Have You Done This Before? Directors Who Delivered On Debut

Best directorial debuts

From the Spielbergs and Scorseses of the world to our own Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan, we’re not short of legendary directors in the film world – but how often do you think about how it all began? After all, you never forget your first time!


With a pair of incredible introductions newly arrived on Virgin Movies, we reckoned it was a good time to look back at some of the most auspicious entrances we’ve seen to the industry. From scintillating sci-fi to delectable drama, this lot didn’t need a second invitation when it came to making a first impression; check out five examples of kicking off a career in style…



Available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €4.99


Bo Burnham seems to be able to turn his hand to anything, but might be best known as an on-stage funnyman – until now. Stepping behind the camera to direct his self-penned feature-length debut, he delivered a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that spends more time pulling on heartstrings than tickling funnybones; emotion and empathy pour from a film that suggests life in the director’s chair might just suit him…





Available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €4.99


Olivia Wilde has made quite the name for herself on screen – and her inaugural effort on the other side of the lens has many believing it’s where she belongs! A tender story of two teens determined to cut loose before leaving high school behind, it’s a heartwarming movie that gives us one of the best BFF pairings we’ve seen in quite a while.





Available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99


You may not have known it, but you’ve probably been watching Alex Garland’s work for a while; before he even entered the screenwriting game, his novel The Beach got the big-screen treatment. While it took many years before the talented scribe stepped up to helm his own feature-length, it didn’t disappoint when it arrived; a sci-fi spectacular starring our own Domhnall Gleeson, it’s as smart and sleek a debut as you’ll find…





Available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99


With partner in comedy-crime Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele had delivered giggles by the bucketload – so when he revealed himself to be a master of horror, it’s fair to say the scares on-screen weren’t the only thing to catch us off-guard! Deservedly earning a mantle-troubling haul of awards, his coming-out party could scarcely have been a greater success, and a vital new voice in Hollywood was suddenly upon us…





Available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99


Having just brought up his directorial decade of films with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, it’s worth considering where it all started – an eminently quotable crime thriller that still seems as fresh today as when it landed 27 years ago. The adventure of this colourful (geddit?!) lot aren’t always for the faint of heart; fitting, as it set things up for one of the most unabashed, visceral and distinctive careers in history…



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