10 Genre Directors Whose Fathers Are Also Genre Directors

10 Genre Directors Whose Fathers Are Also Genre Directors

With Infinity Pool, which just premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Brandon Cronenberg has further established himself as a genre filmmaker to watch. Of course, no matter how successful he becomes, he’ll always have the novelty factor of being David Cronenberg’s son — and as a director who chose a familiar career, he’s not alone.

Here’s a list of genre directors whose fathers (Hollywood being what it is, it’s all fathers; here’s hoping future generations will change that) also left their marks as genre filmmakers, making the creation of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movies a true family affair.

Brandon Cronenberg

Starting with our leading example, the younger Cronenberg has Infinity Pool coming to theatres today after its Sundance debut; his resume of boundary-pushing horror also includes 2020’s Possessor and 2012’s Antiviral. His father, veteran filmmaker David Cronenberg, set the standard for the body-horror genre and has brought us such squishy classics as Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, and last year’s Crimes of the Future, as well as acclaimed dramas like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. He’s also an actor, popping up in places as delightfully unexpected as Jason X and Star Trek: Discovery.

Jennifer Lynch

Image: Orion Classics
Image: Orion Classics

Though her directorial debut, 1993’s truly bizarre Boxing Helena, wasn’t met with critical acclaim, it set “David Lynch’s daughter” on a career path that has included stints on some of TV’s highest-profile genre shows, including Jessica Jones, Teen Wolf, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Wayward Pines, Once Upon a Time, Agents of SHIELD, and last year’s Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. She also authored the 1990 novel The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, an essential companion piece for anyone obsessed with David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks.

Bryce Dallas Howard

We’re still waiting for Lucasfilm to hire Bryce Dallas Howard to direct her own Star Wars movie, but in the meantime, the daughter of Ron Howard (who has directed all manner of films, but for the purposes of this list, his titles include Cocoon, Willow, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Solo: A Star Wars Story), who like her father is also an actor-turned director, has done great work on Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

Lamberto Bava

Being the son of Italian horror master Mario Bava (Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, A Bay of Blood) might be daunting for some, but Lamberto Bava cut his teeth assisting on Mario’s films — as well as films by Dario Argento and Ruggero Deodato — then went on to make his own mark in the horror genre, directing cult classics Demons and Demons 2, among others.

Jason Reitman

Ivan Reitman made Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II; his son, Jason, also became a director, picking up Oscar nominations for Juno and Up in the Air — but was the natural choice to continue the story of the original franchise when it came time to make Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Rob Reiner

The legendary Carl Reiner’s vast career included mostly comedy, of course, but he did give us some sci-fi and fantasy-leaning films under that umbrella, including Oh, God!, The Man With Two Brains, and All of Me. Son Rob, of course, has also made a wide variety of (mostly comedy) films, including classic fairy-tale comedy The Princess Bride — as well as the chilling Stephen King adaptation Misery.

Luke Scott

Luke Scott’s career has dovetailed very closely with that of his father, Ridley Scott — among his credits are a pair of short films tied to Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Blade Runner, as well as episodes of Raised by Wolves.  But he also made a standalone feature in 2016, AI horror thriller Morgan, that puts its own spin on many of the futuristic themes explored in his father’s work.

Goro Miyazaki

It can’t be easy going into the animation biz when your father is Studio Ghibli co-founder and beloved icon Hayao Miyazaku, but Goro Miyazaki — whose films as a director include Tales from Earthsea, From Up on Poppy Hill, and Earwig and the Witch — has carried on the legacy in his own way, even helping design and serving as director for Japan’s Ghibli Museum.

Panos Cosmatos

Panos Cosmatos brought the weirdness that is Beyond the Black Rainbow and Mandy into the world — but he didn’t just spring out of a freaky midnight-movie vacuum. His father was George P. Cosmatos, whose credits spanned the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, and included Sylvester Stallone vehicles Rambo: First Blood Part II and Cobra, underwater horror film Leviathan, and mustache-bedecked Kurt Russell Western Tombstone. (Not all of those are genre films, but they have their place in the cult pantheon just the same.)

John Hyams

Though up until very recently, John Hyams was probably best-known for directing a pair of Universal Soldier sequels, his profile got a huge boost with the much-buzzed-about recent release of Sick, a horror movie co-written by Kevin Williamson (Scream). His father, Peter Hyams, has directed sci-fi and horror films Outland, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Timecop, The Relic, and End of Days, among others; he also gets an extra dose of coolness for having executive-produced The Monster Squad.

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