John Thompson, who brought The Expendables to movies as the head of production at Millennium Films, has died. He was 71 and passed away Tuesday after a battle with leukemia, according to a Millennium spokeswoman.
Thompson started at Millennium in 1996, producing three Expendables films, as well as the Jason Staham vehicle The Mechanic and many other motion pictures. He had a long association with Millennium principals Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Danny Dimbort, Danny Lerner and Boaz Davidson.
His other credits include Olympus Has Fallen (2013), London Has Fallen (2016) and the upcoming Angel Has Fallen, all with Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman.
One of his biggest triumphs was 2008’s Rambo with Sylvester Stallone, which spawned yet another franchise. He also produce Brooklyn’s Finest(2009), Ryan Reynolds’ Criminal (2016) and Acts of Vengeance (2017), starring Antonio Banderas.
“John Thompson was my friend and collaborator for 38 years,” Davidson said in a statement. “He was a brilliant producer, full of vision and creativity. As our head of production, he was loved and respected by the whole Millennium family, by the crews and by the talent. John’s passing is a colossal personal loss for all of us.”
Thompson was born in Pittsburgh, and began his career as a line producer on X-Ray (1981), directed by Davidson, for Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan’s The Cannon Group. He spent a decade at the company, where he worked on such films as Lina Wertmuller’s Camorra (1985), Franco Zeffirelli’s Otello (1986), Giuseppe Tornatore’s Everybody’s Fine (1990), and The Comfort of Strangers (1990).
Survivors include his wife, Tatiana, and children Isabella, Alessandra and Joshua. No details on services have been released.