5 times a change of director made a movie series better (& 5 times it made it worse)

Some movie franchises pride themselves on sticking to one director for the entire franchise. For example, Steven Spielberg directs each entry in the Indiana Jones franchise or (to a much lesser extent, obviously) Brett Ratner directing each Peak hour movie. However, sometimes movie franchises choose to shake things up a bit.

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This often leads movie franchises to take a whole new direction behind the camera. Granted, this tends to lead to varying results. Sometimes a new director can put the franchise in a worse place than where it started, but other times the new director comes up with one of the best movies in the series.


ten Better: Alfonso Cuarón’s Harry Potter 3 is often considered the best in the franchise

Chris Columbus directed the first two films of the Harry potter franchise but chose to simply produce the third film instead of going behind the camera because, in his words in a BBC interview, “physically I had put everything, blood, sweat and tears in Chamber of Secrets. I hadn’t seen my own kids at dinner in the week for about two and a half years … I have to give them some time now. “

Future Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón stepped in for the third participation and, really, it worked out for the best to the point that many still consider The prisoner of Azkaban as the best movie in the franchise to date.

9 Worse: Mike Newell’s Harry Potter 4 is ill-suited

Voldemort-Harry-Potter-Goblet of Fire

As Chris Columbus did the first two Harry potter films while David Yates directed the last four, the third and fourth films respectively were the only ones that did not have director feedback for at least one sequel. The prisoner of Azkaban has a reputation for being among the best that franchising has to offer, while The Goblet of Fire- directed by Mike Newell – is among the worst.

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While not the worst movie in the franchise, it receives the most reviews, especially from fans of the book who say it mis-adapted some key moments. The most infamous being when Dumbledore discovers Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire. In the book, Dumbledore calmly approaches Harry, while in the film he is much more angry and erratic.

8 Better: Rogue Nation gave Mission Impossible its first rehearsal director to Christopher McQuarrie

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

The longest, Impossible mission used to introduce a new director for every entry in the franchise, to help freshen up the tone of every movie. Brian De Palma took care of the first, John Woo came in the second, JJ Abrams had the third, Brad Bird the fourth and surprisingly Christopher McQuarrie had the fifth and sixth.

McQuarrie is still the only director to direct multiple Impossible mission movies and both are also top rated in the franchise according to Rotten tomatoes– with the fifth, Rogue nation, which currently claims the top spot.

7 Worse: John Woo got in the way of Mission Impossible II

Mission Impossible 2 Moto Joust

Meanwhile, John Woo has the distinction of giving the Impossible mission franchise the dreaded sophomore crisis. Fans tend to unanimously rate the second entry as the worst in the franchise. It’s a shame as the film came with huge expectations, both as a follow-up to a surprise hit as well as Woo’s next film following his critically acclaimed Face / Off.

Sadly, it seems the film suffered the most from a film dominated by a director’s vision, which included a bland, stereotypical action plot made all the more excruciating when poorly executed – and laughably exaggerated. , even for an action flick from the early 2000s standards – by the director. And yes, there were some inexplicable slow-motion birds, of course.

6 Better: the Russo Brothers made the best of the Avengers and Captain America movies

thanos avemgers mcu

The Russo Brothers moving from TV comedy to action cinema on the big screen had to be considered a big risk at the time, just as it would seem risky for any director to take over. The Avengers franchise after Joss Whedon delivered two blockbuster films.

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Joseph and Anthony Russo exceeded expectations when they led the last two Captain America films then surpassed even more by making two multibillion dollar behemoths in Avengers: Infinity War and End of Game. These movies weren’t just praised better than Whedon’s Avengers movies, but have also been rated some of the best the MCU has to offer.

5 Worse: Joel Schumacher killed the Batman franchise

With all due respect to the dead, Joel Schumacher has often been credited with killing off the Batman franchise during its rebirth period of the late ’80s to early’ 90s on the big screen. When Tim Burton was politely asked to step down from the franchise once Batman Returns was essentially deemed too dark to sell as Happy Meals toys, Joel Schumacher stepped up.

To his credit, Batman forever is not that bad. Idiot? Yes. Child friendly? Yes. But not necessarily Wrong, especially when he engaged on a tone and executed it well. Fans took offense when Batman and robin happened, which was such a critical and box office bomb that it put the series on hiatus until Christopher Nolan arrived in 2005.

4 Better: Shane Black provides the perfect mix for Iron Man

Tony about to jump into another costume in Iron Man 3.

While no one is going to deny that Jon Favreau did a great job directing the first entry into both the Iron Man MCU trilogy and franchise, Iron man 2 leaves something to be desired, and it is not entirely his fault. It has been well documented that the creative differences between Favreau and the studio ultimately led to a lackluster effort.

However, when he was replaced by Shane Black for the epic trilogy finale, it looks like this movie is the perfect mix between letting a director be creative and giving the studio – as well as the fans – what they want. . Unless what they wanted was Mandarin, then no one is happy.

3 Worse: it’s all downhill from Brett Ratner’s X3

The first one X Men The film was credited with helping spark the superhero movie craze of the early 2000s, while X2: X-Men United was quickly hailed as the best of its kind back in the days when the genre still felt like a new niche among comic book fans. Both films were directed by Bryan Singer, but for the third he was replaced by Brett Ratner.

Ratner X3 received mixed reviews on release and hasn’t aged very well since. He was immediately followed by X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was received even worse. It’s like everything in the franchise crumbles as soon as Ratner takes over.

2 Better: James Mangold saved Wolverine

X-Men Logan Wolverine reads the X-Men comic

If you say that Brett Ratner ruined the X Men franchise is overkill, so one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that X3 to follow, X-Men Origins: Wolverine almost completely tarnished the on-screen legacy of the main character.

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However, the sequel to this film, The glutton, was an improvement in the right direction when director James Mangold took over. The glutton was applauded so well that Mangold was allowed to receive the keys from another X Men movie, Logan, which doubles as a great superhero flick and a great sendoff to the character of Hugh Jackman as he exists on screen.

1 Worse: Richard Donner’s exit did Superman more harm than good

Superman fighting, Clark Kent, in a junkyard full of old cars

Richard Donner technically directed the first two films of the original Superman movie franchise. As tensions mounted between the producers and Donner over the second film over creative differences, he was kicked out of the set of Superman ii and replaced by Richard Lester. Most fans tend to agree that regardless of the merit Superman ii a comes from Richard Donner’s fingerprints, a theory confirmed by the release of The Richard Donner Cut.

The idea is further confirmed by the reaction to Superman iii, which has Richard Lester’s fingerprints entirely and received bad reviews once released in theaters. And the least said about Superman iv, the best…

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Andrea G. Henderson