De Souza, Steven E. 1948(?)-
de SOUZA, Steven E. 1948(?)-
(Steve de Souza)
PERSONAL: Born c. 1948, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Walton Henriques and Evelyn de Souza.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038.
CAREER: Director, producer, and writer. Former staff writer for Public Broadcasting Service, Philadelphia, PA; former story editor for Universal Television. Director of movies, including: Arnold's Wrecking Company, 1973, Street Fighter, 1994, Possessed, 2000, and The Presence, 2005; and of television movie Possessed, 2000. Director of episodic television series Tales from the Crypt, 1991, and Bowling for Dollars. Producer for television series, including The Powers of Matthew Star, 1982, Knight Rider, 1982–83, Supercarrier, 1988, and Adventure Inc., 2002; supervising producer for television series V, 1984–85, and movie The Spirit, 1987; executive producer for television film K-9000, 1991, and for animated television series Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, 1993–94.
(As Steve de Souza) Arnold's Wrecking Company, Cine Globe, 1973.
(With Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, and Larry Gross) Forty-eight Hours, Paramount, 1982.
(With Andrew Gaty) The Return of Captain Invisible (also known as Legend in Leotards), Jensen Farely Pictures, 1983.
(With Joseph Loeb, II, and Matthew Weisman) Commando, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1985.
(With others) Jumpin' Jack Flash, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1986.
The Running Man (based on a novel by Stephen King), TriStar, 1987.
(With others) Bad Dreams, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1988.
Die Hard, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1988.
(With Doug Richardson) Die Hard 2: Die Harder (based on the novel Fifty-eight Minutes by Walter Wager), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1990.
(With Bruce Willis, Robert Kraft, and Daniel Waters) Hudson Hawk, TriStar, 1991.
(With Fred Dekker and Menno Meyjes) Ricochet, Warner Bros., 1991.
Beverly Hills Cop, III, Paramount, 1994.
(With Tom S. Parker and Jim Jennewein) The Flintstones, Universal, 1994.
Street Fighter (also known as Street Fighter: The Battle of Shadaloo and Street Fighter: The Ultimate Battle), Universal, 1994.
(With others) Judge Dredd, Buena Vista, 1995.
Knock Off, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1998.
(With James V. Hart, and others) Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, 2003.
The Presence, 2005.
The Phantom (based on comic-book characters by Lee Falk), 2005.
Return of the Ninja, 2006.
"Night Train to Dallas," Gemini Man, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1976.
"Return of the Lion," Gemini Man, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1976.
"Death Probe: Parts 1 and 2," The Six Million Dollar Man, American Broadcasting Company, 1977.
"Rollback," The Six Million Dollar Man, American Broadcasting Company, 1977.
"On the Run," The Bionic Woman, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1978.
"Out of Body," The Bionic Woman, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1978.
(With others) The Powers of Matthew Star (series), 1982.
"Inside Out," Knight Rider, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1982.
"Trust Doesn't Rust," Knight Rider, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1982.
(With Rick Husky) The Renegades 1982.
"Dreadnaught," V, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1984.
The Spirit (based on the comic book by Will Eisner), American Broadcasting Company, 1987.
(With Stanford Whitmore) Supercarrier (pilot; also known as Deadly Enemies; based on the book by George Wilson), 1988.
(With Michael Part) K-9000, Fox, 1991.
"Carrion Death," Tales from the Crypt, Home Box Office, 1991.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (animated pilot), Columbia Broadcasting System, 1993.
"Vault of Horror," Tales from the Crypt, Home Box Office, 1994.
(With Michael Lazarou) Possessed (based on Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism by Thomas B. Allen), Showtime, 2000.
(With others) Adventure Inc. (series), 2002–03.
Also author of unaired episode "Suspect Your Local Police" for Gemini Man series, National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 1976.
SIDELIGHTS: Steven E. de Souza is a writer, director, and producer of television shows and films. His work on such blockbusters as Forty-eight Hours and the Bruce Willis action films Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Die Harder earned him a reputation as a writer who creates nonstop thrills with a dash of humor.
Interestingly enough, de Souza got his start by appearing on a game show on which he won a car. While on the set, he snuck into the offices of the show's staff and left behind some of his writing. The tactic worked; he was given a job as a story editor for Universal Television. He then managed to work his way into other writing jobs and soon found himself writing for such popular television shows as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Knight Rider. Despite writing and directing his first film, Arnold's Wrecking Company, in 1973, de Souza was still focusing on television when he got a big break with the Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte hit, Forty-eight Hours
Forty-eight Hours is about a cop named Jack (Nolte) who agrees to let a jailed criminal named Reggie (Murphy) out of prison for two days if Reggie will help him on a case involving some gang members the criminal was once involved with. While critics found the plot uninspiring, the doses of humor injected into the plot by comic actor Murphy made the movie a box-office success. As Michael Blowen put it in a Boston Globe review, while the film proved to be "one of the most derivative cops 'n' robbers films" of the 1970s, "Murphy grabs the movie by the throat and almost rescues it from oblivion."
