10 Directors Who Absolutely Hated Their Own Movies

When studio meddling forced filmmakers to lose heart in their work.

Justice League Superman
Warner Bros.

At one point or another all movie stars have acted in a complete flop that they may have had no emotional investment in, taking the role merely for a payday or because of a contractual reason. And it an often be easy for an actor to move on and disassociate themselves from a questionable role.

However, it can be a little harder for a director to distance themselves from a bad movie, as it is their name that is tied to the overall creative presentation of the film. Still, all too often the artistic control can get taken out of their hands with producers making key decisions, ordering script re-writes or total reshoots of scenes based on audience testing.

As an example, one of the greatest filmmakers of the modern era, David Fincher (Seven/Fight Club), started his career by taking on the beast that was Alien 3, but famously found himself without any creative control whatsoever, and has all but since disowned himself from the final product.

Here, then, are ten further examples of when directors were less then pleased with the theatrical cut of a film they had signed on to create.

10. Alex Proyas - Dark City

Justice League Superman
New Line Cinema

Alex Proyas was a renowned music video director who worked with the likes of INXS and Fleetwood Mac during the late eighties. And then with his first movie The Crow (1994), he created a renowned gothic-thriller converted from a dark comic book series, which elevated his profile and set him on a path to writing and directing his follow up feature Dark City (1998). But the version that hit the cinema was far from the film Proyas had envisaged from the start.

Dark City was an adventurous concept, blending mind bending Sci-Fi with the feel of a classic forties Film-Noir. Although visually it was executed perfectly, the overly complicated story did not convert as well to the screen. Proyas had been restricted with various production constraints on the theatrical cut, and was less than satisfied with the version that was initially released. However, he would eventually aim to put right the various wrongs as he saw them, with his director's cut that would hit the DVD and Blu-ray market.

Alex changed the intro to the movie, setting a completely different narrative tone, which helped to keep more of an air of mystery surrounding the shadowy main antagonists of the story. He also extended the run time by 11 minutes, allowing him to focus on some much-needed character development amongst the supporting cast, while also making some adjustments to the colour palate to create even more of the noir feel he had originally intended.


Connoisseur of Alternative Music & Cult Movies. Freelance writer covering the Rock & Metal music scenes, and the Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film & Tv genres.