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Saturn Award for Best Director

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Title: Saturn Award for Best Director  
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Subject: 40th Saturn Awards, The Wachowskis, 12th Saturn Awards, 15th Saturn Awards, Paul Verhoeven
Collection: Saturn Awards
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Saturn Award for Best Director

The Saturn Award for Best Director (or Saturn Award for Best Direction) is one of the annual awards given by the American Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The Saturn Awards, which are the oldest film-specialized awards to reward science fiction, fantasy, and horror achievements (the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation is the oldest award for science fiction and fantasy films), included the Best Director category for the first time at the 3rd Saturn Awards, for the 1974/1975 film years.[1]

The award is also the oldest to honor film directors in science fiction, fantasy and horror. It has been given 36 times, including a tie for the 1977 film year.

James Cameron holds the record of the most wins with five (for six nominations), while Steven Spielberg is the most nominated director with eleven nominations (for four wins). Only two other directors have won the award more than once: Peter Jackson (three times) and Bryan Singer (two times). At the 22nd Saturn Awards (for the 1995 film year), Kathryn Bigelow became the first (and currently only) woman to win the award, 15 years before becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director.

Spielberg was also the first director to win Best Director from both the Saturn Awards and the Academy Awards at the same year, but for different movies (Saturn Award for Jurassic Park, and Academy Award for Schindler's List, both in 1993); Peter Jackson was the first to win both for the same film (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, in 2003) while Alfonso Cuarón is the second (for Gravity in 2013).


"†" indicates an Academy Award-winning movie on the same category.

"‡" indicates an Academy Award-nominated movie on the same category.


  • Winners and nominees 1
    • 1970s 1.1
    • 1980s 1.2
    • 1990s 1.3
    • 2000s 1.4
    • 2010s 1.5
  • References 2

Winners and nominees


Year Director Film
Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein
Dan Curtis Burnt Offerings
George Lucas Star Wars
Steven Spielberg Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Nicolas Gessner The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
Carl Reiner Oh, God!
Don Taylor The Island of Dr. Moreau
Philip Kaufman Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Warren Beatty and Buck Henry Heaven Can Wait
Richard Donner Superman
Robin Hardy The Wicker Man
Franklin J. Schaffner The Boys from Brazil
Ridley Scott Alien
John Badham Dracula
Nicholas Meyer Time After Time
Peter Weir The Plumber
Robert Wise Star Trek: The Motion Picture


Year Director Film
Irvin Kershner Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Stanley Kubrick The Shining
Brian De Palma Dressed to Kill
Ken Russell Altered States
Vernon Zimmerman Fade to Black
Steven Spielberg Raiders of the Lost Ark
John Boorman Excalibur
John Carpenter Escape from New York
Terry Gilliam Time Bandits
Michael Wadleigh Wolfen
Nicholas Meyer Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Tobe Hooper Poltergeist
George Miller Mad Max 2
Ridley Scott Blade Runner
Steven Spielberg E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
John Badham WarGames
Woody Allen Zelig
David Cronenberg The Dead Zone
Richard Marquand Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Douglas Trumbull Brainstorm
Joe Dante Gremlins
James Cameron The Terminator
Ron Howard Splash
Leonard Nimoy Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Ron Howard Cocoon
Woody Allen The Purple Rose of Cairo
Tom Holland Fright Night
George Miller Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Dan O'Bannon The Return of the Living Dead
Robert Zemeckis Back to the Future
James Cameron Aliens
John Badham Short Circuit
David Cronenberg The Fly
Randal Kleiser Flight of the Navigator
Leonard Nimoy Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Paul Verhoeven RoboCop
Kathryn Bigelow Near Dark
Joe Dante Innerspace
William Dear Harry and the Hendersons
Jack Sholder The Hidden
Stan Winston Pumpkinhead
Robert Zemeckis Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Tim Burton Beetlejuice
Renny Harlin A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Anthony Hickox Waxwork
Charles Matthau Doin' Time on Planet Earth
Penny Marshall Big
James Cameron The Abyss
Clive Barker Nightbreed
Joe Dante Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Alejandro Jodorowsky Santa Sangre
Frank Marshall Arachnophobia
Sam Raimi Darkman
Paul Verhoeven Total Recall
Robert Zemeckis Back to the Future Part III
Jerry Zucker Ghost


