George Clooney and Adam Sandler reteam with the past directors of their hits and misses

For “The Waterboy,” opening in September, the comedian Adam Sandler reunited with Frank Coraci, the director of his biggest hit, “The Wedding Singer” ($80.1 million box office return so far). But Sandler doesn’t need huge grosses to spur his directorial loyalty: He’ll start shooting “Guy Gets Kid” this fall with Dennis Dugan, the director of 1996’s “Happy Gilmore,” which took in a middling $38.6 million. And Sandler isn’t the only star who stands by his man: George Clooney will soon reteam with “Out of Sight” ($36.2 million) director Steven Soderbergh on the 1920s football comedy “Leatherheads.”

Clooney and Sandler are following in the footsteps of some successful actor-and-director duos. Most famously are the multiple teamings of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro (“Taxi Driver,” “Mean Streets,” “GoodFellas,” etc.) and Richard Donner and Mel Gibson (“Maverick,” “Conspiracy Theory,” the four “Lethal Weapon”‘s). Al Pacino, whose “Godfather” hat trick with Francis Ford Coppola did, oh, pretty well, is currently shooting “Man of the People” with Michael Mann, his “Heat” director. And Jim Carrey’s “Liar Liar” made $181 million, with credit to director Tom Shadyac, who helped him break out with the first “Ace Ventura.” Of course, such loyalty can have its downside, too. Just ask the unamicably divorced Kevins (Costner and Reynolds), who collaborated on “Fandango,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” and “Waterworld” before going their separate ways