Show me a great director and I’ll show you a great director who’s made a few missteps along the way. It’s inevitable, really; even the all-time legends of cinema had made their fair share of bad movies. Every single artist you love has a skeleton or two in their closet they’d rather forget and hope you never find out about. And sometimes those duds have come immediately following some of their biggest and most beloved hits.
This is an interesting phenomenon to consider. Does success cloud an artist’s judgment? Once you’ve had a major hit, do you stop taking constructive criticism, or listening to your trusted collaborators? Do you try too hard to please the audience instead of yourself? Do you get distracted by the trappings of wealth and fame?
READ MORE: Successful Movies That Switched Directors in the Middle of Production
Who knows. All I do know is the 12 incredibly talented and hugely popular directors below all followed one of their biggest hits with one of their biggest commercial or critical flops. (Or, in a lot of cases, both.) To find your name on this list is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. In a weird way it’s actually more like a badge of honor. Because you had to be enormously successful to then have bombs this notable and famous. And if no one ever screw things up, how would we ever recognize and appreciate when they got things right?
Directors Who Followed a Classic Film With a Dud
Some of the greatest filmmakers of all time followed up beloved favorites with stinkers. It happens.