Year Director Film
James Cameron Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Roger Corman Frankenstein Unbound
William Dear If Looks Could Kill
Jonathan Demme The Silence of the Lambs
Terry Gilliam The Fisher King
Eric Red Body Parts
Francis Ford Coppola Dracula
Tim Burton Batman Returns
David Fincher Alien 3
William Friedkin Rampage
Randal Kleiser Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
Paul Verhoeven Basic Instinct
Robert Zemeckis Death Becomes Her
Steven Spielberg Jurassic Park
John McTiernan Last Action Hero
Harold Ramis Groundhog Day
George A. Romero The Dark Half
Henry Selick The Nightmare Before Christmas
Ron Underwood Heart and Souls
John Woo Hard Target
James Cameron True Lies
William Dear Angels in the Outfield
Jan de Bont Speed
Neil Jordan Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
Alex Proyas The Crow
Robert Zemeckis Forrest Gump
Kathryn Bigelow Strange Days
David Fincher Seven
Terry Gilliam 12 Monkeys
Joe Johnston Jumanji
Frank Marshall Congo
Robert Rodriguez From Dusk Till Dawn
Bryan Singer The Usual Suspects
Roland Emmerich Independence Day
Tim Burton Mars Attacks!
Joel Coen Fargo
Wes Craven Scream
Jonathan Frakes Star Trek: First Contact
Peter Jackson The Frighteners
John Woo Face/Off
Jean-Pierre Jeunet Alien Resurrection
Barry Sonnenfeld Men in Black
Steven Spielberg The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Paul Verhoeven Starship Troopers
Robert Zemeckis Contact
Michael Bay Armageddon
Rob Bowman The X-Files
Roland Emmerich Godzilla
Alex Proyas Dark City
Bryan Singer Apt Pupil
Peter Weir The Truman Show
Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski The Matrix
Tim Burton Sleepy Hollow
Frank Darabont The Green Mile
George Lucas Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Dean Parisot Galaxy Quest
Stephen Sommers The Mummy


Year Director Film
Bryan Singer X-Men
Clint Eastwood Space Cowboys
Ron Howard How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Ang Lee Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ridley Scott Gladiator
Robert Zemeckis What Lies Beneath
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Alejandro Amenábar The Others
Chris Columbus Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Christophe Gans Brotherhood of the Wolf
David Lynch Mulholland Drive
Steven Spielberg A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg Minority Report
Chris Columbus Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
George Lucas Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Bill Paxton Frailty
Sam Raimi Spider-Man
Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Danny Boyle 28 Days Later
Bryan Singer X2
Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Volume 1
Gore Verbinski Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Edward Zwick The Last Samurai
Sam Raimi Spider-Man 2
Alfonso Cuarón Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Michel Gondry Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Michael Mann Collateral
Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Volume 2
Zhang Yimou House of Flying Daggers
Peter Jackson King Kong
Andrew Adamson The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
George Lucas Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Mike Newell Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Christopher Nolan Batman Begins
Steven Spielberg War of the Worlds
Bryan Singer Superman Returns
J. J. Abrams Mission: Impossible III
Alfonso Cuarón Children of Men
Mel Gibson Apocalypto
Guillermo del Toro Pan's Labyrinth
Tom Tykwer Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Zack Snyder 300
Tim Burton Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Frank Darabont The Mist
Paul Greengrass The Bourne Ultimatum
Sam Raimi Spider-Man 3
David Yates Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Jon Favreau Iron Man
Clint Eastwood Changeling
David Fincher The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight
Bryan Singer Valkyrie
Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Andrew Stanton WALL-E
James Cameron Avatar
J.J. Abrams Star Trek
Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker
Neill Blomkamp District 9
Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes
Zack Snyder Watchmen
Quentin Tarantino Inglourious Basterds


Year Director Film
Christopher Nolan Inception
Darren Aronofsky Black Swan
Clint Eastwood Hereafter
Matt Reeves Let Me In
Martin Scorsese Shutter Island
David Yates Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
J. J. Abrams Super 8
Brad Bird Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Martin Scorsese Hugo
Steven Spielberg The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Rupert Wyatt Rise of the Planet of the Apes
David Yates Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Joss Whedon The Avengers
William Friedkin Killer Joe
Peter Jackson The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Rian Johnson Looper
Ang Lee Life of Pi
Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rises
Alfonso Cuarón Gravity
J. J. Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness
Peter Berg Lone Survivor
Peter Jackson The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Francis Lawrence The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Guillermo del Toro Pacific Rim
James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy
Alejandro González Iñárritu Birdman
Doug Liman Edge of Tomorrow
Christopher Nolan Interstellar
Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Joe Russo and Anthony Russo Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Bryan Singer X-Men: Days of Future Past


  1. ^ "1975 Saturn Awards".  
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