8 Flops That Killed Film Directors' Careers

4. Pluto Nash/Ron Underwood

Ron Underwood began his career, much like Roland Joffé, as an aspiring TV director, before he managed to break into the world of features. His first film, Tremors, was a critical hit and made quadruple its budget in returns, as well as remaining a cult classic today. He followed this up with the rambunctious western yarn City Slickers, which made a fantastic $179m against a $26m budget, and also earned star Jack Palance an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. For the following decade, however, his films consistently underwhelmed, culminating in the box office flop Mighty Joe Young, which barely made half of its $90m budget - owing to sophisticated visual effects work - back. The worst was yet to come for Underwood, however, and his 2002 effort The Adventures of Pluto Nash, starring an on-the-decline Eddie Murphy, remains one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, grossing a humiliating $7m against a $100m budget. Critically, the film was panned almost universally, earning a hilarious 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, and remains ranked as one of the worst films of the 2000s. Furthermore, the film garnered five Razzie nominations, including Worst Actor for Murphy, Worst Picture, and Worst Director for Underwood. Since then, Underwood has been relegated to directing TV movies like Stealing Sinatra, and low-rent, holiday-themed productions. He has also returned to the less demanding world of television, where he has admittedly made a name for himself directing shows the likes of Monk, Boston Legal, Ugly Betty, Heroes, Necessary Roughness, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. But still, it's not Hollywood, and we all know why he's not there anymore.
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Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.