Five Notable Directing Siblings Working in Hollywood Today

This post idea actually came about a year ago when I first heard the rumor about Jonathan Nolan collaborating with his brother Christopher on the upcoming Superman reboot. Of course that is not the case, but they are indeed writing the script together for The Dark Knight Rises, which will be their fourth screenwriting collaboration after Memento, The Prestige and The Dark Knight. Well, since I came across the Wachowkis’ Cloud Atlas project I wrote about last week, I figure it’s a good a time as any to finally wrap up this post.

So my pal Ted and I are taking a look at the five major directing siblings who’ve made their mark in Hollywood. Here they are in alphabetical order:

..1. The Coen Brothers

Ruth Joel and Ethan Coen grew up in a Jewish community in St. Louis Park (which is the first suburban area I lived in when I first moved to the Twin Cities). I also just learned that their mother, Rena, was an art historian at St. Cloud State University (my alma mater). Known for their dark comedy, I recognize that they’re one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood today, but I have to say their movies are not exactly my cup of tea. I quite like Fargo but I’m not in love with it as a lot of people are, and I can count how many movies of theirs I’ve seen with one hand. I did like True Grit a lot however, even though I’m not into Westerns at all. In fact, it’s one of my top 5 best movies pick of last year.

Ted These guys are two of my favorite directors working in Hollywood today and I pretty much enjoyed most if not all of their films. My favorite movies: Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing, No Country For Old Men, Fargo, True Grit, The Hudsucker Proxy and The Big Lebowski.

What are they up to now?
They’re currently filming Gambit, a crime comedy (their specialty) starring Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman and Colin Firth.

..2. The Farrelly Brothers

– Peter and Bobby Farrelly are originally from Cumberland, Rhode Island and often film their movies in the New England area. They’re sports enthusiasts who often cast sports stars in cameo roles in their movies. According to this Tribute bio page, they scored their first credit with two episodes of the award-winning series Seinfeld which led to them getting the green light to do Dumb and Dumber in 1994. Their brand of humor is irreverent, politically incorrect and often use slapstick, gross bathroom jokes in their movies. Two of their movies, Something About Mary & Dumb and Dumber are my guilty pleasures… somehow I can’t turn away every time I see these movies playing on TV.

Ted – Throughout the 1990s these guys were the go to directors for grossed out comedies but their last few films were box office busts. Jim Carrey mentioned that they might do a sequel to Dumb and Dumber, so maybe that could be their comeback. Favorite movies: Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin and Me, Myself and Irene.

What are they up to now?
They’ve recently wrapped Movie 43, a feature-film comprised of short comedy segments, here’s the cast so far: Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Sean William Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Emma Stone, Matt Walsh, Patrick Warburton, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet (read more about it in this post). They’re also producing The Three Stooges remake that’s currently filming.

..3. The Hughes Brothers

– Albert and Allen Hughes are twin brothers from Detroit of African American and Iranian Armenian descent. I’m not very familiar with their work as their movies are extremely violent. I just saw The Book of Eli recently which I thought was quite good, but because of the amount of violence, I don’t think I want to see that again. I’m curious to see From Hell which is based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel Jack the Ripper. I like period movies and the story is set in Victorian era, plus there’s Johnny Depp as the lead. But Ted gave me this warning,”From Hell is quite violent just like all of The Hughes Brothers’ films, in fact I think The Book of Eli was their tamest work. The violence in Menace to Society, Dead Presidents and From Hell were so realistic that it probably made some people sick.” Yikes!

Ted – These bros. have only done four films together but all of their films were quite good. Back in the late 1990s they were offer a chance to direct both Superman and Planet of the Apes reboot. The studio executives didn‘t like their pitch so they moved on to other projects. Menace to SocietyIf you‘ve never seen it give it a rent, it‘s way better than the overrated Boys‘ n the Hood. Dead Presidents  was about the effect of the Vietnam war has on war veterans except it’s from the perspective of African Americans. It’s a great film and I think it’s one of the most underrated films from the 1990s. Give it a rent if you’ve never seen it. Just a warning though, it’s quite violent and it doesn’t have a happy ending at all. Same with Menace to Society.

What are they up to now?
The last year or so they’ve been developing a film version of a cult Japanese animated film Akira but last we heard they left that project. [Added 6/27 – earlier today SlashFilm reported that Allen Hughes is developing a noir film called Broken City with Mark Wahlberg.]

..4. The Scott Brothers

– Ridley and Tony Scott are the directing brothers I’m most familiar with and have seen a lot of their movies. The English film directors are seven years apart in age, raised in an Army family and both attended the Royal College of Art. In 1968, Ridley and Tony Scott founded Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), a film and commercial production company, and you could say they’re two of the most prominent British directors working today.

I like Sir Ridley‘s work much more than his younger brother Tony’s though, as Gladiator is one of my favorite movies of all time and Blade Runner is one of my favorite sci-fis. I’ve dedicated a post for Ridley’s ultra-prolific work, at 74 years old he hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. Out of Tony Scott‘s work, my favorite is Spy Game (Honorable mention: Top Gun as it was the coolest thing when I saw it back in high school!)

Ted – These two bros. have never co-directed a film but they’ve produced a lot of films together. I think most people will agree with me that Ridley Scott is the more talented one. Below are my favorite films from each brother:

Ridley Scott: Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Rain, Black Hawk Down and American Gangster. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t include Alien right? Well to be honest with you, I didn’t like that film at all, I thought it was well made but I just didn’t find it to be scary or thrilling. Just my opinion of course.

Tony Scott: Enemy of the State, True Romance, Revenge and The Last Boy Scout. Tony Scott‘s last few films were pretty awful in my opinion.

What are they up to now?
Ridley Scott is currently filming Prometheus, an alien sci-fi thriller starring Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Charlize Theron.

Tony Scott He was set to develop Emma’s War, about an expatriate British foreign aid worker in Sudan who married guerrilla leader Riek Machar, but according to Wiki, the family objected to a film based on the book so the project is delayed. He’s now set to direct Top Gun 2, but no news yet whether Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Maverick.

..5. The Wachowskis [formerly Wachowski Brothers]

Born in Chicago as Laurence (Larry) and Andy Wachowski, Larry had a sex change a few years ago and changed his name to Lana. So now the duo is known as The Wachowskis. I admire two of their work: The Matrix (read my review), easily one of the best and most innovative sci-fi thrillers out there, and V for Vendetta, mainly for Hugo Weaving’s charismatic performance.

Ted –  The last film I saw from these two was The Matrix Revolutions and I want to imagine that the film never existed, in fact I’d like to think the two sequels to the original Matrix never existed. I might give Speed Racer a rent someday. My favorite movies from the Wachowskis: Bound and The Matrix

What are they up to now?
They’re currently developing Cloud Atlas as I’ve talked about last week.


Brothers Strause
Greg and Colin Strause are the Illinois-born directors who got their start in directing music video/commercials. Their recent feature films are AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem and Skyline. Reportedly, they’re currently developing another sci-fi fantasy action, War of the Ages.

Sources: IMDb and Wikipedia

Any thoughts on any of these directing duos? Please share your favorite movie(s) from these directing siblings or let us know which ones we’re missing.