4 Directorial Collaborations I’d Love To See

Many directors have their own trademark styles, and often when I’m watching a movie I can tell in an instant who directed it based on the visuals and the content of the script. I’m going to get a bit film geeky here and suggest that we might call these directors “auteurs” according to Truffaut’s auteur theory, but that might be going a bit far, since I don’t know if I’d call someone like, say, Zack Snyder an auteur just because I can recognize a Zack Snyder film at a glance. With all these directors, each with their own distinct voice, I sometimes find myself wishing that these cinematic visionaries would team up and combine their styles to create something even more rich in style and flair. Maybe two heads really would be better than one! What follows is a list of four director match-ups that I would love to see make some movies together.

4. Guy Ritchie and Edgar Wright make a London gangster movie with nerds

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Why: Guy Ritchie has made a name for himself as a master of the comedic British crime movie, and he has a fast-paced, frenetic visual style that helps make his movies stand out as more than just quirky comedies about London lowlifes. It took a lot of thinking on my part to find a good partner for Ritchie – I even considered another master of the gangster movie: Martin Scorsese – but I think that Edgar Wright would be a fun choice. Wright has a very unusual and frequently surreal sense of humour, as well as a most impressive knowledge of popular culture. To see these two create a movie together would truly be something to behold.

The Movie: An independently owned comic book shop is in danger of closing its doors and the store’s two most dedicated customers have 24 hours to come up with the money to save it…the nerdy heroes being played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, of course. In order to raise the funds needed to keep the store alive, our heroes have to pull all kinds of favours in the comic book underworld, which is where the Guy Ritchie gangster types come into play. The film would feature appearences by Jason Statham as a hardcore video gamer who never leaves his parents’ basement, and Vinnie Jones as a total badass hitman by day but a collector of anime action figures by night. The quirky story would be accentuated by the clever use of flashy cinematography, well-placed title cards bearing the characters’ names, and at least one Spaced-style imaginary gunfight shot in that rapid-fire Guy Ritchie fashion. The title? Graphic Violence

3. Guillermo Del Toro and David Cronenberg make the most disturbing fleshy-horror sci-fi fantasy film ever

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Why: Up until 2005’s A History of Violence, David Cronenberg was best known for his style of sci-fi horror that some have dubbed “venereal horror” due to its often disturbing sexual imagery. Guillermo Del Toro is known for his wild and dark imagination and his penchant for creating bizarre creatures for his films. After seeing his work on the 2010 Vincenzo Natali film Splice, I have no doubt that Del Toro could easily be the next David Cronenberg if he dedicated himself to it, but I doubt he ever would. Which is why a collaboration between these two has the potential to be one of the most dark, twisted, and disgusting movies the world has ever known. I’d love to see Del Toro’s style of creepy fantasy horror mixed with the squishy freakishness of Cronenberg.

The Movie: A grim retelling of Little Red Riding Hood to wash the taste of the Catherine Hardwicke adaptation from our memories. In the Del Toro/Cronenberg version, Red Riding Hood, a child born without eyes, must pay a visit to her ailing grandmother – sick with a strange disease which causes her sexual appetite to grow a hundred times and occasionally makes her peel off swathes of her own skin – who lives in the middle of a gnarled, rotten and altogether evil forest. Instead of a Big Bad Wolf, the forest is home to a diabolical, antlered, fertility god (played by Doug Jones) who, upon learning Red Riding Hood’s destination, travels to grandma’s house where he ravishes her and SIMULTANEOUSLY devours her, with grannie all the while screaming in crazed ecstasy. Red Riding Hood arrives and senses that something is amiss, but it’s too late! The fertility god promptly swallows her whole, and her screams (and those of her late grandmother, now a zombified corpse in the satyr’s stomach) are heard by a nearby lumberjack. Did I say lumberjack? I mean a hideously deformed, 7-foot tall man-beast with an axe blade growing out of his forearm in place of a hand! Of course, this whole movie would have to be in Spanish. Title: The Crimson Hood

2. Terry Gilliam and Julie Taymor make an incredibly trippy movie whose production goes horribly awry

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Why: This was the pairing that inspired this list. Both Terry Gilliam and Julie Taymor have such interesting visual styles that to see them collaborate on a film would be nothing short of awesome. This would never happen, of course, because I gather that neither Gilliam nor Taymor plays very well with others, and on top of that, whatever movie they did try to make together would fail horrendously. The movie would go one billion dollars over budget, it would be recast and restarted five times, the whole range of biblical plagues would devastate the production, and at least one of the two directors would probably die in the process. That being said, it would be a total spectacle, have more practical special effects than CGI ones, and would ultimately be all style and no substance.

The Movie: An adaptation of the story of Gawain and the Green Knight, but set in a post-apocalyptic future. Gawain, played by Tilda Swinton, is the last of King Arthur’s mecha-knights (Arthur is played by Christopher Plummer). A copper-plated robotic warrior, his armor turned green from age, arrives at Arthur’s hall and challenges Gawain to trade blows. Gawain easily beheads the robot, who calmly reattaches his head and tells Gawain that they must meet again so that the Green Knight can have his turn. The meeting place is to be the lair of the Green Knight, a crumbling cathedral many miles away, so Gawain and his dwarf squire, played by Peter Dinklage, mount upon Gawain’s talking mechanical horse (which has tank treads in place of legs, voiced by Eric Idle) and set out to face their foe. In the film’s final moments, it’s revealed that the robotic Green Knight is being controlled by Warwick Davis. And of course, the movie would be a musical. The title would probably be simply Gawain and the Green Knight, but there’s always the chance that Gilliam would insist on calling it something like The Misadventures of Sir Gawain Across the Landscape of the Future.

1. Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino make a bittersweet comedy with lots of violence

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Why: Both Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are big into nostalgia. Anderson prefers the nostalgia that can be found in classics such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, whereas Tarantino leans towards the grindhouse nostalgia of the 60’s and 70’s, with movies like Switchblade Sisters providing much of his inspiration. Each of these two directors also has a penchant for filling their soundtracks with awesome oldies tunes, and their visual styles are nothing if not easily recognized and incredibly fun to watch. Where they differ is in their choice of subject matter…

The Movie: A dysfunctional family of assassins reunites after the death of their patriarch (Bill Murray) to avenge his demise at the hands of a rival family of killers. The mother of the family’s three children (played by Anjelica Huston), a demolitions-expert-turned-tarot-card-reader long since divorced from their father, has remarried his business partner (played by Samuel L. Jackson) – himself an expert with all bladed weapons. The family’s three kids (played by Owen Wilson, Uma Thurman and Jason Schwartzman) are also weapons specialists, with the eldest (Owen Wilson) being a sniper obsessed with mathematics – specifically trajectories, the middle child and only daughter (Uma Thurman) being a martial artist who is also a part-time beekeeper, and the youngest kid (Schwartzman) a bored and nihilistic marksman who uses his late father’s blowgun and enjoys playing banjo. Together, the three of them vow to kill their father’s murderer (Gene Hackman) and have bloody revenge while also drinking espressos and keeping their shoes clean. Title: The Blood Feud of the Family Ashmore

Special, ultra-uber thanks to Caitlyn Paxson for her help in concocting this list and huge, mega-super thanks to Grant Jeffery for creating the awesome posters!

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