A Dozen Directors We'd Love To See Handed A Cool Hundred Million

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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We all know the phenomenon: there are movies out there that we'd love to see, but do not get their financing sorted. Some directors are just not lucky enough, some seem to be cursed (cough-Gilliam-cough), but sometimes directors just aren't considered to be "hot" or "marketable" enough to place a big financial risk on. So what I want to explore in this article is the following:

What if some bored billionaire philanthropist just picks up his mobile, calls a director he likes and says:

"I love what you're doing. Here is 100,000,000 USD, no questions asked. Spend it all on your movie. Have fun, no further interference from me, but make it a good one!"

Which directors would I want this to happen to? Well, me of course, if my holiday home-movies count...

But here are a dozen others. Some are experienced, some are as yet unproven, some actually have worked with similar budgets before (but under restraints...), and some probably do not even know what a big pile of money LOOKS like.

Richard Raaphorst

This year we finally got (or, for most people, still get) to see Frankenstein's Army, and while that film sure was entertaining, it hardly scraped the surface of Richard's design prowess. Having seen some of his more elaborate design sketches, I start to salivate when I think what he could do with all possible financial troubles out of the way.

With this kind of budget secured, would Richard Raaphorst join the ranks of great visionary filmmakers, or would he be forgotten with a nasty clunker on his resume? I'd love to find out...

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100 million dollarsAri FolmanCory McAbeeFilip TegstedtJohnnie ToKoike TakeshiMatsumoto HitoshiOshii MamoruPaul VerhoevenRichard RaaphorstRichard StanleyTerry GilliamYuasa Masaaki

Around the Internet

Arthur BondJuly 5, 2013 11:17 AM

Very glad to see Yuasa on this list, but no Jodorowsky? If ever there was a man in need of funding...

MichaelJuly 5, 2013 1:21 PM

No women?

The Seafairy July 5, 2013 1:36 PM

I think Megan Ellison is the closest we're gonna get to that kind of producer. But I delve with your fantasy. Ugh, Ari Folman, be still my heart...

MikeJuly 5, 2013 1:44 PM

Speaking of Cory McAbee, what's going on with Werewolf Hunters of the Midwest?

Niels MatthijsJuly 5, 2013 1:47 PM

Even though Oshii is my favorite director, I'm still convinced he doesn't belong here. With Innocence he already made "the most expensive Japanese animation film of its time", which is pretty much what this article is after. I don't see how the extra bucks would help Oshii out.

My vote goes to Miike. He can make low-budget flicks shine, he can handle bigger budget flicks without too much compromise ... can you image what he'd do with 100mil?

Ard VijnJuly 5, 2013 2:21 PM

No. Not by design or choice, I just didn't take sex into consideration. They weren't excluded from my list, they just didn't turn out to be on it.

Ard VijnJuly 5, 2013 2:23 PM

I've seen Miike do big budget and... well, I like his smaller stuff better. As for Oshii... need I remind you of what your favorite movie of his is, and that it is not an anime? Can you imagine him in that playground with five times the budget he had for AVALON?

Ard VijnJuly 5, 2013 2:24 PM

Yes, no, yes, no... if there ever was a runner-up on this list he'd be it. I just have my doubts that it was money that sunk his vision, and if it was, 100 million wouldn't have been enough.

Ard VijnJuly 5, 2013 2:29 PM

Oh whoops, I wrote "anime film" in the write-up and listed that as a reason. My bad. Still, I could do with another INNOCENCE...

Niels MatthijsJuly 5, 2013 2:48 PM

To be honest, Avalon with 5 times the budget wouldn't be much different I think. Maybe some slicker sfx, but the look is due to Oshii spending months with the coloring machines, tweaking the film.

As for Miike, you specifically said "no interference". I prefer his low-budget flicks too, but even within the constraints of his bigger budget films he still manages to surprise and come out with wacky stuff. Imagine what would happen if those barriers would disappear.

hutchJuly 5, 2013 3:20 PM

What a weird world we live in when everything has to be deomographically equal all the time. What no blacks? What no obese? What no dislexic? what no Lithuanians? Jeez...

