Wes Craven Dies At 76
Famed horror filmmaker Wes Craven, who directed cult films such as Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street passed away on Sunday. He was 76 years old. His family announced the sad news in a statement which read: “It is with deep sadness we inform you that Wes Craven passed away at 1pm on Sunday, August 30 after battling brain cancer. Craven was surrounded by love, in the presence of his family at his Los Angeles home.”
Craven made his feature film debut in 1972 with The Last House on the Left, a project he also wrote and edited. It was not only a box office success, but it helped him make his mark as an innovative director. His hit streak continued throughout the 1970s and ’80s, with films such as Swamp Thing, The Hills Have Eyes and its sequel, and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The serial killer series became a phenomenal success, spawning eight sequels, most of which were directed and written by other filmmakers. In 1996, Craven scored another hit franchise with Scream, a teen-horror drama. The film, which starred Drew Barrymore and Neve Campbell, raked in an impressive $173 million at the worldwide box office, subsequently inspired three more movies in the franchise, as well as a new TV series, which Craven also executive produced. Craven took a brief respite from the gory genre to direct Music of the Heart, a 1999 drama with Meryl Streep, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. The same year Craven also wrote and published his first novel, a cloning thriller, titled The Fountain Society. In recent years, Craven has produced remakes of his own films The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left, and he also directed psychological thriller Red Eye and romantic comedy Paris Je T’Aime. His last movie project as a writer and director was My Soul to Take in 2010, and he had recently wrote and directed Thou Shalt Not Kill, a segment for the upcoming TV mini-series The Ten Commandments. In addition, Craven recently signed a TV deal with Universal Cable Productions, and was developing a number of new series for the small screen. Craven was working on a graphic novel and was the executive producer of The Girl in the Photographs, starring Christy Carlson Romano and Kal Penn, at the time of his death. That project is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada on Sept. 15. Outside of filmmaking, Craven was “a nature lover and committed bird conservationist, serving as a long-time member of the Audubon California Board of Directors”, according to his family members. They added, “He was also a longtime summer resident of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he moved permanently three years ago, before returning to Los Angeles for work and health reasons.”
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