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10 Famous Directors’ Biggest Missteps

We’re approaching the 26th anniversary of the film that George Lucas would love to forget: Howard the Duck. The filmmaker produced the failed Marvel comic adaptation about an alien duck that tries to save humanity and romances Lea Thompson during his quest. Although Willard Huyck directed the flop, it’s every bit Lucas’ movie, released under his production and special effects banners Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. Since the now cult film’s 25th anniversary passed us like a ship in the night last year, fans have been unhappy that no Blu-ray release is in sight. Slashfilm is reporting that Howard groupies and Marvel COO Joe Quesada are rallying for an HD version. You can watch their video plea here.

In the meantime, news about the “worst” movie got us thinking about other filmmakers and their biggest cinematic missteps. Take the good with the bad past the break, and drop your votes in the comments below.

Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes

With his greatest successes behind him — including deeply personal films like Edward Scissorhands — and a few forgettable entries tarnishing his record (something that’s become a trend with the filmmaker), Tim Burton set out to reclaim his throne with a remake of the 1960’s sci-fi opus Planet of the Apes. It felt entirely possible that he would be perfect for the job since Burton was already a master at creating atmospheric worlds full of quirks and memorable characters. While the director’s “damn dirty apes” were one of the highlights of the movie — thanks to Rick Baker’s makeup and actors like Tim Roth behind the prosthetics — Burton’s film also featured dull performances from Mark Wahlberg and seemed to stifle the talents of Helena Bonham Carter. The ill-conceived story felt limited and confused, turning the philosophical landmark tale into a mere action spectacle. The ending is what really hammered the final nail in the coffin, however. When one of your lead actors (Roth) says, “I cannot explain that ending. I have seen it twice, and I don’t understand anything,” that’s probably a bad sign.