This refers to when individuals leading a large collaborative project have full freedom to complete that project as per their vision, without any commercial or social constraints. They can decide the story, how it looks like, who to cast, the length and pace of the film, and whether it can end as per the director's wishes rather than a FocusGroupEnding.

The name refers to UsefulNotes/TheAuteurTheory, translated by American film critic Andrew Sarris from the French. It states that a film is the result of its director's personal creative vision, as if he were the primary "Auteur" (the French word for "author") and the key factor determining if a film will be good or bad. The other creative roles (writing, acting, cinematography, score, set design etc) are important but primarily as ProductionPosse, and individually connote parts of a whole that only the director can properly shape by say determining camera placement, the number of shots a scene should start, when a scene starts and ends, how the actors interact with the supporting cast and so on. In the original form, the theory applied to all films and it was applied originally to resurrect and honour the reputations of underrated and neglected film-makers of UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood. It has since however taken on broader connotations.

In the general sense, it refers to certain film-makers and directors who are considered to be highly accomplished in their field, and who are known to make films as per their wishes rather than the demands of studios and corporations. In common parlance, when a director has auteur license they are said to have "final cut" (i.e. the editing isn't finished and exhibited until the director is satisfied and ''they and they alone'', have the last word on how it actually plays to the public). This tends to be more common in small independent "Art House" cinema rather than in mainstream American movies, and in general, this trope is significant when film-makers working in the mainstream have final cut. In America, even after the end of UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode[[note]]Where censorship, regardless of the wishes of director, producer or studio, or screenwriter had the final say, meant that no movie was "truly" anybody's wish, and it was more or less a compromise[[/note]], directors still struggle with ExecutiveMeddling. A situation different from Europe, where directors not only have director's cut ''by law'' but also hold copyright[[note]]Which even directors with final cut don't have in America. They only retain it when they are also producers of their films[[/note]].

Because the usual studio system is unequipped to deal with the Auteur's unique artistic vision, the Auteur License grants them ProtectionFromEditors and an exemption from ExecutiveMeddling.

The ability to maintain '''Auteur License''' in the mainstream is directly proportional to how much money their films make at the box office and their capacity to avoid controversy. This is quite tricky needless to say, and some Auteurs risk biting off more than they can chew, and [[DarthWiki/FallenCreator have had theirs revoked]]. Often the magic of the first groundbreaking film is [[ToughActToFollow impossible to reproduce]] and the result is becoming a PigeonholedDirector where rather than try and make different kinds of films, people expect a repeat of that first hit. At this state the Auteur License can be revoked and the Auteur will be forced back into the art house world or stuck making movies with much much less [[CreativityLeash creative control]]. It's nonetheless possible however for a number of Auteurs to maintain the success of their first films and build their style into a valuable brand that can even absorb the occasional failure.

An Auteur License is not to be confused with your run of the mill star power earned with consistently high grossing, top quality work. While all creative work can bear the artistic stamp of its author, an Auteur License grants the bearer the ability to make a piece far outside what is considered standard fare and that would not normally be green lit.

ProtectionFromEditors is a less-positively related trope.

When an Auteur license is revoked, see DarthWiki/FallenCreator.

See also PrimaDonnaDirector, when a big-name director has a (possibly justified) big ego.

