When a director finds fortune and success in a particular genre, it may be tempting for them to continue producing content for that audience. Or if they’ve had several successes in that genre, others might believe that is all they are capable of. Certainly, there are many directors who work on the same kind of  projects year after year and are well known for their genre work. However, there are other directors that refuse to stick with what they’re known for, jumping from dramas to comedies, from thrillers to kids’ movies. Below are a few famous examples of those directors whose variety of IMDB credentials just might surprise you.

 

Robert Rodriguez

As a director of gritty actions films such as Sin CityMachete, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Rodriguez has directed many a scene involving gunfire and gore. However, he is also responsible for the 2005 children’s film, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3-D, and the Spy Kids series.

Machete (2010)

Spy Kids (2001)

 

Tim Burton

Though all of Tim Burton’s films have a slightly dark and sometimes creepy feel to them, the age of his target audience and tone he works with has differed over the years. Some of his projects include the cult classics of Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, the gory musical of Sweeney Todd: The Barber of Fleet Street, and the lighter, more child-friendly fare of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice and Wonderland.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

 

Steven Spielberg

Though he is known for blockbuster films such as Raiders of the Lost ArkE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park, Spielburg has also directed several somber, historical and serious works, such as The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, and War Horse.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Schindler’s List (1993)

 

Terry Gilliam

Co-director of the comedic hit, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Gilliam’s works post-Grail have ranged from the dark comedy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to the strange and disturbing fantasy drama of Tideland and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Tideland (2005)

 

George Miller

Responsible for the car-crash, explosion-filled, deadly, Mad Max series, Miller has also taken on some family friendly work with the Babe sequel, Babe: Pig in the City, and both Happy Feet films.

Mad Max (1979)

Happy Feet (2006)

 

Ron Howard

Howard’s work has a range from the mild comedy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Parenthood, the movie that launched the NBC TV series, to works of drama such as A Beautiful Mind and Rush, to even thrillers such as The Da Vinci Code.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

 

Kenneth Branagh

Though one might think of him as an actor first, Branagh has directed several films. Some of them have been adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, such as Hamlet or Much Ado About Nothing, yet his more recent directorial work has leaned towards action-filled blockbusters such as Thor and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, or sweet fairy tales like Cinderella.

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Cinderella (2015)

.