Category Archives: WTHH Director

What the Hell Happened to Joe Dante?


Joe Dante

Joe Dante worked his way from cartoonist, to production assistant, to editor, all the way to director in his own right. His fondness for the old-school and homages to bygone eras of filmmaking inform most of his work, of which there is quite alot. Over his career, he has shifted gears without a hitch from adult-oriented work to become a name synonymous with clever family fun. Those flowers have wilted however, as he now finds himself increasingly involved in TV direction and non-theatrical films.

What the hell happened?

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What the Hell Happened to Cameron Crowe?


Cameron Crowe

Cameron Crowe

Cameron Crowe started writing for Rolling Stone magazine at age 15. At 24 he went back to high school undercover and wrote a book about teen mores in the early 80s. He then adapted that book into a script for a high school comedy that helped define the genre. From there it was a short step to directing.   Crowe went on to write and direct a series of character-driven films that were popular with critics and audiences.  Then he began to fall off. His most recent film was one of the year’s biggest flops and was widely derided for a crucial piece of miscasting.

What the hell happened?

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What the Hell Happened to Ivan Reitman?


Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman began humbly, from the very earliest outset. His refugee family moved to Canada, which is where he received a degree in music. Having been introduced to filmmaking in college, he moved to Hollywood, comfortably moving into the director’s chair, where he fairly quickly rose to direct the top comedies being released. He was on top of the comedic world, working with Hollywood’s biggest stars churning out hits one after the other. Very gradually, his career tapered off. Although he still directs, Reitman has now seen his movies dumped into the bleak valleys of the early winter. We must ask:

What the hell happened?

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What the Hell Happened to John McTiernan?


John_McTiernan

John McTiernan

John McTiernan was a Julliard graduate who became one of the biggest directors of the later 80’s and early 90’s.  His directing career got off to a quick start.  Within a few films, he was directing the biggest movie star in the world and reinventing genres altogether.  He directed the movies that made Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis into viable action stars.  But soon after, the hits stopped coming.  But McTiernan’s troubles didn’t end with his career cooling off.  The former A-list director spent 328 days in prison!

What the hell happened?

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What the Hell Happened to Emilio Estevez?


Emilio Estevez 2014

Emilio Estevez

Emilio Estevez comes from Hollywood royalty.  His dad is actor Martin Sheen.  His brother is Charlie Sheen.  As a child, his best friends were the Penns (Sean and Chris) and the Lowes (Rob and Chad).  Estevez grew up immersed in show biz.  In the early 80’s Estevez became the de facto leader of the actors of his generation.  Collectively, they were known as the Brat Pack and for a short time, they reigned supreme.  As the decade ended, there was a backlash against the Pack.  Among his colleagues, Estevez held up better than others.  But these days, Estevez is rarely heard from.

What the hell happened?

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What The Hell Happened To Sylvester Stallone?


Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone

After knocking around Hollywood for a few years, Sylvester Stallone broke through in 1976 with one of the most beloved movies of the era. It went on to win some awards and make its title character an icon. Six years later, he would move into the role of another iconic character. Stallone rode both these characters to much box office success throughout the 80s. But when he tried to move beyond those franchises the results were either disastrous or ignored. At one point, he was on the verge of being exiled to direct to video territory and the only thing that saved him was to first bring back the two franchises for one more round, then start a whole new one.

What the hell happened to Sylvester Stallone?

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What The Hell Happened To M Night Shyamalan?


m-night-shyamalan-picture-2

He came on the scene from seemingly out of nowhere in the cinematic banner year that was 1999. The film that put him on the map became a cinematic event and received a Best Picture nomination. He was being regarded as “the next Spielberg”.

Last year he released a big-budget summer sci-fi movie. Upon release, the studio tried to hide his name in the promotional materials fearing it would be box office poison.

What the hell happened to M. Night Shyamalan?

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What The Hell Happened To John Singleton?


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He debuted in 1991 with one of the films that defined an era. His follow ups were not quite on the same level. But they were ambitious and showed that the talent was still there. Then he took to making films targeted at the popcorn crowd that seemed anonymous and lacked the depth and personality of his earlier films. Today, he’s more or less a director-for-hire making films in the Fast And The Furious series and Taylor Lautner movies.

What the hell happened to John Singleton?

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What the Hell Happened to Mel Gibson?


Mel Gibson

For a long time, I debated whether or not to write-up Mel Gibson.  On the one hand, the answer to the question “what the hell happened” is known by all.  Gibson’s personal life and bad behavior exploded very publicly.  I’m not sure if any celebrity has ever had such a public melt-down.

It’s easy to forget now, but not all that long ago Gibson was one of the undisputed kings of Hollywood.  He was so popular and so beloved that he could do no wrong.  Even if he made a cinematic turkey, his legion of fans practically guaranteed a hit.  And while the hits rolled in, his eccentric behavior was portrayed as charming in the media.

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What the Hell Happened to Kevin Costner?


costner 2013

In the early 90’s, he was arguably the biggest star in Hollywood.  His films were hits.  His directorial debut swept the Oscars.  Kevin Costner was at the top of the A-list.  Twenty years later, his films go direct to video and he’s been reduced to playing Pa Kent in the new Superman movie.

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