Contrast ExecutiveVeto, ExecutiveMeddling, ToughActToFollow, ScapegoatCreator. Compare with GloryDays. See also FirstInstallmentWins. Not related to ArtisticLicense.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The application of this to the ''Anime/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' anime was how Creator/BeeTrain, while [[Anime/{{Noir}} good]] [[Anime/{{Madlax}} at]] [[Anime/ElCazadorDeLaBruja original works]], ended up with a reputation for ill-advised adaptations. Their last work since 2012 is ''Manga/HyougeMono'' which suffered TroubledProduction and experienced CreatorBacklash from the mangaka.
* Creator/HayaoMiyazaki has [[Creator/StudioGhibli his own studio]], so obviously he can make whatever he wants, but that's not the only Auteur License he's been issued. He's also gotten ''Disney'' of all people to grant him one, as the terms of his agreement with them are such that not one frame of Miyazaki animation gets edited for the American release. When word got out that Miramax was planning a few edits to ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', he apocryphally sent them a katana with a two-word note attached: "No cuts." They got the message.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Creator/WaltDisney ran his own animation studio and served as producer on every project, so he may have received his Auteur License earlier than this, but he got it for certain (along with seven dwarf-sized Academy Awards) after presenting ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarves'', the first feature-length traditionally animated film. His work in animation was bold and innovative, proving the medium could do more than make silly cartoons. Though his later work was, [[VindicatedByHistory at the time]], not immediately as well-received as ''Snow White,'' he managed to use the money and prestige won off that one film to begin work on several more. Eventually his company became so profitable that he was beholden to no one in terms of what he could do. [[VictoryIsBoring Ironically, around the same time (possibly because of this) he started to step away from animation and began working in untapped and more challenging ventures, like television and theme parks]]. And live-action movies -- which met with various degrees of success.
* Creator/{{Pixar}}'s movies [[CashCowFranchise were always successful]], but the success of ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' grew their reputation from "the pioneers of CG animation" to "the best in the business right now". A few years later, the release of ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' turned them into "the biggest name in animation", which was cemented by follow-up films ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3''. Their reputation took a bit of a hit after that, but their Auteur License remains, and any questions about its viability have been answered with ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'', which also scored the highest opening for an original movie in history.
** Andrew Stanton, director of ''Finding Nemo'' and ''WALL•E'', was granted one by Disney after they gave him a ton of money to make his passion project. Unfortunately that project was ''Film/JohnCarter'', a film which lost Disney $200 million. Stanton has since gone back to Pixar full-time.
** It's often assumed that ExecutiveMeddling is to blame for the existence of ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars 2}}'', being a horribly-received sequel to Pixar's then-most-lukewarmly received film that nevertheless rakes in billions in merchandise. Not quite--John Lasseter can't be forced to make a film by the executives at Disney, because as of shortly after the release of the first ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'', John Lasseter ''is'' the executives at Disney (specifically, he's in charge of ''all'' Disney feature animation). The ''Cars'' universe is simply his pet project, and Disney has no reason to object to him using his auteur license to produce more ''Cars'' films at Pixar and ''Planes'' films at [=DisneyToon=] Studios when he packs them full of more marketable vehicle characters than your average ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' generation.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Creator/AkiraKurosawa was granted a Auteur License for the Pearl Harbor epic ''Film/ToraToraTora'' based on his strong body of work in Japanese cinema. In charge of the Japanese unit of the bi-national production costs and delays quickly got out of control due to Kurosawa's perfectionism. At one point he ordered a set completely repainted because it was a slightly wrong shade of white. Kurosawa was fired as director while the film was still in production being replaced by Kinji Fukasaku and very little, if any, of his footage made the final cut. The fact of his Auteur License being revoked was evidenced by never working in Hollywood again.
* Director Creator/TerrenceMalick received his Auteur License after ''Days of Heaven'', went into Creator/JDSalinger-esque seclusion for the next 20 years, and re-emerged to make ''Film/TheThinRedLine'', whereupon 20 major Hollywood stars lined up to get a part in the film, seven of whom were left on the cutting room floor. The studio pulled the plug on the film, whereupon 20th Century Fox insisted Malick employ ''more'' Hollywood stars, many of whom were offering to work for free... Malick retained his big-budget Auteur License for his next film, ''The New World'' (2005) with Colin Farrell. As of his Palme d'Or-winning 2011 epic ''Film/TheTreeOfLife'', he seems to have kept it.
* Director Creator/MNightShyamalan had a breakout hit with ''Film/TheSixthSense'' and was granted an Auteur License that allowed him to produce more of his signature TwistEnding films. While the next film ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}'' achieved some success, and ''Film/{{Signs}}'' was another hit, ''Film/TheVillage'' made money but lost some critical respect. His next two films were outright flops, and Shyamalan became a target of mockery. His Auteur License was revoked right after he tried to show it off in ''Film/LadyInTheWater'', and now he is having to make films from established franchises instead of his own stories. That [[Film/TheLastAirbender hasn't worked out so well either]]. However, between the critical success of Film/TheVisit and the sleeper hit Film/{{Split}}, [[CareerResurrection he seems to be on his way back up]].
