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We all struggle with names sometimes, especially if they’re relatively close to each other and occupy similar realms: The Hollywood Chrises come to mind, as do Lil Baby, Da Baby, and their infant kin. And right now, there’s another overlap in the world of film, but involving a much less common pair of names — the fairly British Garth and its Welsh cousin Gareth.
“There are too many Gareths and Garths” is a ridiculously silly statement to make, because there really aren’t all that many in the world compared to, say, Edwards or Marys. But in the realm of pop culture, there are enough to cause some level of confusion. While you might not have known any Garths or Gareths growing up (in real life, anyway), it’s a name that’s coming up fairly frequently right now, to the point where it’s worth reminding ourselves that there are multiple men with this name, all working on relatively recent projects.
Hence, this humble guide, which I have written theoretically as a public service, but more specifically as a way to keep myself from mixing these men up in the future, something I struggle with. Getting older means embracing one’s flaws, and in my case it means using the editorial needs of Consequence to sort out these Garths and Gareths once and for all. Please enjoy.
Gareth Edwards behind the scenes of The Creator, courtesy of Disney
Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Breakout Project: The 2010 film Monsters, which told a high-concept sci-fi story with Scoot McNairy and a pretty tiny budget.
Since Then… While Monsters was only a modest box office success, it was well-made enough for Gareth Edwards to be tapped for two high-profile projects: First, he directed the 2014 Godzilla, bringing some beautiful design qualities to the more austere giant lizard tale. Then, he filled in a key gap in the mythology of a galaxy far far away with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (though, while his name remains on the film as director, future Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy oversaw reshoots on the final product). Now, he’s back with The Creator, an original story set in a not-too-distant future where AI has become an existential threat… or the potential salvation of humanity.
Why You Should Remember Him: While the future shape of his career will be no doubt affected by the success or failure of The Creator, there’s no denying that anyone who can get a major studio to greenlight an $80 million movie based on an original idea is some sort of dark wizard and/or in touch with deities more mighty than us mortals can comprehend. Okay, the actual story behind how Edwards conned this movie into existence is much less supernatural, but equally impressive. Whatever he does next, it’ll be worth paying attention to.
Garth Davis behind the scenes of Foe, courtesy of Amazon
Birthplace: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Breakout Project: While his first film wouldn’t be released until 2016, Garth Davis’s first big directing project was co-directing the first season of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake in 2013.
Since Then… Davis’ 2016 film Lion became an awards season success story, followed by the underseen Mary Magdalene, starring Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix. Like Edwards, he also has a new sci-fi film on the horizon — the low-budget Foe, starring Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal, and Aaron Pierre, which like The Creator is a future-set tale about technology, but on a much smaller scale.
Why He’s Important: Davis hasn’t had a wild career, but he has shown aptitude when it comes to working with actors on an intimate level, and Foe feels like it could be a sleeper hit this fall, if only on the basis of that very strong cast.
Gareth Evans at the 51st Sitges Film Festival, courtesy of Shutterstock
Birthplace: Hirwaun, Cynon Valley, Wales, UK
Breakout Project: After moving to Indonesia to work on a documentary, Evans developed an interest in pencak silat, an Indonesian martial art, and ended up making a series of action movies set in the country — the true breakout of which was the kinetically brutal The Raid (2011).
Since Then… Evans has continued making high-octane martial arts projects, including The Raid 2 and the Sky Atlantic/AMC series Gangs of London, which transplants his unique action stylings to a UK setting. (Evans stepped back for Season 2, which is disappointing given how much Season 1 benefits from his impressive fight scenes.)
Why He’s Important: Beyond the randomness of a Welsh director becoming best known for Indonesian martial arts movies, he’s got a strong point-of-view as a director. His next project is the long-awaited film Havoc, starring Tom Hardy, Timothy Olyphant, and Forest Whitaker, which sounds like a Welsh version of The Raid — which is to say, must see.
Joanna Froggatt & Gareth Neame & Allen Leech at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, courtesy of Shutterstock
Profession: Television producer
Breakout Project: While Neame’s first credits as a producer date back to the mid-1990s. He’s best known to American audiences as one of the names that flashes by during the credits of Downton Abbey, which he oversaw from the beginning of its run.
Since Then… Neame has continued to deliver all flavors of British television as CEO of Carnival Films, which also oversees the production of British series like Belgravia and Whitechapel.
Why He’s Important: Downton freakin’ Abbey, y’all. And he’s an executive producer on HBO’s The Gilded Age, which returns for its second season in October. He’s given us so much.
Miss Crawly of Sing 2, voiced by Garth Jennings (Universal)
Birthplace: London, England
Breakout Project: After a steady career as a music video director, working with bands and artists like Pulp, Fatboy Slim, and R.E.M., Jennings was tapped to direct a feature adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Bringing Douglas Adams’ iconic and idiosyncratic novel to the big screen was a massive, arguably impossible task, and the resulting film was probably the best possible version that could be created at that point in time. (That’s not intended as shade — making a movie out of that book was a real Kobayashi Maru of a situation, is the point, but he got through it well enough.)
Since Then… While he actually has continued to direct the occasional music video, as a director Jennings found commercial success with the Dreamworks films Sing and Sing 2. (He not only directs but provides the voice of Miss Crawly, pictured above, for those films.) He’s also appeared as an actor in films including The World’s End and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Why He’s Important: Again, Jennings’ first feature film was a pretty impossible task that he somehow made possible, and his subsequent projects have had a lot of heart and charm to him. He doesn’t have any announced projects on the horizon, but it’ll be exciting to see what’s next from him.
The Boys (Prime Video)
Birthplace: Northern Ireland, UK
Profession: Comic book writer
Breakout Project: So many different titles owned by DC Comics, specifically in the realms of Vertigo and WildStorm, as well as Marvel. While his acclaimed Punisher run was an inspiration for 2008’s Punisher: War Zone, his first major original comic book work was the delightfully deranged supernatural action comedy series Preacher, created with artist Steve Dillon.
Since Then… Ennis created, with artist Darick Robertson, The Boys, the arguably even more deranged superhero satire which is now source material for the Prime Video series and its spinoffs. (Gen V, featuring supes in college, premieres this week.)
Why He’s Important: You know all the fucked up stuff in The Boys? This guy’s responsible for a good amount of it. (And if you ever watched the series adaptation of Preacher — same deal.)
Wayne’s World (Paramount)
Birthplace: Studio 8H, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City
Profession: Cable access talk show host
Breakout Project: After joining Wayne Campbell on the couch for Wayne’s World sketches on Saturday Night Live, Garth Algar became a movie star in the 1992 feature film of the same name.
Since Then… Since the release of Wayne’s World 2, Garth’s public appearances have been relatively limited over the years, with the most recent one being an Uber Eats Super Bowl commercial in 2021.
Why He’s Important: As played by Dana Carvey, Garth deserves at least a little appreciation for being arguably the most famous American Garth to date. (Parents totally rushed to name their newborns Garth in 1992, when the first film came out… not.) Compared to other men on this list, the accomplishments of Garth Algar may be minimal, but if someone says the name “Garth” to you, you probably don’t think first of the director of Lion.
That being said, the thing about Garths and Gareths is that it’s easy to think there aren’t a lot of them out there — until you start making a list.