8 Movies That Got Directors Fired From Other Movies

The Book of Henry was the last straw for Colin Trevorrow on Star Wars: Episode IX.

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20th Century Fox

Hollywood sure isn't a business for the weak of stomach, heart, or ego, because as much as you'll be celebrated for your successes, you'll also get dogpiled for your failures.

These eight filmmakers all learned that first hand, each losing promising directing gigs due to prior work which didn't live up to either critical or commercial expectations - more often the latter than the former, let's be honest.

Obviously there's a sure degree of risk assessment when hiring any director to tackle a movie, especially if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars, but you also can't really blame most of these directors for feeling slighted by their dismissal.

It's an industry where emotion has to be taken out of the equation in order to ensure the best results for business, but when an artist's bold swing for the fences doesn't pay off, the frustration at the impact it has on their career is totally understandable.

These filmmakers all ended up kicked to the curb from a promising project due to the state of a previous film they made, whether for better or worse...

8. Chappie Got Neill Blomkamp Kicked Off Alien 5

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Sony Pictures Releasing

Neill Blomkamp sure has had one of the strangest careers of any young filmmaker.

After scoring near-universal acclaim for his 2009 sci-fi-action debut District 9 - which even netted a Best Picture Oscar nomination and Best Adapted Screenplay nod for Blomkamp - every single film since has been more dubiously received than the last.

Blomkamp's follow-up Elysium received good-but-not-great reviews, the reception to his third film Chappie was more mixed-negative, and his recently-released fourth film, low-budget horror flick Demonic, has been thoroughly panned by most critics.

But while doing press for Demonic, Blomkamp stated his belief that he was fired from Alien 5, which he was hired to direct just a month before Chappie's release, after franchise godfather Ridley Scott watched Chappie. Blomkamp said:

"It’s possible that Ridley watched Chappie and he was like, 'This guy can't do Alien so let's just go ahead and move on.'"

As for whether Blomkamp spoke to Scott after the plug got pulled and Scott instead pushed on with Alien: Covenant, Blomkamp had nothing but blunt honesty to offer:

"Not after, no no no, there's no coming back from that... I'm not gonna work on a film for two years and have the rug pulled out from underneath me and then go hang out and have beers. It's exactly why I don't want to do IP based on other people's stuff ever again."

As disappointing as Blomkamp's post-District 9 career has been, you really can't fault the guy's frustrations here.


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.