* Creator/StanleyKubrick: ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' made him famous, but he didn't earn his Auteur License until after ''Film/DrStrangelove''. (In between, he suffered major ExecutiveMeddling on ''Lolita''.) For the rest of his life, he had enough respect to get away with strange, arty films like ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' and ''Film/EyesWideShut''. (That last was his very last completed film.)
* Creator/OrsonWelles got issued his Auteur License right off the bat by RKO Pictures for his first film, ''Film/CitizenKane'', based on his work in radio and theatre. Welles directed, wrote, produced, and starred in it. While this movie is now considered one of the greatest films ever made, the content picked a fight with media mogul William Randolph Hearst whose papers refused to carry advertisements for the film causing it to fail financially. While his contract gave him exclusive control over his next film, ''Film/TheMagnificentAmbersons'', the result was deemed unreleasable by the executives and was hacked to pieces by the studio. Welles' Auteur License was revoked at that point and he eventually had to spend long periods of time in Europe to exercise his creative vision.
* Creator/WoodyAllen. He's practically had an auteur license since he started making movies forty-five years ago (his ''second'' film was a Japanese spy movie he bought and put a GagDub on top of. And it was approved!). His big success with ''Film/AnnieHall'' in 1977 is what made him untouchable, even after he made a string of movies generally considered mediocre in the late 1980s through early 2000s, and after the "[[WifeHusbandry marrying his]] [[ParentalIncest stepdaughter]]" incident that would've ended a lesser celebrity's career. The string of movies since 2005's ''Film/MatchPoint'' are generally considered to be a comeback for him, but if he didn't have a strong case of this trope, he wouldn't have lasted long enough to have a comeback. It helps that he makes movies on relatively low budgets, and hence doesn't have to meet as many box-office needs as other movies. The budget itself is helped by his license; actors undoubtedly accept less money than they otherwise would because it's a Creator/WoodyAllen film.
* Creator/DavidLynch got his auteur license with ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}''; producer Creator/MelBrooks gave him a free hand on ''Film/TheElephantMan''. He almost lost it in the middle of all the ExecutiveMeddling over ''Film/{{Dune}}'', which he says taught him an important lesson: "I'd rather not make a film at all than make one where I don't have final cut." He went on to direct several smaller-scale pictures, starting with ''Film/BlueVelvet'', that rehabilitated his reputation as an auteur; it was on the strength of ''Blue Velvet'' that he was able to get ''Series/TwinPeaks'' off the ground.
* After being forced to chop down the theatrical cuts of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' and ''Film/TheAbyss'', Creator/JamesCameron got his after ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''. It was renewed after ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' became the highest-grossing film of all time. Now that he's topped that feat with ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', it's safe to say that Cameron has a lifetime pass because his films practically grant licenses to print money. His license will last as long as his movies are profitable. The Studio actively debated interfering with ''Avatar'' as its costs spiraled only to be proven wrong when it made a ton of money. Had ''Avatar'' lost money it would have been revoked.
* After a decade of often much-acclaimed films, both small- and large-scale (ranging from ''Film/{{MASH}}'' to ''Film/{{Nashville}}'' to ''3 Women'') Creator/RobertAltman got this for 1980's ''Film/{{Popeye}}''--a live-action, big-budget family musical based on the comic strip and cartoon hero--via super-producer Robert Evans. Unfortunately, the resultant film had a long, difficult shoot and got ''very'' mixed notices from critics, and couldn't gross enough money to prove profitable; Altman spent the remainder of the decade making much smaller-scale films that attracted little attention from anyone besides film critics -- and it was just getting started! He didn't make his comeback until ''Film/ThePlayer'' in 1992.
* Creator/TimBurton got his after ''Film/{{Batman}}'' in 1989. ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' and ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' had both been bigger-than-expected hits for Creator/WarnerBros, but he still faced a good deal of ExecutiveMeddling on ''Batman''. Once it was a megahit, he became a big enough name that not only he given a good deal of creative freedom on ''Film/EdwardScissorhands'', but it was his previous track record and now-signature style that was used to sell it to audiences. Although some of his subsequent films have been critical and/or commercial disappointments, he's had enough successes to hang on to the license.
* Creator/QuentinTarantino at this point has permission to bend what he wants, where he wants, who he wants. By 2015, Quentin's license had earned endorsements that allowed him to not only shoot ''Film/TheHatefulEight'' in 70mm Ultra Panavision, a film format that had not been used in nearly 50 years, but also get the film's distributor to pay to upgrade ~140 cinemas around the world for 70mm film projection. Keep in mind this took place several years after even basic 35mm film projection was phased out in favor of digital.
* Creator/StevenSpielberg after ''Film/{{Jaws}}''.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan after ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. He purposefully took up the director's chair for the ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' in order to gain the Auteur License (as well as large-scale filmmaking experience) to shoot his pet project that would need big-budget resources to realize fully: ''Film/{{Inception}}''. When that proved a monster critically acclaimed Oscar nominated hit, Nolan's license was likely set for the rest of his career.
