Joe Johnston

Joe Johnston

Highest Rated: 91% October Sky (1999)

Lowest Rated: 21% The Pagemaster (1994)

Birthday: May 13, 1950

Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Despite having received his start in film as a part of George Lucas' famed visual effects team on "Star Wars" (1977), and eventually directing several high-profile movies himself, Joe Johnston somehow managed to keep a remarkably low-profile during much of his career. Originally intending to pursue a career in industrial design, Johnston's professional path took an unexpected turn when he answered an ad looking for illustrators to work on a new science fiction movie. That movie turned out to be "Star Wars," and from there Johnston worked as a visual effects director on that film's two sequels, in addition to similar duties on Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). Encouraged by Lucas to try his hand at directing, Johnston enrolled in the University of Southern California's filmmaking program, although he continued to work on various Lucas/Spielberg projects. Shortly thereafter, Johnston was hired by Disney Studios to direct his first feature film, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" (1989). Family-friendly material, filled with special effects became Johnston's stock in trade, exemplified by films like "The Rocketeer" (1991) and "Jumamji" (1995). Even as he made a name for himself as a director, Johnston continued to help fellow filmmakers with visual design work, including creating the initial drawing of the massive automaton for director Brad Bird's "The Iron Giant" (1999). He also managed to deliver a more personal film with the acclaimed "October Sky" (1999), before helming the special effects blockbuster "Jurassic Park III" (2001). Johnston endured a few misfires, taking the reins of the horseracing epic "Hildalgo" (2004) prior to landing the thankless task of salvaging the cursed remake "The Wolfman" (2010). As a filmmaker, Johnston's legacy would be that of a competent director, perhaps too reliant upon visual wizardry. However, as an unsung hero and creative force on some of the most beloved movies of all time, Joe Johnston's lasting impact on cinema was already assured.




32% 34% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Director $54.8M 2018
No Score Yet 28% Not Safe for Work Director - 2014
79% 75% Captain America: The First Avenger Director,
Executive Producer
$176.6M 2011
33% 33% The Wolfman Director $61.9M 2010
46% 64% Hidalgo Director $67.3M 2004
49% 36% Jurassic Park III Director $181.2M 2001
91% 88% October Sky Director $32.6M 1999
52% 62% Jumanji Director $100.3M 1995
21% 48% The Pagemaster Director $12.0M 1994
66% 65% The Rocketeer Director $46.5M 1991
78% 54% Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Director $130.2M 1989
52% 79% Willow Associate Producer $55.6M 1988
No Score Yet 51% Ewoks: The Battle for Endor Production Design - 1985
21% 44% The Ewok Adventure Production Design - 1984


100% 86% Steven Universe Writer 2013-2017
77% 74% The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Director 1993