2. Joe Johnston
Jurassic Park III
Making his start as a part of George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic and making a name for himself alongside Steven Spielberg on Raiders of the Lost Ark (among others), Joe Johnston transitioned from special effects to the director’s chair with the 1989 family classic Honey, I Shrunk the Kids before putting together a career of audience-pleasing star vehicles like Jumanji (1995) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
While The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was a serious dud for Johnston in 2018, and The Wolfman in 2010 can be picked out as being another example of less-than-stellar filmmaking, cult classic The Rocketeer and critically beloved drama October Sky more than balance the books. Not bad for a filmmaker who has been directing features for over thirty years.
Like his mentor Steven Spielberg, Joe Johnston excels in stories of family, his special effects knowledge undoubtedly making him an ideal candidate to direct a Jurassic movie. It’s a shame that his film, Jurassic Park III, is arguably the franchise’s worst, but any filmmaker who can boast the likes of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Jumanji, October Sky and Captain America amongst their achievements ought to be given the respect they’re due.
1. Steven Spielberg
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg is one of the most prominent and well-respected directors in Hollywood history. His output, which has spanned across six decades, has provided bits of everything for everyone, from genre fare to audience pleasers to award winners.
Of all the directors on this list, Spielberg is the only one to have won Oscars for his directorial work (Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), and his mainstream success with the likes of Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones franchise, and of course Jurassic Park, is perhaps incomparable in terms of prolonged popularity and relevance.
Steven Spielberg is so highly respected and so beloved that, even within the Jurassic franchise itself, he has acted as a mentor to both Joe Johnston (who used to act as director of special effects on Spielberg’s early-career efforts) and Colin Trevorrow (who reportedly leant on Spielberg for advice during the filming of Jurassic World).
With thirty-two feature films released under the tag “Directed by Steven Spielberg” and many more released under his production banners, there aren’t many filmmakers who can compare to this contemporary-era great. Steven Spielberg is the best Jurassic director in the franchise.
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Which Jurassic filmmaker do you most enjoy? Which filmmaker would you like to see make a Jurassic movie in the future? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow @thefilmagazine on Facebook and Twitter to never miss another insightful movie list.