* Creator/FrancisFordCoppola earned his license by adapting, producing, and directing the awesome one-two punch of ''Film/TheGodfatherPartII'' and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''. He used his newfound clout and money to build his own studio, American Zoetrope, where he planned to house an artistic community, turning out medium-budget passion projects. Unfortunately, his first such film, ''Film/OneFromTheHeart'', went cataclysmically over budget. Unlike the similarly out-of-control ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', ''Heart'' flopped mightily upon release, and Coppola pulled it from theatres after a few weeks. Zoetrope was sold, Coppola's license was revoked, and he spent a good chunk of the 80s and 90s as a director for hire, trying to forge his way back to financial solvency. He has recently taken to financing his films with the proceeds from his vineyard and winery.
* Creator/MichaelBay has became heavily associated and famous for his over the top action movies with huge explosions. He gained his Auteur License after ''Film/{{Armageddon}}'' and his visual style has been heavily copied in modern action films. He even made fun of his filmmaking style in [[ this]] Verizon commercial.
* Creator/GeorgeLucas had the run-of-the-mill star power with ''Film/AmericanGraffiti''. He wrote, issued, and certified his license with [[Film/ANewHope some movie about a farm boy looking for his destiny]]. Due to its success, Lucas has made anything he wanted, anyway he wanted, since. Lucas even sets the terms for when his movies are released, at what theaters, and how the gross profits are divvied up.
** Since, you know, he owns his own studio. The last three films he directed were financed by Lucas himself, with Fox only distributing. Lucas created his own licensing board and gave himself a license.
** And, he actually said "screw you" to the Director's Guild in 1981 (after they demanded he put credits at the beginning of ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'') and yet still manages to make movies, albeit with other talent willing to defy the union. This, sadly, scotched plans for [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Steven Spielberg directing]] ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
* Creator/TheCoenBrothers after ''Film/BloodSimple''
* In the beginning of his career, Creator/MartinScorsese cranked out a number of bonafide classics, (''Film/TaxiDriver'', ''Film/MeanStreets'', ''Film/RagingBull'', etc). However, these were buffered by a number of financial flops, disallowing him the kind of carte blanche enjoyed by others on this page. However, since the release of ''Film/{{Goodfellas}}'' in 1990, he's mostly been allowed to make his movies his way. [[Film/GangsOfNewYork Mostly.]]
* Truly talented director Creator/MichaelCimino got his license with ''Film/TheDeerHunter'' and promptly lost it with ''Film/HeavensGate''.
* Creator/PeterJackson earned his license with ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', which then allowed him to make a 3-hour ''Film/KingKong2005'' with a $200 million budget.
* Creator/JuddApatow got his with ''Film/TheFortyYearOldVirgin'', which has also given him ProtectionFromEditors.
* Jean-Luc Godard received his auteur license after the success of his first film, ''Film/{{Breathless}}'', leading him to make more complex and politically-driven films which consequently diminished much of the commercial and critical acclaim that first film earned. To this day, he still grips on to that license.
* A trend that's becoming popular in recent years is to bring the directors of blockbusters back in exchange for agreeing to bankroll vanity projects that the directors might otherwise not get the chance to make. The vanity projects will typically be lower-budgeted, and the studios know they can eat the loss from the gross of the blockbuster sequel, so they give the director complete control. Creator/MichaelBay got this deal for ''Film/PainAndGain'' when he agreed to direct ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'', but the REAL king of this is Creator/ChristopherNolan, who received $160 million to make ''Film/{{Inception}}'', and it grossed over ''$800 million'' at the box office alone, which has secured his auteur ticket for the foreseeable future.
* Creator/CharlieChaplin was among the first to demonstrate this trope in American film. With his films being fairly consistently hailed big hits, he could take chances like a straight drama for his first Creator/UnitedArtists film, ''Film/AWomanOfParis'', keep ''Film/CityLights'' and ''Film/ModernTimes'' largely silent in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood, make fun of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler in ''Film/TheGreatDictator'' and do a BlackComedy in ''Film/MonsieurVerdoux''.
* According to reports, Creator/BenAffleck accepted the post-''The Dark Knight Saga'' Batman role in exchange for Warner Bros. bankrolling some of his more tough-to-sell pet projects. Sure enough, shortly after the deal was announced, an Affleck-directed political thriller set in Africa was green-lit.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** When [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel Studios]] started out, their first film was about [[ComicBook/IronMan a B-List superhero]] starring [[Creator/RobertDowneyJr a washed-up actor]] and with [[Creator/JonFavreau a director]] whose [[Film/{{Zathura}} last movie bombed]]. [[Film/IronMan1 The result]] was a hit, which Marvel not only used to bring more of their heroes to the screen but also bring them together in a SharedUniverse unheard of in the movies, to massive success. They've since used this clout they've earned from this to make [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy a movie about an obscure comic book team that features a talking space raccoon]]; and ''it'' was a hit as well, ensuring they won't lose their license any time soon.
