12 Low-Budget Directors Recruited For Major Movies
Director Joe Cornish, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost on set of "Attack the Block" (Photo Credit: Everett Collection)
"Attack the Block" features nasty gorilla-things from outer space making the mistake of invading a rough suburban London neighborhood inhabited by kids who don't take kindly to strangers in their territory (troof!). Now, that film's director, Joe Cornish, might be heading off to outer space himself as Paramount is apparently keen on him taking over the third installment of the "Star Trek" series, according to Deadline.
That's a pretty big leap. Cornish has lined up some pretty decent writing gigs since "Attack the Block," including having a hand with Edgar Wright in the "The Adventures of Tintin" screenplay as well as Marvel's "Ant-Man," which Wright is set to direct himself. But Cornish hasn't directed anything since "Attack the Block," and while that film was certainly impressive in its depiction of a hostile alien invasion on a budget of $13 million, to go from that to a huge franchise installment like "Star Trek 3" is quite the beam-up.
A director going from a relatively small, modestly-budgeted film to a huge studio production isn't an uncommon occurrence in Hollywood, though, especially recently. Many filmmakers have been recruited for big budget extravaganzas based at least in part on the merits of their more intimate cinematic efforts. Here are 11 other filmmakers who went from the minor to the major leagues in just a step or two.
1. Andy & Lana Wachowski
First: "Bound" (1996)
Then: "The Matrix" (1999)
The Wachowskis made their feature debut with "Bound," a sexy, ultra-stylish film noir thriller that made indie sex symbols out of Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly. The filmmaking siblings made the movie for only $6 million — and, according to producer Joel Silver, as an 'audition piece' to prove that they knew their way around a movie set, as their only prior industry experience was as screenwriters (for Silver's "Assassins").
The audition was apparently a success, as the Wachowskis were given a $63 million budget — and the director's chair(s) — for "The Matrix," which earned over $463 million worldwide and launched a successful sci-fi franchise for Warner Bros.
2. Colin Trevorrow:
First: "Safety Not Guaranteed" (2012)
Then: "Jurassic World" (2015)
One of our more head-scratching examples has Colin Trevorrow making his feature debut with cute mumblecore indie "Safety Not Guaranteed" (2012) and from there being hired for the new "Jurassic Park" movie, "Jurassic World." What was it about a film in which a hipster magazine reporter (Aubrey Plaza) falls in love with a weirdo who might actually be a time traveler (Mark Duplass) that made Steven Spielberg think, "This is the guy for my next dinosaur stomp"?
However it came to be, Colin Trevorrow is indeed going from the $750,000 "Safety" to the bajillion-dollar "Jurassic World," which will invade theaters in June 2015. Impressive.
3. Marc Webb
First: "(500) Days of Summer" (2009)
Then: "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012)
Another head-scratcher is director Marc Webb going from the cute indie romance "(500) Days of Summer" to Sony's comic book reboot, "The Amazing Spider-Man." Made for only $7.5 million, "(500) Days" was a sleeper hit, scoring over $60 million at the worldwide box office and winning acclaims for the sweet chemistry between stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Somehow, Sony saw Webb as the perfect guy to restart their "Spider-Man" franchise, a project with a $230 million (!) price tag and a lot of "What's the point?" negative buzz, as Sam Raimi's original wallcrawler trilogy had come to a close only a few years earlier.