Famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis died early Thursday morning in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 91.
Though he never directed a film, his name burst through the world of little-known producers, becoming one of the premiere names of both Italian cinema and Hollywood productions. His long career, spanning from pre-war Italy to 2007's trio of 'Hannibal Rising,' 'The Last Legion' and 'Virgin Territory,' stretched beyond genres and cinematic sentimentalities. He produced important films of the Italian New Wave ('La Strada') through to cult gems like 'Danger: Diabolik' and 'Barbarella.'
His on-going success bubbled out of his interest in breaking the boundaries of cinema and moving away from vertically integrated systems and into international co-productions. In the '60s, Italy's socialist government led the famed producer to move to New York, but his production portfolio was nowhere near complete.
Throughout the '70s, De Laurentiis helped craft worlds like those of 'Serpico' and John Guillerman's 'King Kong.' Once described as "an indefatigable and persuasive promoter," financial turmoil and a seemingly never-ending path of successes and failures -- which continued through his career -- never stopped him. A close relationship with Stephen King helped offer us the wonderful world of 'The Dead Zone,' not to mention other King tales like 'Cat's Eye.' In the '90s, he executive produced Sam Raimi's cult hit 'Army of Darkness,' and in the 2000s, he was busy with the likes of 'Hannibal,' 'Red Dragon' and 'Hannibal Rising.' His work flew through the worlds of horror and humor, science fiction and reality.
We thank him for impact on the industry, both artistically and flamboyantly, and he will be missed.
Below are is an interview with De Laurentiis, in which he talks about 'Hannibal.'