** In a more specific example, regular disputes over budgets and directions between the MCU's producer Kevin Feige and Marvel president Ike Perlmutter came to a head during production of ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. The final result was that Disney removing Perlmutter as head of the movie division of the MCU and dismantling the Creative Committee that previously oversaw everything. Kevin Feige now has total control over the films of the MCU (though not the TV shows) and answers only to Alan Fine of Disney directly. The success of the MCU under Feige's watch should ensure he keeps this license for the foreseeable future.
** Kevin Feige maintains strict control of the MCU, making sure that all films maintain a common thematic thread. Some directors chafed at this and left the franchise during the Creative Committee's control of the franchise (like Jon Favreau[[note]]Decided not to direct ''Film/IronMan3'' after being disappointed with the ExecutiveMeddling of ''Film/IronMan2'' but remained involved as executive producer and his supporting role as Happy Hogan[[/note]], Joss Whedon[[note]]Became disillusioned with the final cut of ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' and is no longer actively involved in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' as his brother Jed and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen serve as the main creative force behind the show[[/note]], and Edgar Wright[[note]]Left due to CreativeDifferences between him and the Creative Committee, months before ''Film/AntMan'' began filming[[/note]]), but those who play ball are eventually given more responsibility and a lot more creative freedom to do what they want (like the Russo Brothers[[note]]Given ''three'' of the MCU's major team-up films[[/note]], Creator/JamesGunn[[note]]Allowed to do pretty much whatever he wanted with ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'' and more or less given carte-blanche for ''Vol. 3''[[/note]], and Peyton Reed[[note]]Marvel rearranged Phase 3 specifically to give him ''Ant-Man and the Wasp''[[/note]]) with the projects they are tasked with helming.
* Rob Reiner had hit it big critically and commercially with films like ''Film/ThisIsSpinalTap'', and was told that he could basically do anything he wanted next. When he told a film executive that he wanted to adapt his favorite book, ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'', he was told "anything but that!" The rest, [[Film/ThePrincessBride however]], [[VindicatedByHistory is history]], although he got a severe setback when he abused the Auteur License with ''Film/{{North}}''.
* While it's an era often seen as "the studio system", a number of directors in the studio actually had AuteurLicense:
** Creator/ErnstLubitsch benefited from being his own producer (and briefly in charge of production of other films at Paramount), and his films were openly marketed as having "the Lubitsch touch"[[note]]Which is defined by film critics as "I can't explain it, but I can recognize it when I see it"[[/note]]. All of his films were produced per his wishes and he was a film-maker who was quite famous and well known in the time. ''Film/SullivansTravels'' for instance has Veronica Lake noting that she wants to audition for a Lubitsch film.
** Creator/FrankCapra was another film-maker who was quite famous and well known to the public. ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight'' was a SleeperHit that basically turned Creator/ColumbiaPictures into a major studio overnight, and became to first film to sweep the "Big 5" Oscars (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay). After that Columbia gave him carte blanche to do what he wanted, and he was one of the first directors to become a household name (he later called his autobiography ''The Name Above the Title''). After a while he clashed with Columbia chief Harry Cohn and moved on. In TheForties, he co-operated with Creator/WilliamWyler and Creator/GeorgeStevens to form an independent production company which fell apart with the flop of ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife''. He fell out of favor with the public after World War II, making six films after that albeit living long enough for his films to be rediscovered. Ironically, Andrew Sarris slammed him viciously in ''The American Cinema'' since, in his view Capra was a little too well-known compared to the LesserStar he wanted to elevate (and the fact that Capra's career visibly declined which was against auteurist beliefs[[note]]Since they argued that all films made by an auteur, or a great director were worth seeing, and that the idea that talent can run up, was heresy, Capra was not simpatico[[/note]] but he was respected both by his peers and by younger film-makers, and he lived to see ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'' become VindicatedByHistory.
** Writer-Directors in the Golden Age generally had AuteurLicense, and indeed many of them claimed they became directors to protect their scripts from PrimaDonnaDirector who didn't understand the stuff they put on page. Examples include, Creator/PrestonSturges, a very active and respected screenwriter throughout TheThirties, who made a series of extremely successful and influential comedies in TheForties, Creator/JosephLMankiewicz (who began as a producer, then a screenwriter and then writer-director), famous for ''Film/AllAboutEve'' (he lost his during the production of ''Film/{{Cleopatra}}'', aka the movie that killed the Golden Age), and Lubitsch's apprentice, Creator/BillyWilder (who had it for most of his career but lost it during ''Film/ThePrivateLifeOfSherlockHolmes'').
** Careful research has actually shown that a number of directors people saw as journeyman were actually quite shrewd and domineering. Creator/HowardHawks for instance who's often seen as a nuts-and-bolts film-maker who didn't have a style, was careful to avoid making films at any one studio and work as a free agent, thereby allowing him freedom to not be tied to making one kind of film in one kind of style for too long. Creator/AlfredHitchcock, from ''Film/{{Notorious}}'' onwards made films his way, and Creator/OttoPreminger was especially bold and fearless in not only making his films as per his vision, but repeatedly, and successfully, challenging censorship and doing more than any other film-maker of his time, to improve freedom of expression in Hollywood. Both Hitchcock and Preminger were the two most well-known film-makers of their era, and public celebrities, hence the reason for Hitchcock promoting a successful TV show based on his own brand, and Preminger being enough of a household name that he appeared as Mr. Freeze in ''Series/{{Batman}}''.
* Creator/RianJohnson was given full control of his own ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy after Disney was impressed with his work on ''Film/TheLastJedi''. Apparently the only restriction is that it can't be about the major characters of the main series, which stands out all the more with the original directors of ''Film/StarWars9'' and ''Film/{{Solo}}'' getting fired for refusing to follow studio orders just a few months earlier.

