John Fasano Dead: Writer, Director, Producer

Writer, producer and director John Fasano died in his sleep Saturday night. He was 52.

In a career that career spanned more than 25 years, Fasano had more than 40 credits on feature films and primetime television as a writer, director or producer.

His feature credits include “Another 48 Hrs.,” “Tombstone,” “Universal Soldier: The Return” and “Alien 3,” as well as developing the stories for “Alien vs. Predator,” “Flushed Away,” “Ex-1,” Marvel Comics’ “Werewolf by Night” and, most recently, writing “Sniper 5,” “Sniper Reloaded” and “Hostel: Part III.”

In television, Fasano wrote more than 17 movies, including TNT’s “The Hunchback,” for which he received a Writers Guild Award nomination in 1996; the Tom Selleck hit “Stone Cold”; the Iraq war docudrama “Saving Jessica Lynch”; and Westerns such as “The Legend of Butch and Sundance” and “Hannah’s Law.”

In the digital space, John created and wrote “Woke Up Dead,” a series for Sony’s Crackle site featuring Jon Heder and Josh Gad.

He also worked as a script doctor and screenwriting guest lecturer at AFI and the Writer’s Boot Camp. He was president of the screenwriting seminar at the Sony/Canal+ Equinoxe screenwriting seminar in France.

Fasano began his film career unofficially at the age of 8 when he was asked to take coffee to Ben Gazarra on the set of John Cassavetes’ “Husbands” while it was shooting in his hometown of Port Washington, New York. Strongly bitten by the filmmaking bug, Fasano started making 8mm films using armatured clay and Aurora models. His first official film jobs came while he was still attending Paul D. Schreiber High School, working on “industrial” films for IBM. Still a teenager, he was becoming a regularly published artist making public appearances with the National Cartoonist’s Society. While studying at the State University of New York, Purchase, he was also employed as the film research editor for Time/Life publication TV Cable Week.

Upon graduation, Fasano became a freelance magazine editor and art director for a variety of specialty magazines. At this time he was also creating the artwork for grindhouse films such as “Tenement (Slaughter in the South Bronx)” and “Driller.” His work creating posters led to a break from producer Jack Bravman, who hired him to direct a low-budget horror film called “Zombie Nightmare.” While completing two magazine editions a month, John returned to film by producing and directing the now cult classic horror films “Rock ‘n Roll Nightmare” and “Black Roses.” He moved to Los Angeles and within four months sold his first spec script, “Tailgunners,” to Morgan Creek. Immediately after this sale, Fasano was offered the job of writing Walter Hill’s “Another 48 Hrs.” and then handpicked to fly to the set and rewrite the script for Tombstone for which he received an associate producer’s credit.

The U.S. Department of the Army presented him with the Commander’s Award for Public Service — the fourth highest public service honorary award that may be granted to a private citizen — for directing and writing the documentary “Army Strong — Technology of the 21st Century.”

Fasano is survived by his wife, Edie; children Lucia and John Cody; and his sister, Felicia Fasano, who is a casting director.

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