Many filmmakers have likened the ending of a film to the accomplishment of a miracle. The desire to realize the common vision somehow drives the film’s actors and crew to not only do the best individual work, but also to bring out the best possible performance from each other. No relationship exemplifies the importance of this dynamic like the bond between the most effective actor-director duo.
From Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks to Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson, directors and actors who work well together tend to do a lot. They hone their communication styles and understanding of each other’s artistic creations and apply this knowledge repeatedly as their films improve over time (you know, in theory). That’s what makes Leonardo DiCaprio’s return to Martin Scorsese’s filmography so exciting in this year’s Killers of the Flower Moon, his first Scorsese film in 10 years.
In 2023, the crew of “Gangs of New York” will be among a laundry list of film crews to unveil new projects: many of them with the most exciting premises of the year. Joaquin Phoenix will also star in Ari Aster’s third horror film, Beau Is Afraid, and in Ridley Scott’s biopic Napoleon. Adam Driver is just as busy: Michael Mann’s Enzo Ferrari biopic and the directorial debut of Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ co-writers A Quiet Place.
“Crazy Rich Asians” screenwriter Adele Lim is making her untitled comedy debut with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star Stephanie Hsu. Greta Gerwig and “Barbie” producer/star Margot Robbie will soon bring Mattel’s toy icon — and those fabulous roller skate outfits — to theaters. Additionally, Michael B. Jordan directs himself in “Creed III,” his directorial debut and second sequel to the “Rocky” spinoff franchise.
When IndieWire’s Samantha Bergeson picked the actor-director pairings to watch out for in 2022, she picked some baddies. There’s a good kind: see Baz Luhrmann, Austin Butler and Oscar-nominated ‘Elvis’. But also the other kind: see Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh and the disastrous Don’t Worry Darling. For better or for worse, these are the actor-director duos under the most pressure this year.