* Creator/KurtVonnegut used and abused his novelistic auteur license to write a novel illustrated with his own quirky line drawings in which he [[AuthorGuestSpot features as a character]] (the wonderful ''Breakfast of Champions'') and a semi-novel about his abortive attempt to write a novel called ''Timequake''. It contains many parts of the ''Timequake'' story itself, interspersed with Vonnegut just talking about life, himself, and how things are going in general, and is generally touching.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* [[Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood Fred Rogers]] was recognized early on as a pioneer in children's TV programming, so he was given carte blanche by {{PBS}} to create his own series in which he starred as on-screen host, producer, director, screenwriter, composer, and puppeteer. [[LongRunners It ran for over 30 years]].
* After ''Series/HappyDays'' became a runaway hit, {{Creator/ABC}} let Creator/GarryMarshall tinker with the show as he saw fit (which is how ChuckCunninghamSyndrome and JumpingTheShark came to be), and basically picked up ''any'' new shows he produced. Some of them also became hits (''Series/LaverneAndShirley'', ''Series/MorkAndMindy''), others flopped badly (''Blansky's Beauties'', ''Out of the Blue'', ''Who's Watching the Kids?'').
* {{Creator/CBS}} gave Creator/ChuckLorre the Garry Marshall/ABC treatment after ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'' hit it big.

