12 Directors Who Blamed Studios For Failed Movies

Josh Trank swears blind his version would have been better...

Josh Trank Fantastic Four

There could be nothing worse for a creative soul than to have one's hard work and toil undone by the meddling of some irksome Producers. Sure, they may have financed your film and paid you handsomely to be involved, but forcing you to make decisions against your better judgment almost always leads to failure. Considering that these meddling studio hacks are the very people who approved your vision is bad enough, but to then have your name tarnished due to their actions would be one hard pill to swallow.

While many mild mannered Directors have bit their tongues and refused to paint the studio who gave them their opportunity in a bad light, there are many who have just had to say it how it is. While many have tarnished their reputation in the process, others have had the good fortune to 'right the wrongs' with a Director's Cut (or two).

Like most art, 'failure' is very much in the eye of the beholder, which in this case is how certain Directors have viewed their final product. While several movies on this list proved profitable and one was even Oscar nominated, each entry has earned their place here due to their poor quality, tarnishing of an established franchise or just for angering an honest hard working Director.

So prepare to explore the movies that could have been classics had those damn studios not ruined everything, as we look at the Directors who blamed film studios for movies that failed.

12. David Fincher - Alien 3

Josh Trank Fantastic Four
20th Century Studios

David Fincher is regarded these days as one of the best directors going around, with his nihilistic stylings embraced by the studios lucky enough to acquire his services. This wasn't the case however for his directorial debut for the much maligned Alien 3. While the film has garnered a stronger appreciation over time, this hasn't stopped Fincher from disowning the film.

After working in the special effects department of many a blockbuster film and taking the Directorial duties for music videos for artists such as Madonna, Fincher was offered the seemingly dream directorial debut role, that unfortunately turned into a bit of a nightmare.

The third alien film was highly anticipated, but with that anticipation came much studio pressure and 'guidance'. As Fincher noted in an interview with the BBC, "when everybody’s wringing their handkerchiefs and sweating and puking blood because of the money that’s being spent and you’re going ‘Trust me, this is what I really believe in’...they turn around and say ‘Well, who the f### are you, who cares what you believe in?’”

While Fincher's original cut of the movie had a runtime of 144 minutes, the theatrical cut was trimmed down by thirty minutes, with a significant subplot completely removed. Losing this aspect of the film appears to be the biggest bugbear for Fincher, which explored the Xenomorph being captured before the character of Golic released it. A directors cut has since been released on DVD, which hopefully has brought some closure for Fincher on the messy affair.


While he likes to know himself as the 'thunder from down under', Luke is actually just a big dork who loves all things sport, film, James Bond, Doctor Who and Karaoke. With all the suave and sophistication of any Aussie half way through a slab, Luke will critique every minute detail of films and shows from all eras- unless it's 1990's Simpsons episodes, because they're just perfect