Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

10 Directors Who Went from Indie Film to Studio Blockbuster (Part 2)

By Ziyad Saadi | Indiewire March 26, 2014 at 10:51AM

Yesterday we published our first of three lists that take a look at directors with big films coming out this year who've managed to make the difficult leap from independent cinema to studio filmmaking. The second list below features prime examples of this transition, which include some lesser-known filmmakers who are still emerging and some well-known directors that one would never guess started out in the indie film world.
3
Robert Rodriguez on the set of "Sin City" with Jessica Alba
Robert Rodriguez on the set of "Sin City" with Jessica Alba

Yesterday we published our first of three lists that take a look at directors with big films coming out this year who've managed to make the difficult leap from independent cinema to studio filmmaking. The second list below features prime examples of this transition, which include some lesser-known filmmakers who are still emerging and some well-known directors that one would never guess started out in the indie film world.

Much like in the first list, ethnic diversity is quite limited and there still remains a complete lack of female directors. Check out the second of three lists below:

Director: Doug Liman
Studio Project Coming Out in 2014: "Edge of Tomorrow" (Release Date: June 6)
Indie Background: "Swingers"
About The Director: There's no doubt that big-budget studio film "The Hangover" owes some credit to "Swingers," the film that gave Vince Vaughn his breakout role and practically invented the modern-day Vegas buddy comedy. "Swingers" was so low-budget that director Doug Liman was rumored to have filmed the driving sequences without a permit with the intention of claiming his camera was off in case of police intervention. But whatever tactics he employed, it has clearly paid off tremendously, leading Liman to direct A-list celebrities in movies like "The Bourne Identity," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and the upcoming "Edge of Tomorrow," an apocalyptic thriller starring Tom Cruise.

Director: Tim Story
Studio Project Coming Out in 2014: "Think Like a Man Too" (Release Date: June 20)
Indie Background: "The Firing Squad," "One of Us Tripped"

About the Director: The existence of the sequel "Think Like a Man Too" should be a clear indication of Tim Story's financial viability in the film world. And though his two first indie features "The Firing Squad" and "One of Us Tripped" flew somewhat under the radar, they were enough for the director to find his niche audience in African-American moviegoers that would help make his next film "Barbershop" a commercial success. He's since directed the superhero flick "Fantastic Four," the highest budgeted of all his previous films, but has quickly returned to his roots with "Think Like a Man" and the recently released "Ride Along," which has just announced an upcoming sequel.

Doug Liman: "This is what I've been trying to do my whole career"
Doug Liman in Cannes.

Director: James DeMonaco
Studio Project Coming Out in 2014: "The Purge 2: Anarchy" (Release Date: June 20)
Indie Background: "Little New York"
About the Director: Writer/director James DeMonaco's sequel to the fear-inducing "The Purge" is another example of a studio betting on a formula that works. And though "The Purge" movies gave DeMonaco his firm place in the studio movie world, it was his debut feature film "Little New York," about three New Yorkers struggling to get ahead, that got his foot in the door. Ethan Hawke, who starred in "Little New York," proved to be commercially viable as well, having worked again alongside DeMonaco on the first "Purge" movie.

Director: Matt Reeves
Studio Project Coming Out in 2014: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (Release Date: July 11)
Indie Background: "Future Shock"
About the Director: Matt Reeves' first turn as director was in "Future Shock," an indie horror film in which he directed one segment of a three-part story. Since then, Reeves has moved up the ranks and taken on sole directing duties, having worked primarily as a television director (on shows like "Felicity" and "Homicide: Life on the Street") before moving on to well-known horror flicks "Cloverfield" and "Let Me In." Now he's bringing the latest addition in the "Planet of the Apes" series and is already attached to direct the next one. 

Directors: Andy and Lana Wachowski
Studio Project Coming Out in 2014: "Jupiter Ascending" (Release Date: July 18)
Indie Background: "Bound"
About the Directors: The Wachowski Siblings are best known for the classic science-fiction "Matrix" trilogy that broke new ground in terms of both storytelling and visual effects. Though the latter two were critically panned, there's no doubt the directing duo knows how to reel in an audience. Coming out later this year, they've got "Jupiter Ascending," a science-fiction adventure film about a woman being hunted down by the Queen of the Universe, which veers quite far from their debut feature "Bound," an independent film starring Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon as lesbian lovers trying to steal money from the mafia.

This article is related to: Directors, Independent Cinema, Lists, Robert Rodriguez, James Gunn, Lasse Hallström, Matt Reeves, Doug Liman, The Wachowskis, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More