slice of Carpenter pie for all of us to enjoy.

Upcoming hit chances: Low

8. Alex Proyas

Proyas and The Crow’s late star Brandan Lee on set of the famous film

Last good film: I, Robot (2004)

The Australian director made a name for himself with Dark City in the late 90’s and made it to the big time with high profile films like The Crow and I, Robot but the last decade or so has not been kind to the talented director with a lot of good will lost with his last effort Gods of Egypt.

Upcoming hit chances: Medium

7. Joel Schumacher

Schumacher had a hit on his hands with 90’s classic Falling Down

Last good film: Phone Booth (2002)

Jordan wrote a recent piece on Schumacher’s career, a director that’s works perhaps aren’t as appreciated as they should be but there’s no questioning that the divisive filmmaker has had a very rough trot of it over the last 10 to 15 years. Picking the right project is paramount for Schumacher to once more have a hit on his hands.

Upcoming hit chances: Low

6. Robert Rodriguez

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Robert Rodriguez was a trailblazer of indie cinema in the 90’s

Last good film: Sin City (2005)

More recent reports suggest Robert Rodriguez is planning a return to his more low-budget roots, a wise move for the talented and original voice if his to find his creative mojo once more. The misplaced Sin City sequel A Dame to Kill For was a sad state of affairs for an artist looking to recapture past glories and it brings in solid questions surrounding Rodriguez ability to strike gold again.

Upcoming hit chances: Low

5. The Wachowski’s

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The Wachowski’s (looking a little different to how they look now) made a name for themselves with impressive efforts in the late 90’s

Last good film: Cloud Atlas (2012)

We can always be thankful for the Wachowski’s giving us the Matrix series (debatable sequels aside) but the sibling duo have forever been struggling to find the right projects for their visually led talents in the time since their box office behemoth trilogy. Jupiter Ascending was a new low for the director’s while their pre-hyped Netflix series Sense8 was a big old flop.

Upcoming hit chances: Medium

4. Oliver Stone

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Stone, who served in the Vietnam war, on set of his 1980’s classic Platoon

Last good film: Any Given Sunday (1999)

While he remains an outspoken figure when it comes to politics etc., Oliver Stone has failed to deliver a truly good film in almost 20 years. It seems the self-assured director has become too concerned with his political views and personal beliefs, rather than focusing on making noteworthy films. His totally unneeded Wall Street sequel was a real career low.

Upcoming hit chances: Low

3. Brian De Palma

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De Palma shows his leading man Al Pacino how its done on the set of classic 1980’s film Scarface

Last good film: Mission Impossible (1996)

I can never speak too badly about the director that gave the world Scarface but Brian De Palma is in dire need of a hit. The hardworking Hollywood figure has barely stopped making films in his long lasting career but perhaps he should’ve stopped after 1996’s Mission Impossible, as everything else since then has been highly questionable.

Upcoming hit chances: Low

2. Kevin Smith

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Smith struck the big time with his self-funded film Clerks

Last good film: Red State (2011)

A popular figure in pop-culture circles, Smith has sullied his reputation almost beyond saving in recent year’s with dire products like Tusk and Yoga Hosers. Smith’s never been what you’d call a “great director” but the talented funny-man does have a unique and likeable style when he nails his material. You do get the feeling though that Smith doesn’t care enough about making a genuinely good film now, rather happy to just make sequels no one wants while doing his media gigs.

Upcoming hit chances: Low

1. Zack Snyder

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Snyder showed the world he could adapt almost anything when he made Watchmen a truly great cinematic feature

Last good film: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)

His comic-book movies have made billions but no one is going to argue against the fact that Snyder’s time in the DC universe hasn’t been a good one. Starting out his career in brilliant fashion with Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen, Snyder has in the time since become a tiresome filmmaker, imbuing his film with lifeless qualities that have made them a drag to endure most of the time. Still young enough to rebound, here’s hoping Snyder can once more find his creative mojo that made him one of the early 2000’s greatest new talents.

Upcoming hit chances: Medium

Who are the director’s that you believe need a hit, and fast? Do you agree with these picks or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

15 responses to “10 Directors That Need a Hit

  1. I appreciate and like your list, however I question the use of pictures of the Wachowskis before they transitioned.

    I don’t think you meant it at all as an insult or intentional, but it was something I thought about being married to a trans person.

  2. Nice list! I have a soft spot for M. Night Shyamalan – he has such a bad reputation, but I think he’s a secret genius. His Sixth Sense debut was so huge, that he’s struggled ever since to recreate the same fire. But I do think he is a great storyteller and has a lot of interesting ideas. His last movie Split was decent, so I’m hoping he’s on the rebound!

  3. Does Paul Verhoven still make movies? I’d watch anything he’d put out. And David Fincher.

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