Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Mark Steven Johnson!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: Killing Season, When in Rome, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Jack Frost (screenplay), Big Bully (screenplay), Grumpier Old Men (screenplay)

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, screenwriter/director Mark Steven Johnson first found success with his Grumpy Old Men script, however that was over two decades ago, and since then most of his work hasn't been very impressive.

Sure, Daredevil and Ghost Rider did decent numbers at the box office, but neither received great reviews from most critics, and many fans of the comics consider both films to be pretty shitty compared to the source material. The defense will likely argue the director's cut of Daredevil is much better than the theatrical one, but the prosecution still doesn't think it was a great movie. Mr. Johnson provided the scripts for both movies as well, so it's not like he was directing from a bad script written by someone else.

Mr. Johnson is also responsible for the critically panned When in Rome, and the scripts for Jack Frost and Big Bully, two forgettable and awful movies. In addition, Mr. Johnson's script for Grumpier Old Men was very weak compared to the first film, and while some may think he did a solid job turning John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany into a movie, the prosecution didn't care for Simon Birch.

Mr. Johnson's most recent film was Killing Season starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta, and it's obvious his career isn't heading in the right direction. Based on this evidence, the prosecution believes Mr. Johnson should spend at least twelve months in Movie Jail, and must agree to stay the hell away from any future comic book movies.

The Defense: Daredevil, Simon Birch, Grumpy Old Men (screenplay)

Ladies and gentlemen, my client doesn't have the greatest filmography, but the defense still doesn't think he deserves to go to Movie Jail. Daredevil has its moments (especially the director's cut) and at least his Ghost Rider was better than the sequel. Even John Irving thought it would be hard to adapt his A Prayer for Owen Meany into a movie, but the defense actually likes Simon Birch quite a bit, even though it's not exactly like Irving's novel.

Are any of those movies outstanding? No, but the defense also doesn't think they are bad enough to warrant sending my client to Movie Jail. It should also be pointed out Mr. Johnson hasn't been involved with that many film projects, and the defense doesn't believe it's fair to judge him on such a small sample size. It's not like every year there's a new movie or script from Mr. Johnson, and he's been kind of doing his own thing. He's a working director and screenwriter who unfortunately has been involved with a few less than awesome movies.

The defense still thinks Mr. Johnson is capable of writing and directing a good movie, and while the prosecution might believe this is an open and shut case, we don't feel like he absolutely needs to go to Movie Jail. Maybe the jury will disagree (or will be unable to look past what he did to Ghost Rider and Daredevil), but in the defense's opinion, we shouldn't lock up Mr. Johnson.


Should we toss Mr. Johnson in Movie Jail, or do you think we should give him another chance? Have you enjoyed his films, or do you believe it's time we locked him up? Is director and screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?


*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.



Last week we brought you updates on Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, and all three have been found NOT GUILTY of all charges. The only one the jury really considered locking up was Mr. Emmerich, but they also didn't fully support sending the White House Down director to prison either. Which other previous defendants do you think have committed new crimes, and should be up for Movie Jail for a second time?


GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich


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