Saturn Award for Best Director

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Saturn Award for Best Director
Awarded forBest directing of the year for a genre film
CountryUnited States
Presented byAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films
First awarded1974/1975
Currently held byMatt Reeves for The Batman (2021/2022)

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 genre fiction achievements, in particular for science fiction, fantasy, and horror (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 six (for seven nominations), while Steven Spielberg is the most nominated director with fourteen nominations (for four wins). Only three other directors have won the award more than once: Peter Jackson (three times), Bryan Singer and Ridley Scott (two times). At the 22nd Saturn Awards (for the 1995 film year), Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the award.

Winners and nominees[edit]


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 Last Wave
Robert Wise Star Trek: The Motion Picture


Year Director Film
Irvin Kershner The Empire Strikes Back
Brian De Palma Dressed to Kill
Stanley Kubrick The Shining
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 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
Penny Marshall Big
Charles Matthau Doin' Time on Planet Earth
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 Bram Stoker's 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
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
The Wachowskis 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
Guillermo del Toro Pan's Labyrinth
Mel Gibson Apocalypto
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
Guillermo del Toro Pacific Rim
Peter Jackson The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Francis Lawrence The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy
Alejandro G. Iñárritu Birdman
Doug Liman Edge of Tomorrow
Christopher Nolan Interstellar
Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Anthony and Joe Russo Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Bryan Singer X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ridley Scott The Martian
J. J. Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Guillermo del Toro Crimson Peak
Alex Garland Ex Machina
George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road
Peyton Reed Ant-Man
Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World
Gareth Edwards Rogue One: A Star Wars Story[2]
Scott Derrickson Doctor Strange
Jon Favreau The Jungle Book
Anthony and Joe Russo Captain America: Civil War
Bryan Singer X-Men: Apocalypse
Steven Spielberg The BFG
Denis Villeneuve Arrival
Ryan Coogler Black Panther[3]
Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water
Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman
Rian Johnson Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Jordan Peele Get Out
Matt Reeves War for the Planet of the Apes
Denis Villeneuve Blade Runner 2049
Jordan Peele Us[4]
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck Captain Marvel
Karyn Kusama Destroyer
Guy Ritchie Aladdin
Anthony and Joe Russo Avengers: Endgame
Steven Spielberg Ready Player One
James Wan Aquaman
Zhang Yimou Shadow
J. J. Abrams Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Niki Caro Mulan
Mike Flanagan Doctor Sleep
Christopher Nolan Tenet
Gina Prince-Bythewood The Old Guard
Quentin Tarantino Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Leigh Whannell The Invisible Man


Year Director Film
Matt Reeves The Batman
Guillermo del Toro Nightmare Alley
Joseph Kosinski Top Gun: Maverick
Jordan Peele Nope
S. S. Rajamouli RRR
Steven Spielberg West Side Story
Jon Watts Spider-Man: No Way Home
James Cameron Avatar: The Way of Water
Greta Gerwig Barbie
James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
James Mangold Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Mark Mylod The Menu
Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer
Danny and Michael Philippou Talk to Me

Multiple nominations[edit]

14 nominations
  • Steven Spielberg
8 nominations
  • Bryan Singer
7 nominations
  • James Cameron
  • Peter Jackson
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Robert Zemeckis
6 nominations
  • J. J. Abrams
5 nominations
  • Tim Burton
  • Guillermo del Toro
4 nominations
  • George Lucas
  • Sam Raimi
  • Matt Reeves
  • Ridley Scott
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Paul Verhoeven
3 nominations
  • John Badham
  • Kathryn Bigelow
  • Alfonso Cuarón
  • Joe Dante
  • William Dear
  • Clint Eastwood
  • David Fincher
  • Terry Gilliam
  • Ron Howard
  • George Miller
  • Jordan Peele
  • Anthony and Joe Russo
  • David Yates
2 nominations
  • Woody Allen
  • Chris Columbus
  • David Cronenberg
  • Frank Darabont
  • Roland Emmerich
  • Jon Favreau
  • William Friedkin
  • James Gunn
  • Rian Johnson
  • Randal Kleiser
  • Ang Lee
  • Frank Marshall
  • Nicholas Meyer
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • Alex Proyas
  • Guy Ritchie
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Zack Snyder
  • Denis Villeneuve
  • Peter Weir
  • John Woo
  • Zhang Yimou

Multiple wins[edit]

6 wins
  • James Cameron
4 wins
  • Steven Spielberg
3 wins
  • Peter Jackson
2 wins
  • J. J. Abrams
  • Ridley Scott
  • Bryan Singer


  1. ^ "1975 Saturn Awards". The Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on 2017-03-02. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  2. ^ Black, John. "And The Saturn Award Goes to ..." Archived from the original on 2021-01-27. Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  3. ^ Hammond, Pete (June 28, 2018). "'Black Panther' Tops 44th Saturn Awards With Five; 'Blade Runner 2049' , 'Shape Of Water', 'Get Out' Also Score". Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  4. ^ Long, Christian (September 13, 2019). "Marvel, Disney win big at the 45th annual Saturn Awards". SYFY WIRE. Archived from the original on September 22, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2020.