Steven E. de Souza

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Steven E. de Souza
Born (1947-11-17) November 17, 1947 (age 72)
OccupationScreenwriter, director, producer
Known forDie Hard
48 Hrs.
Street Fighter
AwardsNominated for:
Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture

Steven E. de Souza (born November 17, 1947) is an American screenwriter, producer, and director of film and television[1] widely known for writing blockbuster action films[2] like Commando, Die Hard, and Judge Dredd. He is among a handful of screenwriters whose films have earned over US$2 billion at the worldwide box office.[citation needed]

Life and career[edit]

De Souza was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Evelyn (Green) and H. Walton Henriques de Souza, who owned a real estate company.[3][4] He attended Pennsylvania State University, where he was a student of science fiction author Philip Klass (better known by his pseudonym William Tenn).[5] He began his career as a story editor for primetime television series such as The Six Million Dollar Man and The Hardy Boys Mysteries, before graduating to the role of producer and writer. He produced the first season of Knight Rider, and was the creator of the short-lived sci-fi series The Powers of Matthew Star.

De Souza started his film career writing, directing, and producing the low-budget stoner comedy Arnold's Wrecking Co., which won the Special Jury Prize at the 1972 Atlanta Film Festival.[6] Beginning in the early 1980s, he became a prolific screenwriter of feature films, specializing in blockbuster action and thriller films like Commando and Die Hard. He wrote some of the most successful films of the era, including 48 Hrs., The Running Man,[7] The Flintstones, and Die Hard 2.[8] He was frequently hired by studios as a script doctor in order to rewrite preexisting screenplays during production to add more action and humor. He has been nominated twice for the Edgar Allan Poe award, an award given to any piece of media for excellence in mystery writing. The first in 1984 for 48 Hrs. and again in 1989 for Die Hard. De Souza also "won" the 1991 Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk. He wrote and directed the 1994 video game adaptation Street Fighter after being introduced to the franchise by his son.[9] Though the film received negative critical reception and failed to spawn an intended franchise, it has since become a cult classic in some circles.

In 2000, he was honored with the Norman Lear Award for Lifetime Achievement in writing. In 2004, he received the Dr. Bird award, which is given for achievement in the arts to people of Jamaican descent.[10] De Souza appeared in the feature-length documentary Dreams on Spec, which profiled three aspiring screenwriters and featured comments from a number of distinguished writers like James L. Brooks, Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and him. His Web series Unknown Sender became a triple honoree at the 2009 Webby Awards for Best Writing,[11] Best Dramatic Series,[12] and Best Individual Performance.[13]

In 2011, he teamed with Family Guy director Pete Michels for the Fox Network animated pilot "Spyburbia."[14]

De Souza has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Premiere, Empire magazine, Buzz, and Fade In. Recently, he was responsible for the critically acclaimed graphic novel re-boot of Will Eisner's classic comic character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.



Year Title Notes Dir.
1973 Arnold's Wrecking Co. Also director
1982 48 Hrs. with
Roger Spottiswoode,
Larry Gross &
Walter Hill
Walter Hill
1983 The Return of Captain Invincible with
Peter Smalley &
Andrew Gaty
Philippe Mora
1985 Commando with
Jeph Loeb &
Matthew Weisman
Mark L. Lester
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Uncredited;

David Franzoni,
Charles Shyer,
Nancy Meyers &
Chris Thompson

Penny Marshall
1987 The Running Man Paul Michael Glaser
1988 Bad Dreams with

Andrew Fleming,
Michael Dick,
P.J. Pettiette &
Yuri Zeltser

Andrew Fleming
Die Hard with

Jeb Stuart

John McTiernan
1990 Die Hard 2 with

Doug Richardson

Renny Harlin
1991 Hudson Hawk with

Daniel Waters,
Robert Kraft &
Bruce Willis

Michael Lehmann
Ricochet with

Fred Dekker &
Menno Meyjes

Russell Mulcahy
1994 The Flintstones with

Tom S. Parker &
Jim Jennewein

Brian Levant
Beverly Hills Cop III John Landis
Street Fighter Also director
1995 Judge Dredd with

Michael De Luca &
William Wisher Jr.

Danny Cannon
1997 Turbulence Uncredited;

Jonathan Butler

Robert Butler
1998 Knock Off Tsui Hark
2003 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life with

James V. Hart &
Dean Georgaris

Jan de Bont
2004 Blast Anthony Hickox


Year Title Notes
1974-77 The Six Million Dollar Man Story editor
Writer - 3 episodes
1976 Gemini Man Story editor - 9 episodes
Writer - 3 episodes
1977 Rosetti and Ryan Story editor - 7 episodes
Writer - 1 episode
1977-79 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Story editor - 18 episodes
Writer - 2 episodes
1978 The Bionic Woman Writer - 2 episodes
Lucan Writer - 1 episode
1981 Foul Play Executive story consultant - 6 episodes
Writer - 2 episodes
1982 The Renegades Television film
1982-83 The Powers of Matthew Star Creator
Knight Rider Producer - 20 episodes
1984 V Writer - 1 episode
Supervising producer - 2 episodes
1987 The Spirit Television film

Supervising producer

1988 Supercarrier Creator
Executive producer
1991 Tales from the Crypt Writer/director - 1 episode
K-9000 Television film


1993-94 Cadillacs and Dinosaurs Creator
Executive producer
2002-03 Adventure Inc. Executive producer
2008-12 Unknown Sender Creator
Writer - 7 episodes
Director - 7 episodes
Executive producer

Awards and nominations[edit]




  1. ^ "Steven E. de Souza on Earwolf". Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  2. ^ "Steven E. de Souza Writes the Most Explosive Hits". July 15, 1994. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "Steven E. de Souza Biography (1948?-)". Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "H. Walton Henriques De Souza - tribunedigital-mcall". The Morning Call. November 19, 1996. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  5. ^ amazon (May 9, 1920). "Remembering Golden Age Science Fiction Author William Tenn". Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  6. ^ "Arnold's Wrecking Co." Boxoffice Magazine. January 7, 1974.
  7. ^ "Interview: THE RUNNING MAN Writer Steven E. de Souza on Living in the Future of 1987". ScreenAnarchy. February 28, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Street Fighter: The Movie — What went wrong | Polygon". Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW (PART 1): Steven E. DeSouza (writer/director of STREET FIGHTER)". Bristol Bad Film Club. March 19, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "Tomb Raider Chronicles - DE SOUZA SCORES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT". Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Best Writing | 2009 | The Webby Awards Gallery + Archive". Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  12. ^ "Drama: Series | 2009 | The Webby Awards Gallery + Archive". Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "Best Individual Performance | 2009 | The Webby Awards Gallery + Archive". Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Kids Series Producer Cookie Jar Expands into Primetime With Development Slate". Deadline.

External links[edit]