Jonathan Glazer. Birth and Sexy Beast are both so well directed and imagined with limited budgets. They're also the kind of features that scream 'this director will have trouble getting his films financed!' Imagine how pissed the cinephiles of 2050 are going to be if his feature career ends with Birth, only his second, a movie that will undoubtedly be revered by then.
Terry Gilliam. He makes every list like this... and that's out of more than pity. Even when he doesn't have a lot of money, the visuals are memorable. And an always fascinating if not always great filmography that includes Baron Munchausen, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland, The Brothers Grimm, Brazil, The Fisher King ... he so deserves a major comeback.
Paul Thomas Anderson. Because, for such a contemporary auteur, he does period incredibly well (Boogie Nights & There Will Be Blood) and I love that its hard to predict what he'll come up with. That said he's never going to get $100 million to work with since he's never made a sizable hit. That's the audience's fault, not his. His films are so thrilling. Why isn't everyone lining up every opening weekend? He should be a household name by now.
Warren Beatty. Mostly because I want to see him work again one last time. He's getting up there in years (72) and he's only directed four pictures: Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Dick Tracy, Bulworth; none of them looked cheap so he'd need a lot of money to play with. No conditions but if there's another Reds in him, my god it needs to come out.
I'm cheating for the last picture with both conditions, cast and theme. I want a Women's Picture omnibus film. Each entry must be as obsessed with actresses as your average Almodóvar picture and Dianne Wiest must appear in all ten segments.
portraits from Portroids
Other suggested cast members: Kristin Scott Thomas, Julianne Moore, Jane Fonda, Kerry Washington, Samantha Morton, Emmanuelle Béart, Holly Hunter, Ari Graynor, Ludivine Sagnier and Catherine O'Hara. The following 10 directors gets $10 million and 10 minutes for their entry: Lynne Ramsay, Jonathan Demme, Claire Denis, Jane Campion, Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson (but only if it's completely about Angelica Huston), Patrice Chéreau, Brad Bird, Brian de Palma and Jodie Foster (provided her segment is an abbreviated version of Flora Plum. That's the only way we're ever seeing it)
I know that only 20 people would buy tickets but I love all 19 of you who'd join me in the theater.