Todd BrownJuly 5, 2013 4:14 PM

I can think of a Lithuanian woman who could do some amazing things with a hundred mil ...

hutchJuly 5, 2013 4:32 PM

I'm sure we all do, but that has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. At all.

Todd BrownJuly 5, 2013 4:50 PM
agitatorJuly 5, 2013 7:12 PM


Ard VijnJuly 5, 2013 7:33 PM

Oh man, still have to see that!

Ard VijnJuly 5, 2013 7:35 PM

Nah, he's not really all that interested in film anymore. I'd love him to do a television series with that kind of money though!

NickJuly 5, 2013 8:32 PM

Shane Carruth?

Snoop LionJuly 5, 2013 10:08 PM

I love how that played out. Heh.

Andrew MackJuly 5, 2013 11:12 PM

Yes. You do. It is amazing.

SwedfilmmakerJuly 6, 2013 2:50 AM

if anyone deserve this kind of money and I think he would make a great film for $1000 000 it's Filip Tegstedt! And if you haven't seen his film Marianne yet you should

Filip TegstedtJuly 6, 2013 5:48 AM

Thank you, sir.

Kieran JohnJuly 6, 2013 5:54 AM

Seconded, and if you want to give Marianne a watch then the trailer is here: http://www.mariannemovie.com/ , you can also watch via VOD there too. Well worth the cash.

Bigmaster BJuly 6, 2013 7:25 AM

What about Edmond Pang Ho-cheung? Ever since I saw "Exodus" and its lush but in the same way clinical production (be it story-wise, or in Terms of Art Direction) I'd like to see him doing such a movie on a grander scale (Or "You Shoot, I Shoot").

hutchJuly 6, 2013 7:48 AM

Why? It still has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. And , ahem, I picked Lithuania for a reason. Duh.

hutchJuly 6, 2013 7:53 AM

That would be pretty good if:
a. I didn't already know that.
b.you were actually bustin' my balls on something I was actually talking about. Try again. But it's your website so you can call the score how you see it. I'm still mad that a 3 legged, near sighted, hermaphrodite with green eyes didn't make the list. So short sighted of Ard to ignore that group...

Snoop LionJuly 6, 2013 9:37 AM

It's nothing against what you said, I just liked the exchange, and Todd's punchline. I linked to your comment at the top on Twitter, and I agree. Balance for balance's sake is one of the worst current debates in the industry - and willfully ignores who are attracted to what professions, the real impact of family on career plans, etc. I worked in publicity for a few years and to impose gender balance on that profession would probably make it worse as a whole. Not saying that about directing, but to expect gender balance in a profession that tends to attract certain extreme personality types and workaholics and demands a great deal is willful blindness to reality.

That aside, the exchange above was awesome, regardless of being off topic. Comment threads can be great when they stray. I also didn't know that Lithuanian director (or anything about Lithuanian cinema) so it worked for me. I assumed it was a random example you picked, and that Todd's first reply was also a joke. It's just a bit of harmless fun, no one was criticizing you.

Hubert VigillaJuly 6, 2013 11:11 PM

He could make at least 10 movies with that money no problem.

william chandraJuly 7, 2013 12:18 PM

i have enough of his brain mushing films

ikilledbambiJuly 8, 2013 4:48 PM

Pascal Laugier?

Romeo GarciaApril 15, 2014 11:59 AM

My all time favorites are Paul Verhoeven and Terry Gilliam..... I mean Verhoeven make one of the best movies of Sci-fi of all time (ROBOCOP,TOTAL RECALL,STARSHIP TROOPERS) a great thriller (BASIC INSTINCT) and of course 2 screw up's (SHOWGIRLS,HOLLOW MAN)..but even with the flows his has a great film list,,,,In the other way Giliam makes movies that no one dares to make...I mean too many great movies (BRAZIL,12 MOKEYS,THE FISHER KING,TIME BANDITS)....I just asking myself that was a great comic book movie this great directors can make of the DC or Marvel universe..