* After ''Pinball/TheAddamsFamily'' went on to become the best-selling pinball machine of all time, designer Creator/PatLawlor was given free rein on his next game. The result was the highly-rated ''Pinball/TheTwilightZone'', arguably the most complex pinball table ever, with more patent-pending features than any other game ever made. Although not a failure in sales, ''The Twilight Zone'' did not do so well with players, who considered it [[GuideDangIt too difficult to understand]].[[note]]It was VindicatedByHistory decades later when wealthy individuals bought the machines for their own personal use and could understand the rules on their own time.[[/note]] Lawlor's license was destroyed for the rest of the 90's and through the 00's, though he got it back when he was hired by Jersey Jack Pinball and, once again, given carte blanche privileges.

* After the success of Music/RichardWagner's early {{opera}}s, he turned to what he termed "''Gesamtkunstwerk''" or "total work of art." The most famous example is ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung'', which featured words, music, orchestration, production design, choreography, direction, and conducting all handled by Wagner himself— premiered in a concert hall that he designed and built for the purpose. UpToEleven!

[[folder:Video Games]]
* After the sleeper hit that was ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'', director Hidetaka Miyazaki of Creator/FromSoftware has basically been given complete freedom to keep making his obtuse, unusual and challenging [[{{Action RPG}} Action RPG's]]. Given the enormous success of both ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' and ''{{VideoGame/Bloodborne}}'', and the fact that he has since been promoted to president of From Software, his license is guaranteed for the foreseeable future.
* Creator/JohnRomero and his infamous ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}'' came about as a result of him earning one of these after his success with ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen'', ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D'', the first two ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' games, and ''[[VideoGame/QuakeI Quake]]''. After ''Daikatana'' flopped it was promptly revoked.
* Due to the success of the ''VideoGame/BioShock'' franchise, Ken Levine held onto this for a while. Funnily enough, [[ he dislikes being called an auteur.]]
* For Creator/TaroYoko this came into effect after ''VideoGame/NieR''. During the development of the first ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'', Yoko had to continuously fight Square to keep his and the team's distinct artistic vision intact, because Square was afraid the game was too dark and nihilistic. After the game managed to win over a small but dedicated fanbase, Square was willing to fund a second game but wanted something more marketable, and to that end he was only lightly involved with ''Drakengard 2''. However, this lead to one of the more divisive games in the series exactly because of its LighterAndSofter nature, and as a result he was allowed back in the director's seat for the franchise with ''[=NieR=]'', a GaidenGame. Though it wasn't very profitable it eventually became a CultClassic and widely considered an amazing game. Due to its critical success Yoko has essentially been given free rein to do as he pleases. While this strategy didn't pay off at first, it eventually allowed Taro to break through into the mainstream with ''VideoGame/NierAutomata'.
* Creator/HideoKojima had this for a good while, leading to the firestorm when Creator/{{Konami}} attempted to revoke it. Amusingly, it first came about when his superiors demanded he create a war game and proceeded to design [[StealthBasedGame one that discourages killing]]. Time will tell if Konami has any chance of recovering from the massive backlash surrounding this.
** After Konami got rid of Kojima proper, Sony quickly picked Kojima up and essentially handed him a blank check to make his new game, ''VideoGame/DeathStranding''.
** While we're talking about Konami and auteurs, Koji "IGA" Igarashi, the man behind the Castlevania games since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' up until ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair'', definitely also applies. He left Konami and created an at-the-time record breaking kickstarter for his own game, ''VideoGame/BloodstainedRitualOfTheNight''. Meanwhile, games of the series released after his departure have had mixed reactions, at best.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone after ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.
* Creator/MattGroening after ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
* Creator/SethMacFarlane after ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''.
* Creator/DonBluth more or less gave himself one after leaving Disney to [[StartMyOwn become an independent filmmaker]]. Ironically, it was slowly stripped away with each success until it was altogether revoked following a string of flops in the 90s.