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10 Directors Who Need a Redemption Movie ASAP

05 July 2016 | Features, People Lists | by Abdessamia Abdellah

6. Brad Bird


The Trademark: Bird has a Midas touch: The Iron Giant redefined the animation movie and sounded like a modern fairytale, even for today viewers, it’s still unmatched. He gave Pixar two of their biggest hits ever: The Incredibles (Superheroes movies way before they were cool) and Ratatouille.

He contributed as a senior creative in most of their success pictures. His conversion to non-animated movie screamed perfection all over it: Ghost Protocol was a refreshing take of the spy movie series, more a reboot than a sequel with engaging script, funny dialogue, spectacular stunts :  an adrenaline-rush adventure on a grand scale. The bet was unsure, but it worked.

The Crisis: Brad Bird has a small amount of films to make a comparison between yesterday’s hits and today’s deceptions for a fact. But the drop was considerable big regarding him: Tommorowland was considered by Disney as its major flop of 2015 despite his stellar cast, the big budget and the full support from the studio. Bird,on a more personal scale will be considered as the man who refused the proposition to direct Star Wars 7 to concentrate on the Clooney’s starter instead.

After that, Bird choose to return to animation movie with the most awaited sequel produced by Disney and another project with the mother studio Pixar, for sure, He can bounce back.


7. Alex Proyas


The Trademark: When you direct The Crow at 31 years old, the road to Hollywood is a clear highway. But you wrote, screen played and directed Dark City, you are no longer a revelation; you are a truly original artist. The deserved recognition of the flick was indeed shadowed by another sci-fi masterpiece called The Matrix. But, Proyas was listed by every studio in town as a next sci-fi handler with fan following.

The loose adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s several novels, I, Robot, was taken care of by him, promising a big star to assure a solid contender of the summer season of 2004. The result was a popcorn movie but served in a fancy restaurant. Alex Proyas could be considered after that, as the next Ridley Scott or the Next James Cameron with all legit reasons.

The Crisis: 5 years later.. Knowing? The next move of Proyas was unexpected and deceitful. In an ocean of mediocre movies hurting Nicolas Cage reputation badly, and with pure intention to cash-in with the whole apocalyptic end of the world trending back then (2012 was promised to a be a game changer), the result was pointless, unnoticed, not the ambitious vision expected from a promising filmmaker.

7 other years later, Gods of Egypt was given the cold shoulder from the first teasers, a polemic ensued about white washing the characters (One of the public biggest concerns right now), and the rant around the bad critics the director gave on internet didn’t help either to commercialize the movie.

All that left us wondering: what happened and what will happen to that talented and innovative director?


8. The Wachowskis

the matrix

The Trademark: The singularity of the brothers resides in their originality: Bound was a stylish new take on film noir placed into a lesbian world, and of course the earthquake that is The Matrix: the movie picture that allowed blockbusters and movies production to go into the 21st century. The movie need no introduction, their reputation and solvability will always be attached to Neo & Co.

Larry (now Lana) & Andy could be given all the money in the world to write and direct sequels, and they did. Although, the reception was not equals to the 1999’s out of nowhere superhit, on commercial and critical grounds.

The Crisis: After the Matrix trilogy, there is no film of the Wachowskis whose finals gross exceeded the production budgets : Speed Racer, V For Vendetta and Cloud Atlas worked somehow, however the results weren’t what was expected for the creators of the well loved saga.

Trying to exploit again Matrix’s formulas: an original story (the three other movies where adaptations), famous actors, sci-fi world, ideas and concept to be enough for a whole movie series. Jupiter Ascending bombed at the box-office badly, the question now is that how any other studios will allow them to make movies in the future.

For many observers, the huge loses of both Jupiter Ascending and Tomorrowland in the same year are crystal clear that audiences won’t go anymore for original ideas: 10/10 of 2015 worldwide grosses are either sequels, remakes or adaptations.


9. Gus Van Sant

Good Will Hunting (1997)

The Trademark: Van Sant is far from a rentable filmmaker oriented to mass entertainment. He gained reputation and fame around festivals and awards ceremony circles. He was one the last masters of independent cinema that have won prizes on Cannes Festival (Palme d’or for Elephant), Berlin, Boston, Deauville, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

That makes big stars want to work to him : Sean Penn won his second Oscar with one of his movies Milk, and he was one of the last director that Sean Connery worked with before his retirement.

The Crisis: If The barometer for a commercial director is the lack of box-office results, so it’s only natural to presume that failure of independent movie filmmakers is the absence of any positive reviews or buzz about their work, and that happened to Gus Van Sant a lot after Milk: Restless, Promised Land (despite his on-going ecological message and the presence of affirmed actors such as Matt Damon, Frances Mc Dormand and John Krasinki) and most recently Sea of Trees which was hooted at Cannes (land of Van Sant’s most victories) in presence of Academy Award Winner Matthew McConnaughey (his lead star) can be seen as the start of an illness for the acclaimed director. Even if this don’t affect in many ways, the genius of its owner, but we could ask and observe how long this tragedy could stay ?


10. Wolfgang Petersen

JÜRGEN PROCHNOW (Kommandant), "Das Boot", 1981. 31240/#

The Trademark: Truth to be told, Petersen has no trademarks : He is just a steady , hard working yes-man who worked in Hollywood for over 3 decades after landing an international sensation with 1981’s Das Boot.

