Raiders of the Lost Art: Nerd Directors Who Truly Have Lost Their Way

There was a time on this lovely Earth of ours when the best directors were nerd directors. Guys like Spielberg and Lucas and Zemeckis who owned the cinema. The kind of talent that, whenever you heard a movie mentioned that was directed by these guys, you wanted in, no questions asked.  But something happens to nerds after they get really rich and really famous. Believe it or not, they lose what made them so spectacular in the first place. They seem to lose their nerd edge. I can’t tell you why it happens, but after reading this list I know you will understand this is very much a real problem, and only getting worse.

Take a look at our first director, for example…..

Zack Snyder


First thing this guy ever gave us was a perfect remake of the zombie movie Dawn of the Dead. Every aspect of that movie was a win, and it was clear the guy was special. Next up, we get Watchmen and 300, further proving the man had love for the genre and for adapting it in a way that truly paid homage to source material.

Then, well, he began to slip. Many hated Sucker Punch (though it is wickedly misunderstood) and from there Man of Steel and now Dawn of Justice are just SO FAR from their source material it is like the man is TRYING to piss off geeks. What happened, Zack? Wanna talk about it?

Steven Spielberg


Genius. From Close Encounters to E.T to Poltergeist, this man could not fail. But then Indiana Jones 4 happened, and everyone kind of sat up and said SHIT out loud at the same time. While it could be said that Tin-Tin showed us he still has it, so few of you saw it to confirm that. And from where we are standing, it looks like Spielberg lost a lot of what made his work magic in the first place. Or maybe he gave it to J.J Abrams?

BUT, with BFG coming this year, the man may just have a chance to redeem himself. Fingers crossed. Does look fantastic, so well will stay on this.

George Lucas


I know, I know, this is like kicking a dead horse. What can be said about George Lucas online that some geek hasn’t already said about him and his tacky fall-from-grace? He was a man who helped birth the very idea of nerd directors, and in the end, he turned on the very people who made him what he was.

Sad to say the best Star Wars movie we have ever gotten had nothing to do with Lucas, but regarding The Force Awakens, it is very much true. That was someone else fixing his series that HE screwed up. Mull that over. He is not only no longer a director at all, but pretty much despises the very nerds who made him what he was.

For shame George. Maybe that is why fate made you look a lot like Jabba the Hut in the end, with your nine chins.

M. Night. Shamallamadingdong


Yes, the Visit from last year was the BEST movie M. Night had made in years, and did hint that the man may have some more magic up his sleeve, but think of where he started to where he is now, and all in between. Unbreakable, it could be argued, was setting up the best non-famous superhero movie trilogy ever, and he backed out because people didn’t like the first one. Fail.

Then, he goes from geek lover (alien movies, ghost movies, fairy tales) to, um, The Last Airbender. He took what was a great anime series and turned it into a shit movie, and to what end?

Granted, I am still holding out hope for this dude and know he has a lot of talent, but his nerd cred has dropped to almost zero over the last decade.

Robert Zemeckis


A great director who just seemed to altogether give up on nerds, once this was the MAN to go to for nerd flicks. From  the Back to the Future movies to Roger Rabbit, Zemeckis always nailed his nerd properties perfectly, with a fine balance between drama and pacing and tone. And last year he gave us The Walk. A movie about a documentary everyone already saw. Yes, the 3D scenes when dude walked between the two towers were nauseatingly cool, it just isn’t the same Zemeckis we all grew up with.

While it could be said that maybe these directors mature past the urge to make nerd movies, regardless, these were the kings and it has been very disheartening to see them slowly walk away from the genre that made their work so good in the first place. Thank god we still have Abrams! Please don’t ever leave us, Abrams.

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