Blame Brad Bird for the recent boom in heavyweights from the animation world making the much-deserved leap to directing live-action features for the big screen.
Bird took his considerable talents that made The Incredibles and The Iron Giant classics and applied them to 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The end result, for anyone with two eyes and a heart, was that he raised the bar for the franchise and set the tone for the series’ future. (There would be no Mission: Impossible – Fallout if not for Tom Cruise running around and leaping off the outside of the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol’s signature set piece.)
Since then, Hollywood has recruited other filmmakers from various animation spheres to give them a shot at Ghost Protocol-level success, and a chance to join the ranks of pre-Bird filmmakers who made the transition. Some scored base hits (Travis Knight’s Bumblebee). Others struck out (sorry, not sorry Andrew Stanton’s John Carter).
Here is a ranking of 11 live-action films that tried (or failed) to launch the next stage of their directors’ careers: