From the Wachowskis to the Coen Brothers, discover these famous directorial duos who have separated over time.
The Tragedy of Macbeth, which arrived today on AppleTV+, marks the second time a Joel Coen-directed film hasn’t been directed by his brother Ethan as well. The Coen brothers have been among the major American filmmakers since their first feature film in the early 80s. Their films tinged with dark humor have marked a generation of spectators and their offbeat view of the world has brought to the cinema some of its greatest films. . Their separation could augur the end of an era.
Because if Ethan decided to no longer collaborate with his brother, it is not because of any anger, but rather because he expressed the wish not to make any more films for the moment and to work more on plays. That’s why this Macbeth has only one of the brothers in its credits.
This is not the first time that Joel has been the only director of a feature film written by the siblings, since the production of The Barber: The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) had already been secured only by Joel. To be complete, Joel Coen had signed in 1980 a short film without his brother entitled Soundingsthe story of a woman sleeping with her deaf boyfriend while in the next room, the boyfriend’s best friend listens to everything.
Bobby and Peter Farrelly have made a name for themselves with successful comedies that don’t hesitate to pour into the schoolboy such as Dumb and Dumber, Mary at all costs or Fous d’Irene, and continue to work together. However, they stopped their systematic collaboration since 2018. That year released Green Book: on the roads of the south, which Peter Farrelly signed alone and which earned him two Oscars, Best Film and Best Original Screenplay.
At this time, Bobby leaves to shoot a few episodes of Trailer Park Boys, a Canadian mockumentary series. And if the two brothers have since found each other, the separation seems to continue since each has a finished project: for Peter, it is The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a drama set during the Vietnam War and Bobby remains faithful to the comedy with Champions, which tackles the Olympiads for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
After signing two music videos for rapper 2Pac, Allen and Albert Hughes sign their first feature film, which became cult for a generation: Menace II Society (1993), followed by Sacrificed Generation (1995). Until 2010, the two twin brothers worked together, until Allen left to shoot Broken City alone with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, then the series The Defiant Ones.
Albert waits a bit before also taking the plunge with the prehistoric family film Alpha. From now on, everyone follows their own projects and the two twin brothers have never worked together again.
Lana and Lilly Wachowski have worked together since their early days as writers on Assassins. They then shot Bound (1996) then Matrix (1999) and its two sequels. It is always as a duo that they will sign, with more or less success, Speed Racer then Cloud Atlas, Jupiter: the destiny of the universe and the Netflix series Sense8.
However, already during Sense8, Lilly Wachowski steps away from filming Season 2 and no longer works on the show at all, losing her status as a producer on the show. At the time, the team of the series justifies this departure by the need for the director to take time for herself. Meanwhile, Lana Wachowski is relaunching the Matrix saga with a fourth installment, but still without her sister.
For her part, Lilly has returned to work and tackled the series Work in Progress, the story of a 45-year-old woman who identifies as “fat and queer”, whose misfortune and despair will lead her to a relationship that will transform her. Will we one day find the Wachowski duo reunited in the same credits? Nothing is less sure !
The brothers David and Jerry Zucker made a name for themselves by working with Jim Abrahams on the script for Hamburger Film Sandwich for John Landis, then with their first production, a completely wacky feature film: Is there a pilot in the airplane ? (1980). The comedy is a phenomenal success, which pushes the trio to sign Top Secret with Val Kilmer, the Police Squad series and the unknown Is there someone to kill my wife? with Bette Midler and Danny DeVito.
After Is there a cop to save the queen? that they write together and that only David directs, the duo separates. Jerry changes register for Ghost (1990) and Lancelot (1995) then returns to comedy with Mad Race (2001), where David exploits the vein of “Is there a cop” with Leslie Nielsen, then signs BASEketball with the team of South Park, My boss, his daughter and me and two continuations of Scary Movie.
In 2020, the “ZAZ” (according to their initials) found themselves: David, Jerry and Jim Abrahams signed an animated satirical comedy, Boom and Topper: Safari Hunters, which has not yet been released with us.