10 Directors Suffering From George Lucas Syndrome

Once-great filmmakers who can no longer direct their way out of a paper bag...

It may be popular to hate on George Lucas, but there is a very good reason for that. The man came storming out of the gate with three great films, THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars, the latter of which of course spawned a mammoth franchise which he dictated the course of (though he didn't direct The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi). After that, he didn't direct a single movie for another 22 years. The hype around 1999's Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace was immense, and as everyone knows, the movie just didn't live up to the hype: filmmaking had changed a lot over those two decades, and Lucas' appropriation of new technology didn't serve an underwritten script well at all. Lucas proved with his prequel trilogy the problem with enormous success: if you make enough money, nobody is going to tell you "no" or be honest and say that a bad idea is a bad idea. Lucas was surrounded by yes men who rubber-stamped everything he wanted, largely because there was no chance in hell that The Phantom Menace and the following sequels were going to flop. He had almost too much power, and the result was that without a sounding board, the prequel trilogy was for the most part pretty poor, certainly compared to the original three movies. This list aims to investigate similar filmmakers, who started off great but couldn't replicate that success later on. No, it's not filmmakers like Michael Bay and Zack Snyder who have always been hugely divisive, but talented filmmakers who have kept getting bankrolled over the years because either their movies keep making money regardless of quality, or because their earlier success has given them a ton of lee-way with studios who believe in their brand name. Here are 10 directors suffering with the debilitating illness that is George Lucas Syndrome...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.