De Souza got a much more positive reception with his movies Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Die Harder. Cast in the lead of both films, Willis plays McClane, an average-Joe cop who thwarts terrorists and thieves while cracking jokes and surviving explosive action scenes. In the first film, released in 1988, McClane manages to stop a group of thieves who have captured a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles, and in the sequel he frustrates a plot by terrorists to rescue a dictator from government officials at an airport. Of the second, Pete Croatto wrote in FilmCritic.com that although the story is not as good as the first "Die Hard" installment, he appreciated how de Souza makes "McClane additionally human by supplying him with some of the funniest dialogue in action movie history." Roger Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, asserted that Die Hard 2 "tells a story we can identify with, it has a lot of interesting supporting characters, [and] it handles the action sequences with calm precision."
Though some of his films, such as Beverly Hills Cop, III and the science-fiction movie Judge Dredd, have not been well received by critics or moviegoers, de Souza remains one of the busiest and most respected writers in Hollywood. Some of his more recent projects include a supernatural thriller called The Presence and a highly popular adaptation of the video game Tomb Raider that starred actor Angelina Jolie in the lead role.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Boston Globe, December 8, 1982, Michael Blowen, "Forty-eight Hours Seems like Forever," p. 1.
BusinessWorld (Manilla, Philippines), May 18, 2001, Noel Vera, "Little Show of Horror," review of Judge Dredd, p. 1.
Chicago Sun-Times, July 3, 1990, Roger Ebert, review of Die Hard 2: Die Harder.
Daily Variety, August 18, 2004, Michael Fleming, review of The Presence, p. 1.
Entertainment Weekly, June 3, 1994, Owen Gleiberman, review of Beverly Hills Cop, III, pp. 34-35; July 15, 1994, Gregg Kilday, profile of de Souza, p. 14.
Newsweek, December 6, 1982, David Ansen, review of Forty-eight Hours, p. 151; July 25, 1988, David Ansen, review of Die Hard, p. 58.
New Yorker, January 10, 1983, Pauline Kael, review of Forty-eight Hours, p. 25; April 8, 1988, Vincent Canby, review of Bad Dreams, p. C10; January 29, 1989, review of Die Hard, p. H30; April 29, 1990, Robert Seidenberg, review of Die Hard 2, p. H22; October 5, 1991, Janet Maslin, review of Ricochet, p. 12; July 3, 1990, Janet Maslin, review of Die Hard 2, p. B1.
Pantagraph, June 4, 1994, Dan Craft, "Cop III: Busted by Script," p. B6.
Philadelphia, August, 1991, Robert Straus, interview with de Souza, pp. 45-47.
Rolling Stone, August 9, 1990, Peter Travers, review of Die Hard 2, p. 37.
Sight and Sound, May, 1995, Leslie Felperin, review of Street Fighter, pp. 54-55.
Time, June 6, 1994, Richard Schickel, review of Beverly Hills Cop, III, p. 66; July 10, 1995, Richard Corliss, review of Judge Dredd, p. 59.
TV Guide, December 1, 1984, Tom Nolan, review of V, pp. 44-47.
Variety, August 5, 1987, review of The Spirit, p. 54; April 6, 1988, review of Supercarrier, p. 53; June 17, 1991, review of Tales from the Crypt, p. 72; May 23, 1994, Todd McCarthy, review of The Flintstones, p. 51, and Richard Natale, review of Beverly Hills Cop, III, pp. 42-43; January 2, 1995, Emanuel Levy, review of Street Fighter, pp. 72-73.
Video Review, February, 1989, Andrew Sarris, review of Die Hard, p. 48.
Washington Post, July 3, 1990, Rita Kempley, review of Die Hard 2.
All-Reviews.com, http://www.all-reviews.com/ (July 24, 2003), Dragan Antulov, review of Judge Dredd.
FilmCritic.com, http://www.filmcritic.com/ (July 24, 2003), Pete Coratto, review of Die Hard.
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (May 23, 2003), "Steven E. de Souza"; Ted Prigge, review of Die Hard.
ReelViews Web site, http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/ (June 24, 2003), James Berardinelli, reviews of Judge Dredd and Die Hard.