->''"I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach."''
-->-- '''Creator/AlfredHitchcock'''

Essentially the director's equivalent of TypeCasting, where certain directors are linked to a certain genre they work in, or are best remembered for one or more certain films.

Most likely to happen because directors work in genre they know best, mostly if they also write. But they might as well be stuck in a genre they do not favor because an out of their genre product was their only success.
To be considered as an artist, a director is expected to have a unique feel to his works, which leads to this. Ostensibly the one time directors try and step out of the genre, they can be accused by fans of OscarBait, subscribing to TomHanksSyndrome and selling out, even if said project might be something they care about. This also makes it harder for them to start DoingItForTheArt, because the kind of movies the director wants to make are not what the market and society expects from him. It's not that people don't like those kinds of movies, its just that they don't want those kind of movies from him/her.

In some cases, the directors burst OutOfTheGhetto and fully reach the level where they can shift between multiple genres or find success in works entirely different from what they first became known for.

* All [[Film/TrueLies but]] [[Film/{{Titanic 1997}} two]] of Creator/JamesCameron's films are science fiction.
* Creator/DavidFincher: Expect it to be gritty, stylish, morally murky, and concerning criminal goings-on (''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' is the only outright exception so far, ''Film/TheSocialNetwork'' fits the bill aside from the grittiness and ''direct'' criminality - the FramingDevice are two lawsuits against Mark, and he does some nasty stuff in his path)
* Creator/StevenSpielberg is remembered for tales of childlike innocents or intrepid adventurers (or both) triumphing against an unforgiving world, usually in a sci-fi setting. May include ParentalNeglect and/or ParentalAbandonment. He finally broke out of pigeonholing when he made Film/SchindlersList which became commercially successful. His earlier attempts to break out of the genre (Film/TheColorPurple and Film/EmpireOfTheSun, as well as his first film, Film/TheSugarlandExpress) were commercial disappointments and critically divisive though they did attract some support later on. Since then, Spielberg has been able to shift between genre science-fiction and serious period films, to the extent that ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'' and ''Film/BridgeOfSpies'' were far better received than more Spielbergian fare such as ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'' and ''Film/TheBFG''.
* Creator/StanleyKubrick outsmarted genre pigeonholing by making a classic in every genre, sometimes more. All the same, he's best known for filming with a cold, controlled eye and slow, steady pacing.
* Creator/DavidCronenberg, despite PlayingAgainstType in recent years, will always be a pioneer of BodyHorror.
* How many non-{{Thriller}} films has Creator/AlfredHitchcock done again?
** ''Mr. and Mrs. Smith''-- A ScrewballComedy. [[Film/MrAndMrsSmith (Not that one.)]]
* Creator/QuentinTarantino doesn't have a genre stereotype, unless "GenreThrowback" fits. Though most of his movies deal with criminals and hitmen, and he has a distinguished SignatureStyle - characters discussing other movies, the plot stopping for a while so people can trade [[SeinfeldianConversation witty banter]], [[ClusterFBomb swearing]] and [[NWordPrivileges slurs]], women's feet and [[OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank bloody]] [[AnyoneCanDie deaths]], [[BloodyHilarious at times]] [[DeathAsComedy for laughs]].
* Creator/DavidLynch: MindScrew. Lots and lots of MindScrew. Weirdly, for a few years in the early 1980s, he was considered a mainstream Oscar-friendly director after the success of ''Film/TheElephantMan'' (although even it is a little on the weird side, and apparently nobody had seen [[Film/{{Eraserhead}} his debut picture]]), which is why they gave him the ''Film/{{Dune}}'' movie. After that flopped, he dove right back into the MindScrew, and - with the exception of ''Film/TheStraightStory'' - never looked back, and has been getting progressively weirder since the late '90s.
* Creator/MartinScorsese has become synonymous with (organized) crime dramas, even though he's tried just about every genre you can imagine: musical, romantic comedy, documentary, Biblical epic, costume drama, even a biopic about the Dalai Lama. But the problem is that the only films of his which are successful commercially are the ones in the particular genre, while films dealing with serious and more introspective themes (like Film/{{Silence}} and Film/TheAgeOfInnocence) are commercially unsuccessfully.
* Creator/AkiraKurosawa is mostly known for his samurai films in America but also made a number of films about contemporary post-war Japan.
