20 Up and Coming Top Hollywood Directors Under 40

by donstop84 | created - 25 May 2012 | updated - 25 May 2012 | Public

1. James Wan

Producer | The Conjuring 2

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

2. Eli Roth

Producer | Cabin Fever

Eli Raphael Roth was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Cora (Bialis), a painter, and Sheldon H. Roth, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and clinical professor. His family is Jewish (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland). He began shooting Super 8 films at the age of eight; after watching Ridley ...

3. Jason Reitman

Producer | Up in the Air

Jason Reitman is a Canadian filmmaker and producer who notably directed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Juno, Thank You for Smoking, Up in the Air, Young Adult and Tully. He produced Chloe and Jennifer's Body, two films that advanced Amanda Seyfried's career for adult oriented roles. He is the son of Ivan...

4. Seth Gordon

Producer | The Lost City

Seth Gordon is known for The Lost City (2022), Pixels (2015) and Cry Wolf (2005).

5. David Gordon Green

Producer | Halloween

David Gordon Green was born on April 9, 1975 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. He is a producer and director, known for Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills (2021) and George Washington (2000).

6. Ben Affleck

Producer | Argo

Benjamin Géza "Ben" Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to mother Chris Anne (Boldt), a school teacher, and father Timothy Byers "Tim" Affleck, a social worker. Ben has a younger brother, actor Casey Affleck, who was born in 1975...

7. Ruben Fleischer

Director | Zombieland

Ruben Fleischer was born on October 31, 1974 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. He is a producer and director, known for Zombieland (2009), Gangster Squad (2013) and Venom (2018). He has been married to Holly Shakoor Fleischer since November 10, 2012.

8. Marc Webb

Director | (500) Days of Summer

Marc Webb is an American film and music video director. He directed over 100 music videos before he made his film directorial debut with 500 Days of Summer, a romantic comedy. He later directed The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The box office ...

9. Rian Johnson

Director | Knives Out

Rian Johnson was born in Maryland and at a young age his family moved to San Clemente, California, where he was raised. After graduating from high school, he went on to attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His first feature film, Brick (2005), was released in 2005 ...

10. David Rountree

Actor | Cut!

David Rountree was born in Eden, North Carolina, USA. He is known for Cut! (2014), xXx: State of the Union (2005) and 108 Stitches (2014). He has been married to Rosie Garcia since August 26, 2006. They have one child.

11. Ryan Fleck

Director | Half Nelson

Ryan K. Fleck is an American film director, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter best known for directing and writing the 2006 film Half Nelson and the 2008 film Sugar. He is known for his collaborations with fellow filmmaker Anna Boden. Ryan was born in Berkeley, California and raised in ...

12. Cary Joji Fukunaga

Producer | Beasts of No Nation

Cary Joji Fukunaga is a Japanese-American film director, screenwriter, cinematographer and producer from Oakland, California who is known for directing the James Bond film No Time to Die, Kofi, Beasts of No Nation, Jane Eyre and Sin nombre. He co-write the 2017 film adaptation of the Stephen King ...

13. Seth MacFarlane

Writer | Family Guy

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born in the small New England town of Kent, Connecticut, where he lived with his mother, Ann Perry (Sager), an admissions office worker, his father, Ronald Milton MacFarlane, a prep school teacher, and his sister, Rachael MacFarlane, now a voice actress and singer. He ...

14. Jared Hess

Director | Napoleon Dynamite

Jared Lawrence Hess and Jerusha Elizabeth Hess (née Demke; born May 12, 1980) are husband-and-wife American filmmakers best known for their work on Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Nacho Libre (2006) and Gentlemen Broncos (2009), all of which they co-wrote and which were directed by Jared (Nacho Libre was...

15. Per Hanefjord

Director | Hamilton

Per Hanefjord was born on November 21, 1978 in Lycksele, Lappland, Sweden. He is a director and writer, known for Agent Hamilton (2020), The Hidden Child (2013) and Rig 45 (2018).

16. Cam Archer

Director | Wild Tigers I Have Known

Cam Archer is known for Wild Tigers I Have Known (2006), Shit Year (2010) and Godly Boyish (2004).

17. Marianna Palka

Actress | Collection

Multi award-winning multi hyphen Palka was born and brought up in Glasgow and moved to New York City at age 17 to study at the Atlantic Theater Company. She studied Suzuki movement for actors, knows how to do any accent, has theater voice projection and is known for being the kindest most ...

18. Mia Hansen-Løve

Director | L'avenir

Cinema came into Mia Hansen-Løve's life when she was seventeen, as Olivier Assayas made her start as an actress in Late August, Early September (1998). Two years later, he gave her the part of "Aline" in his Les Destinées (2000). Their artistic collaboration was coupled by a union in real ...

19. Samira Makhmalbaf

Director | Panj é asr

Samira Makhmalbaf Filmmaker

Born on February 15,1980 in Tehran. At the age of eight, she played in "The Cyclist" directed by her father, Mohsen Makhmalbaf the celebrated Iranian filmmaker.

At the age of 17, she directed her first feature titled "The Apple" and She went on to become the youngest ...

20. Jonathan Levine

Director | 50/50

Jonathan Levine is known for 50/50 (2011), The Wackness (2008) and Warm Bodies (2013).



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