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Lawrence Kasanoff (born 1959) is chairman and CEO of Threshold Entertainment, Threshold Digital Research Labs (TDRL) and Threshold TV.

Contents

Biography

Kasanoff founded Threshold Entertainment in 1994, TDRL in 1997 and Threshold TV in 1999. He is the producer of all Mortal Kombat non-video game media, beginning with the 1995 blockbuster movie.

Previously as President and Co-Founder of Lightstorm Entertainment, Kasanoff assembled a consortium of worldwide film and ancillary rights distributors who agreed to provide $500 million in financing for the company's films. This unique structure gave the company complete creative control and 100% ownership of its films. Also in that capacity, Kasanoff supervised production, marketing, publicity and merchandising for the four-time Academy Award winning hit Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This property has generated over a billion dollars in revenues, several hundred million of which came from non-film rights. He executive-produced the 1994 box-office smash True Lies. Prior to the formation of Lightstorm in 1990, Mr. Kasanoff served as head of production and acquisitions for Vestron, Inc, distributors of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. Meanwhile, 1995 saw the first triumph of a video-game-turned-movie with Mortal Kombat, which enjoyed a $70.1 million domestic gross.

He executive-produced over 25 films and created 'prebuy' financing and acquisition deals for over 200 additional films, including the 1986 epic Platoon. Kasanoff also co-founded Vestron's original and music video programming divisions. In the music world, Kasanoff has packaged or produced video projects with several of the world's biggest talent, including Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Dick Clark. He founded Lightstorm Records and Music Publishing (a partnership with Sony Music). For T2, he produced MTV's 1991 top video 'You Could Be Mine' with Guns 'N Roses.

Despite his many successes in the film industry, Kasanoff and Threshold have suffered several setbacks along the way as well, many of which reared after the failure of the 1997 MK sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, an article in the Los Angeles Times stated that Kasanoff was to produce an inspirational live-action war film titled Heroes, but it was eventually scrapped. Earlier that year, due to the success of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, there were plans to turn the best-selling video game Duke Nukem into a major sci-fi action comedy blockbuster, but that project never made it to production. Plans for a $60 million film adaptation of Ninja Scroll, which was announced in Daily Variety in 2002, also fell through.

In addition to the first two MK movies, Threshold produced the TV series Mortal Kombat: Conquest, the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders Of The Realm, and Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour. Neither lasted more than a year. Kasanoff is currently working on Mortal Kombat: Devastation, the final movie of the MK trilogy, which has been mired in preproduction for several years and will not make it to the big screen anytime soon.

He is also the producer and director of Foodfight!, an unreleased full-length digital animated feature film.

Trivia

He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and a BA from Cornell University.

Filmography

  • Mortal Kombat: Devastation (announced) (producer)
  • Foodfight! (unreleased) (completed) (producer)
  • Beowulf (1999) (producer)
  • Mortal Kombat: Conquest (1998) TV series (executive producer)
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) (producer)
  • Strange Days (1995) (executive producer)
  • Mortal Kombat (1995) (producer)
  • Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (1996) TV series (executive producer)
  • Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins (1995) video (producer)
  • True Lies (1994) (executive producer)
  • Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991) (executive producer)
  • The Making of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) (TV) (executive producer)
  • A Gnome Named Gnorm (1990) (executive producer)
  • Class of 1999 (1990) (executive producer)
  • Blue Steel (1990) (executive producer)
  • Far from Home (1989) (executive producer)
  • Dream a Little Dream (1989) (executive producer)
  • C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989) (executive producer)
  • She's Back (1989) (executive producer)
  • The Beat (1988) (executive producer)
  • You Can't Hurry Love (1988) (executive producer)
  • Dangerous Curves (1988) (executive producer)
  • Blood Diner (1987) (executive producer)
  • Party Camp (1987) (executive producer)
  • The Underachievers (1987) (executive producer)

External links

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