Upcoming quirky crime drama Suburbicon, which arrives in Cineworld on 24th November, has a lot of potential given the immense talent behind it.
A pitch-black story of violence and chaos in bland, white picket fence suburbia, it's written by the incredible Joel and Ethan Coen (Raising Arizona, Fargo, No Country for Old Men) and stars Matt Damon (The Martian, Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting) alongside an incredible cast of Julianne Moore (The Big Lebowski and Kingsman: Golden Circle) and Oscar Isaac (The Force Awakens and Inside Llewyn Davis).
Moreover, Suburbicon is directed by Hollywood legend George Clooney in his seventh directorial role. Best known for his acting, we often forget that Clooney has also had a successful directing career (most recently with The Monuments Men) and we’re ready to see him further perfect his craft with Suburbicon.
Clooney isn’t the only actor who put their talents to use behind the camera, however. Here are five more actors who took a shot at directing.
Clint Eastwood: the actor synonymous with Spaghetti Westerns who’s legendary for starring in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy, Dirty Harry and Unforgiven.
With a career dating back to the 1950s, Eastwood is an icon of the silver screen who’ll be forever remembered for his influence on the Western genre. It’s only fitting then that Eastwood would begin his directorial career in the early 70s with a string of movies starting with psychological thriller Play Misty for Me.
It wasn’t until 1992 until Eastwood’s directing talents really shone when he made the four time Oscar-winner Unforgiven. Winning both Best Director and Best Picture, Eastwood transformed the Western genre he was famous for with Unforgiven by subverting various genre tropes by making characters more complex, and having grittier violence throughout.
Eastwood’s directorial career hasn’t slowed down since. With recent hits including American Sniper and Sully: Miracle on the Hudson to add to his ever-growing resume, we look forward to seeing his newest project, The 15:17 to Paris, centering on a terrorist attack on a French train, when it's released on 9th February 2018.
Despite snagging a best supporting actress Oscar for Girl, Interrupted, Jolie didn’t see mainstream fame until the early 2000s when she starred as the titular adventurer in the Tomb Raider films.
Soon after, Jolie became one of Hollywood’s A-list known for her roles in Mr & Mrs Smith, Changeling, Salt and Maleficent. As much as we enjoy watching Jolie act on-screen, a talent for filmmaking like hers deserves to shine behind the camera too.
Making her directorial debut back in 2007, Jolie has since gone on to direct four feature films but is perhaps best known for the WWII bio-pic Unbroken which was nominated for three Oscars. Jolie has continued to hone her craft with her critically acclaimed Netflix Original First They Killed My Father, a biopic of Cambodian activist Loung Ung’s life under the infamous Khmer Rouge regime.
With an already successful acting career, it looks like Jolie may have found her voice as a filmmaker too.
With a successful acting career in theatre, television, and film, Kenneth Branagh is perhaps best known for his Shakspearian work with his powerhouse performance as Iago from the cinematic adaptation of Othello, but he’s also appeared in major Hollywood projects like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Unlike some of the other additions on this list, Branagh took his shot at directing much earlier in his career when he directed Henry V back in 1989 which got him nominated for a Best Actor and Best Director Oscar.
Since then, Branagh has continued to make film adaptations of Shakespeare’s work including Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and As You Like It as well as working on major Hollywood blockbusters, most notably the Asgardian Marvel epic Thor.
Branagh is still celebrated for his acting and directing talents, and we can look forward to seeing both in action when his Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express arrives in Cineworld on 3rd November.
The daughter of Godfather filmmaking legend Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia is best known now for following in her father’s footsteps, but before she got a chance to step behind the camera to direct her breakout film Lost in Translation, she was very much in front of it throughout her childhood.
In fact, Coppola made her first screen appearance in the film that cemented her father’s place in movie history appearing as the christened baby in The Godfather. A young Coppola also cameoed in Godfather Part II and played Mary Corleone in Part III.
During her younger years, Coppola appeared in various other films including Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club and the original Frankenweenie short where she was credited under the name Domino. As talented a director Coppola is, she took her first baby steps (literally) into film acting before switching careers to direct.
This year she directed the remake of aforementioned Clint Eastwood movie The Beguiled, eliciting excellent performances from Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell and Elle Fanning. She was also responsible for Kirsten Dunst-starring historical mashup Marie Antoinette and Emma Watson drama The Bling Ring.
Not all actors turned directors necessarily began their careers in Hollywood. British comedian/writer Richard Ayoade began his career writing for TV sketch show Bruiser before finding fame in the cult TV shows Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd.
Ayoade has since became one of our most beloved comedians and a regular on our television screens on panel shows and even hosting The Crystal Maze. It’s no secret Ayoade’s a massive cinephile, which makes it no surprise that he eventually stepped behind the camera to direct coming-of-age black comedy Submarine and Dostoyevsky satire The Double.
Coming from the mind of Ayoade, both films share his signature dry wit while simultaneously acting as love letters to the French New Wave films that influenced him. Whether he’s in front of or behind the camera, Ayoade is a comic and filmmaking genius and we cannot wait to see what his next project will be.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.