* Creator/MichaelBay: Big, dumb, loud, action-heavy, vaguely misogynistic, even more vaguely racist, with thin characters, shaky plots and terrible dialogue, and things go BOOM a lot.
** Don't forget a blatant pro-military or pro-authority theme.
* TheWachowskis: Cyberpunk (or at least dystopia), in a flashy and stylized manner, with a strong anti-authoritarian streak, and a lot of philosophizing. When they tried to do something LighterAndSofter with ''Film/SpeedRacer'', audience and critical reception was ugly.
* Creator/TerrenceMalick: Slooooooow and pretty and introspective.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan: Neo-noir, non-linear, psychological thrillers with obsessed protagonists.
* Creator/GeorgeLucas: A GenreThrowback - as noted by both Franchise/StarWars and Franchise/IndianaJones - and period films - ''Film/AmericanGraffiti''. His debut, ''Film/{{THX 1138}}'', is the only exception.
* Ishiro Honda, director behind the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' series also was known for being an assistant to Creator/AkiraKurosawa and directing a number of romance films.
* Creator/NicolasWindingRefn primarily makes slow-paced, brightly colored thrillers with a subtle BlackComedy streak, [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic fantastic synth soundtracks]] and flashes of [[{{Gorn}} brutal violence.]]
* Creator/MNightShyamalan became known as "the guy who does twist endings." When he tried to make a big-budget film that didn't rely on a twist ending, the results were...[[Film/TheLastAirbender not well-received]].
* Creator/WesAnderson and Main/NoahBaumbach are best known as "those guys who make quirky comedies about dysfunctional families". However, Anderson's movies are much more mainstream and colorful than Baumbach's (who abides by TrueArtIsAngsty).
* Creator/RolandEmmerich: sci-fi or regular action movies with lots of destruction. He also seems to love TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. When he decided to break the mold with ''Anonymous'', it was met with indifference.
* Creator/JohnFord's westerns, usually with Creator/JohnWayne.
* Creator/SergioLeone and the SpaghettiWestern. Only his first and last movie were out of the genre.
* Applied not to a single director, but to a particular ''studio''. Microsoft's Ensemble Studios was seen as experts in making RealTimeStrategy games thanks to the success of their ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' franchise. However, this ended up dooming them. Their pigeonholing as RTS developers meant that they had difficulty getting funding and approval for other types of projects, and the shrinking market for RTS games (relative to the expansion of the market as a whole) eventually led to them closing down shop. Many of Ensemble's former employees regrouped to form Robot Entertainment, where under a new studio brand they could finally branch out into other areas.
** Ensemble is hardly the [[Franchise/UniversalHorror first]] or even the [[Film/HammerHorror second]] studio to get pigeonholed, either.
* Creator/BazLuhrmann: {{Period Piece}}s (with [[PopStarComposer anachronistic soundtracks]], most of the time), a cliched romance, and fast paced editing that's hard to follow and even watch.
* Creator/DonMancini is the guy who only makes Film/ChildsPlay movies and that's just about it.
* Creator/KevinSmith is the guy who makes comedies where people curse a lot and make vulgar sex references. Except for Film/RedState.
* Creator/TimBurton is always making weird fantasy films that star Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Most of the characters have white faces and are outcasts to society.
* Creator/TheFarrellyBrothers are always doing gross out comedies that last for 2 hours. They have edit down their movies because of this. The original cut of Film/TheresSomethingAboutMary was 3 hours long.
** The same goes for Creator/JuddApatow who also only makes gross out comedies that are 2 hours long. Most of the extras on his [=DVDs=] are deleted scenes. Even if they're not on the deleted scenes section.
* Creator/EliRoth states that he only wants to make horror movies. Nothing else.
* Creator/JimAbrahams, Creator/DavidZucker and Creator/JerryZucker only make spoof movies.
** The same goes for Creator/JasonFriedbergAndAaronSeltzer.
* Creator/JamesWan is the guy who mostly makes horror movies. So far only 2 of his movies have been non-horror.
* Creator/TheCoenBrothers always make crime comedies, or crime thrillers, or crime dramas.
* Creator/GenUrobuchi is well-famed for horror and dark themes. He actively tried to hide his involvement with ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', because [[GenreSavvy he knew it would tip off the fans]].
* Creator/WesCraven was known for directing horror/thriller films almost exclusively, with the exception of 1999's musical drama ''Music of the Heart''.