The Los Angeles Times has a nice obituary for producer Moustapha Akkad, who died in the terrorist bomb blasts in Jordan last week. Akkad found financial success in Hollywood by producing the HALLOWEEN horror movies that began in 1978 with the original film directed by John Carpenter.
Born in Syria, the 72-year-old producer apparently saw the HALLOWEEN franchise as something that paid the bills while he worked on more seirous efforts. In the Arab-American community, he was seen as a rare producer who avoided the usual stereotypes when it came to portraying the Muslim/Arab world. Akkad also directed to historical epics, THE LION OF THE DESERT and THE MESSAGE, the latter about the Prophet Muhammad.
John Carpenter is quoted in the article as saying, “Moustapha did a great thing for me when I was a young man with just two features to my credit. He let me make a low-budget movie, HALLOWEEN, with complete creative control.”
Carpenter added that he wondered why Akka did not continue to direct. “His movies were pretty ambitious, and I wonder if they’d been better recieved, if he might have pursued that course.”