8 Flops That Killed Film Directors' Careers

3. Gigli/Martin Brest

Martin Brest broke through Hollywood's glass ceiling when he was given the opportunity to direct Beverly Hills Cop, which grossed over $300m worldwide against a $15m budget, and earned itself an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Brest's follow-up, Midnight Run, while not a runaway hit on the same scale, was still a solid success, and earned Golden Globe nominations for Robert DeNiro and the film itself. His real success came, however, with 1992's Scent of a Woman, earning him a Best Director nomination, while the film itself garnered nods for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as a Best Actor win for Al Pacino's mesmerising performance. His downfall began with the release of 1998's Meet Joe Black, which received mixed reviews and turned in middling box office returns. The worst, of course, was yet to come, as in 2003, Brest essentially committed career hara-kiri by working with real-life couple (at the time) Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck on the inspid star vehicle Gigli. To Brest's defence, he and the studio had an acrimonious relationship throughout production, resulting in a heavily edited, mangled version of the film being put out, earning it a legacy as one of the worst films ever made. Inexplicably, the film cost $75m to make - likely owing to the stars' large salaries - and made a pathetic $7m in recompense. The title even entered the pop-culture lexicon as a term for a catastrophic, embarrassing failure. It was nominated for nine Razzie awards and won six, including Worst Actor, Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple for its leads, as well as Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and then Worst Director for Brest. Aside from Adam Sandler's horrendous Jack and Jill winning the "Razzie Grand Slam" earlier this year, Gigli is the only other film to do so. Simply, Brest doesn't appear to have gone within a barge pole's reach of a camera since, and his sole credit in the wake of Gigli is a thanks on Affleck's 2007 crime thriller Gone Baby Gone.
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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.