To his credits, how many actual directors could brag about having worked with all the famous and talented actors over the years and giving us such results as: Air Force One, OutBreak, In the Line of Fire, Enemy, The Perfect Storm and Troy? He was the first person contacted by Warner to direct the Batman Vs Superman movie back then in 2001.

The Crisis: The rising talent of younger and visionary director led Petersen to only take fewer and fewer projects over the years, his last noticeable one was the unmotivated and blank Poseidon which was another attempt to make profits out of the Catastrophe movie gender with a relatively known casting (Formula launched by movies such as the Towering Inferno and Earthquake, but exploited to the blood).

The movie wasn’t enough to face the 2006 summer’s other blockbusters: from Mission Impossible 3 (they were released in the same week almost) to Cars and The Da-Vinci Code and of course Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

That was enough for Petersen to call it even, taking a long break for Hollywood’s well paid jobs and trying like many exiled ones to return to the motherland to start from ashes a new career over there.

Author Bio: Abdessamia My Abdellah majors in Political Sciences and International Studies. He is devoted to Cinema in all its genres and nationalities. He seeks enlightenment through movies and books.



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  • Pingback: 10 Directors Who Need a Redemption Movie ASAP |

  • Abba Makama

    Richard Kelly

  • The one person that needed redemption was Michael Cimino but sadly, he’s gone. At least Heaven’s Gate is finally getting its due.

  • Dave


  • Nancy Hall

    Some may be finding redemption on TV. Cameron Crowe’s series, Roadies, may not do it for him. The Wachowskis, on the other hand, may have pulled it off with Sense8, I liked it. It was flawed, but beautiful and it hung together, somehow. I’m looking forward to teh next season.

  • Dimitri Poenaru

    I will Never understand the hate on Knowing. I, Robot too. Both movies are awesome.

  • killerjoe1985

    Coen Bros

  • V.C. Privitera

    Interesting & Unique List!
    John Carpenter would be my choice…What Happened?

    Brian DePalma –
    I would iterate that he started to fail with “Snake Eyes,” which is horrendously awful. It’s odd to think he would bomb that bad, especially after revitalizing the “Mission Impossible” Series in a very Fashionable & Successful manner.
    Not to mention, even though many would argue (but I could give a shit!), Nicholas Cage was in Top-Form during this period, making über-big productions & highly successful films like “The Rock,” “Face-Off,” and dare I say it “Con-Air.” Cage was a Superstar in the 90s, unbeknownst to younger generation film fans, but we can all remember when Cage’s Stardom was at its peak (before “Wicker Man” remake….tsk tsk).
    Whatever the case, I recall Snake Eyes being semi-successful Box-Officewise, but that was also before we had a systematic net-base of online resources that we have had within the last 15years or so of the World-Wide-Web that have offered a wide range of Info of criticism & reviews….and if we had this format back in those days, “Snake Eyes” would’ve failed before its Premiere.
    ***Now that I think about it, isn’t crazy to remember & think back when people would flood cinemas without really knowing more about what we were seeing than what would we would grab from just movie-trailers/previews.
    Anyways, back to “Snake Eyes,” the flick had all the trappings to seem on the surface that the movie would be worthwhile, the cast & filmmaker himself were well-respected and the fact the chatter made this feature out to be DePalma’s return to his earlier Hitchcock-Style…all-in-all just complete dud of a motion-picture!

    M. Night Shamalama-ding-dong –
    The problem with this cat is that he makes the same kind of films over & over, that from face value of Previews/Trailers, they all “looked” promising, the key word being “Look,” but time & time again M Night just doesn’t deliver.
    I’ve never been a fan of his films…even “Sixth Sense,” but I gave up after “Signs,” since that was one of the worst waste of opportunities of an Idea/Plot/Storylines I’ve had to endure, cause again, the Film Trailer looked very promising in terms of offering a new unique take on UFO phenomenon, but instead was just another dull & plain offerings of zero-entertaining value.

    The Wachowski’s –
    Now, granted that they had executed the quality-worthy film “Bound” before warping worldwide cinema into the future with the groundbreaking release of “The Matrix” in 1999, but I think because of how much effort & ideas they had put into not just that film itself, but the entire Series as a whole; in my opinion, I think this is what prevents this duo from following-up with a film that can even compete with what they had successfully delivered with the likes of “The Matrix.”
    Aside from “Speed Racer,” (which I’ve never had any interest in seeing…so I cannot comment) it’s obvious that the Wachowski’s are trying their best to deliver something that is just as groundbreaking, intellectual, intricate, thought-provoking, & most of all entertaining to worldwide audiences to be mesmerized just as much, if not more than we all had been when “The Matrix” hit the scene….but this is ultimately difficult and incredibly impossible to do today, sure it’s plausible, but “The Matrix” is the Wachowski’s “Apocalypse Now,” so as to say, that when you put that much effort & blood, sweat, & tears into such a prolific work of art, it’s inevitable that it will either take just as much of a push of creativity to conceive such a project, but also the and more importantly, the “time” it takes to do-so.
    Maybe if the Wachowski’s were to go back to their formal smaller-budget productions, like they did with “Bound,” that could & would be a better launchpad to deliver films that can be well received from critics & fans alike.


    I would add to this list:

    – Roger Avery
    – Spike Lee – although I do find films like “25th Hour,” “Inside Man” & “Chi-Raq” worthy of quality material.