Tom DeSanto

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Tom DeSanto
Born1968 (age 50–51)
OccupationFilm producer, screenwriter

Tom DeSanto (born 1968) is an American film producer and screenwriter. Tom DeSanto is a founding writer/producer behind some of the biggest franchises in movie history (X-Men, Transformers). DeSanto's films have grossed more than $5 billion dollars worldwide with a per film average of more than $746 million at the box office, in addition to billions more in home video, merchandising, and video games. The proud owner of more than 40,000 comic books and a self-described pop culture junkie. Besides producing, DeSanto co-wrote the story for X-men spawning a billion dollar franchise for Fox and starting Marvel's rise out of bankruptcy.

After the success of X-Men, DeSanto pulled another undervalued property, Battlestar Galactica out of mothballs and developed Galactica for Universal Television. Battlestar Galactica found a home on Sci-Fi Channel and was the number one rated mini-series for all of cable in 2003. Many of DeSanto's ideas and designs made it into the show including human Cylons, female president, and the new Vipers.

Mr. DeSanto returned as part of the guiding creative team for "X2: X-Men United", including the continuation of the Phoenix story line which DeSanto set up in the first film. That same year Mr. DeSanto went after Transformers another dormant property that he was a fan of since childhood. Mr. DeSanto brought the idea to his friend, and fellow Producer, Don Murphy. Based on DeSanto's pitch and understanding of the universe, Hasbro gave them the rights for free.

Transformers was a tough sell for those running the studios who did not grow up with the property. After being rejected by every studio in town Mr. DeSanto made a second pass at DreamWorks and after Steven Spielberg read his treatment, he decided his studio would do the film and was an early champion of the idea. Mr. DeSanto set the project up with DreamWorks and Paramount, selling his story line and attaching to Produce.

The first film grossed over $700 million dollars worldwide and Mr. DeSanto gave birth to another franchise. Transformers is the first live action franchise for DreamWorks and Paramount's largest moneymaking series in its history. Mr. DeSanto returned as Producer of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009 and the film became the biggest moneymaker in 2009 with over $800 million in box office alone. DeSanto also produced Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, both grossing over $1.1 billion dollars worldwide. Transformers: The Last Knight will be released by Paramount in June 2017.

Education[edit]

DeSanto grew up in the Iselin section of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey,[1] the son of a police officer.[2] He graduated from Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison, New Jersey in 1986 and from Rutgers University in 1990.

Work[edit]

Apt Pupil[edit]

During his first years in the film industry, Tom met and befriended Bryan Singer, who got Tom a production position with his company, Bad Hat Harry, working on his movie Apt Pupil, followed by a partnered attempt to revive Battlestar Galactica.

X-Men & X2[edit]

Later, Singer would co-write the movie X-Men with DeSanto and a few others before signing on as director, using most of DeSanto's original story. DeSanto is credited for the screen story, as an executive producer, and for a short cameo role as the police officer on Ellis Island who is squashed by Toad.

Tom also worked as an executive producer on X2: X-Men United.

Transformers trilogy[edit]

Tom wrote the treatment for and produced the Transformers movie for DreamWorks and Paramount, which was released in Summer 2007. He is credited with being the originating producer on the project. This live-action version includes Steven Spielberg as an Executive Producer. He is also producer for the 2009 sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, its 2011 sequel Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and 2017 film Transformers: The Last Knight.

Other work[edit]

After leaving the X-Men film franchise, DeSanto has written several introductions to collected comics in both hardcover and trade paperback, including Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, and Wolverine: Origin by Paul Jenkins. DeSanto also worked as a producer on the fan-movie Ringers: Lord of the Fans.

DeSanto was also involved in a Battlestar Galactica revival which fell through after the 9/11 attacks and scheduling delays forced Singer to concentrate on X2. Studios USA, wanting to push ahead with the series, replaced DeSanto and Singer with David Eick and Ronald D. Moore, who then created the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica.[3]

In 2007 Variety reported that DeSanto, returning his attention to superheroes, secured the rights to NCsoft and Cryptic Studios' video game City of Heroes.[4] The plan was to adapt the massively multiplayer online role-playing game into a live-action feature and then transition it to television in some form, but no further details have been heard.

In late 2007, he began production work as a writer and producer on Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, an animated cartoon based on the popular comic book, which was placed on indefinite hold by Warner Bros in February 2008.[5] In 2016, WB revealed the film would be moving forward at the premiere of the animated adaption of The Killing Joke and in 2017 the film was released, but without him involved.[6][7]

In July 2016, the estate of Gary Gygax bestowed him with the title of "Guardian of the Library" placing him in charge of Gygax's work that was under the estate's control and finding a place on TV, Film and other mediums.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Notes
1998 Apt Pupil Bryan Singer Co-producer
2000 X-Men Bryan Singer Executive producer
2003 X2 Bryan Singer Executive producer
Also story writer
2005 Ringers: Lord of the Fans Carlene Cordova N/A
2007 Transformers Michael Bay N/A
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Michael Bay N/A
2009 Crisis: New York Under Water Tom DeSanto Executive producer
Directorial debut
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon Michael Bay N/A
2014 Kidnapped for Christ Kate Logan Executive producer
2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction Michael Bay N/A
2017 Transformers: The Last Knight Michael Bay N/A
2017 Lost in America Rotimi Rainwater Executive producer
2018 Bumblebee Travis Knight N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ Friedman, Josh. "Comic-book lover finds dream job; Producer Tom DeSanto has channeled his passion for superheroes and robots into movies such as Transformers.", Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2007. Accessed July 4, 2018. "One Saturday when he was a seventh-grader in Iselin, N.J., Tom DeSanto blew off a Pop Warner football game and spent the day at a comic book convention in nearby Somerset."
  2. ^ Halbfinger, David M. "How a Fan of Comic Books Transformed Himself Into a Hollywood Player", The New York Times, June 30, 2007. Accessed July 14, 2012. "Mr. DeSanto, 38, has come a long way from Elizabeth, N.J., where his father was a police officer."
  3. ^ "battle star galactica". www.battlestargalactica.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  4. ^ "Tom DeSanto to Run City of Heroes - SuperHeroHype". SuperHeroHype. 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  5. ^ Worldsfinestonline.com
  6. ^ "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is Getting an Animated Movie". DC. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  7. ^ "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)". DC. 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (2016-07-27). "Gary Gygax Estate Partners With 'Transformers' Producer Tom DeSanto (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-07-24.

Further reading[edit]

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