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Mario F. Kassar
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Mario F. Kassar

Mario F. Kassar, a major innovator in international motion picture production, financing and distribution, is co-president of C2 Pictures. Renowned for his talent to green-light projects that go on to become worldwide blockbusters, Kassar served as Executive Producer of such hits as the Rambo films, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Basic Instinct, Total Recall, Cliffhanger and Stargate, among others. In total, his films as producer and executive producer have grossed more than $2 billion in worldwide theatrical box office.

In 1976, Kassar co-founded Carolco, which became a major force among independent production companies. Carolco's first production venture made motion picture history when a new American hero, John Rambo, was introduced to audiences in First Blood. This Sylvester Stallone action adventure became an international blockbuster, grossing $120 million worldwide. Three years later, in 1985, the company released Rambo: First Blood Part II, which grossed $300 million worldwide.

With Carolco partner Andrew Vajna, Kassar executive produced such films as Alan Parker's Angel Heart, Rambo III, and Johnny Handsome. Other projects include Music Box, Mountains of the Moon, Total Recall, Air America, Narrow Margin and Jacob's Ladder.

In late 1989, Kassar became the sole chairman of Carolco. He subsequently executive produced such films as the critically acclaimed Rambling Rose (which received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress), The Doors, LA Story, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (which grossed over $500 million worldwide and was the winner of four Academy Awards), Basic Instinct (which garnered two Oscar nominations), Universal Soldier, and Cliffhanger (which also earned two Oscar nominations).

With Sir Richard Attenborough, Kassar produced Chaplin, which was honored with three Academy Award nominations, including one for Robert Downey Jr. for Best Actor, and three Golden Globe nominations.

Kassar served as executive producer of the science-fiction hit Stargate, which was named Best Science Fiction Movie by the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls, Renny Harlin's Cutthroat Island, and Adrian Lyne's controversial remake of Lolita, starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, Frank Langella and introducing Domique Swain as Lolita.

After completing a multi-year agreement to develop and produce motion pictures for Paramount Pictures, Kassar re-teamed with his former partner Andrew Vajna in 1998 to form C2 Pictures. Together, they intend once again to develop and produce the event-oriented motion pictures for which they are both known. Last year, they produced I Spy starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson, and have many other pictures on their slate.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Mario F. Kassar Facts


Selected Filmography

Not available.