10 Directors Who Completely Ruined Their Careers With One Movie

Proverbs say a lot of things about the circle of life and suns rising and falling – it’s all propaganda...

Simon Gallagher

NUFC Editor

Batman & Robin

Proverbs say a lot of things about the circle of life and suns rising and falling – it’s all propaganda for losers at the end of the day, because winning is always a lot easier for winners. There’s a reason directors like Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese still sit at the height of their powers and continue to make great films, and it’s nothing to do with the fickle whims of the wheel of fortune.

That probably comes as a crushing blow for the directors and actors who have made choices that have negatively affected their career progression – we’ve already recently looked at the 12 Actors Whose Careers Were Destroyed By A Single Movie, and it seems that film-makers themselves can suffer the same fate.

In every case, the talents explored on this list used to be great before the wheels came off and they plunged head-long into the stinking abyss of ruination. They might have made a good debut, or collected a number of accolades before that happened, or they may have been victims of circumstance (because good directors can be ruined as well,) but whatever the case, their demise can be traced back to a single film, and these are those films…

Honourable Mention

The Wachowskis

Speed Racer

Lana and Andy aren’t exactly the most sane and dependable movie makers – after making the world fall to its knees for The Matrix (on the back of the sexy, but not actually all that great Bound,) the then-brothers took advantage of their creative freedom to write and direct two awful sequels that took everything good about the original, chewed it up and spat it out in ludicrous morsels.

And then they made Speed Racer, an ill-conceived wandering mess with very little restraint that derailed Emile Hirsch’s career and threatened to do the same for the Wachowskis, by cementing their unfortunate image as the Mad Hatters of Hollywood.

Thankfully for the siblings, it seems like they may be back on the up, even if some people still think Cloud Atlas was an exercise in self-indulgent masturbation, so we can’t quite lament/celebrate their ruin yet…