CATEGORIES Features
Legend of the Guardians

Zack Snyder is one of the most buzzed-about young directors in Hollywood. In just three films, he has developed a sleek and kinetic approach to filmmaking, which he used to full effect in adult-skewing projects like 'Dawn of the Dead,' '300' and 'Watchmen' -- giving him the chance to revel in the excess violence and sexuality of a hard-R rating.

So naturally, his next movie is a PG cartoon about owls.

'Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole' is not the first time a director has stepped outside his comfort zone with a project that seemingly came from out of left field. But it doesn't make it any less weird to see Snyder's name on the poster for the most anticipated kids' movie of the past few months

Moviefone takes a look at other directors who strayed from their usual subject matter. Some were surprising treats, others never quite gelled, but they were all completely unexpected. Did we miss a director who threw a curveball? Tell us in the comments section!

Chris Columbus, 'Rent' (2005)
The hit Browadway play about the lives of struggling bohemian artists living amidst the AIDS crisis was finally brought to the screen by a guy whose bread and butter was making '90s holiday films featuring precocious child actors.

Meryl StreepWes Craven, 'Music of the Heart' (1999)
Meryl Streep earned yet another Oscar nomination with this true story about a Harlem music teacher. That all seems pretty standard -- except for the fact that this inspirational drama was directed by the man who brought Freddy Krueger into the world.

Clint Eastwood, 'The Bridges of Madison County' (1995)
Who better to tell a passionate romance about two star-crossed lovers than the guy who made his name in vengeful Westerns and ruthless cop flicks?

Alfred Hitchcock, 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' (1941)
A screwball comedy about a man trying to re-marry his stubborn ex-wife after they get separated on a legal technicality sounds like the plot of the next Kate Hudson movie. But it was actually directed by cinema's preeminent architect of psychological suspense.

The Straight StoryDavid Lynch, 'The Straight Story' (1999)
This G-rated Disney gem, inspired by true events, tells the simple, saccharine tale of an elderly man who drives a tractor to visit his ailing brother. Yet it was made by the controversial filmmaker of head-scratching, disturbing, surreal adult thrillers.

Sam Raimi, 'For Love of the Game' (1999)
Does anyone want to see a pensive, sappy sports drama reflecting on lost love and faded glory as filmed by a hyper-kinetic director of over-the-top cartoon horror and comic-book anarchy?

Martin Scorsese, 'Kundun' (1997)
Scorsese is synonymous with gritty criminals and paranoid tales of the big city. Of course that made him the perfect candidate for a meditative film about the life and writings of the Dalai Lama.