'Halloween' Producer Moustapha Akkad Dies After Jordan Bombings11 Nov, 2005 By: Kurt Indvik
Moustapha Akkad, producer of the “Halloween” horror films franchise, was reported as having died today from injuries sustained in the hotel bombings in Jordan this week. He was 75.
Akkad's daughter, Rima Akkad Monia, 34, was also reported as having been killed in the Wednesday bomb blasts.
Akkad was well known not only for being executive producer of the eight “Halloween” films since their beginning in 1978, but also as having produced and directed The Message (1977) and Lion of the Desert (1981) both starring Anthony Quinn.
The Message, a film about the prophet Mohammed, sparked violent protests in early 1977 involving a group of American Muslims who called the film sacrilegious and who took hostages in Washington, D.C. demanding that the film be pulled from theaters.
The Syrian-born producer told news organizations at the time that he was baffled by the response from some Muslims to the film, saying he wanted to bring the story of Islam to the West.
Anchor Bay Entertainment released anniversary editions of both The Message and Lions in the Desert earlier this year, and executives there who had worked with Akkad were stunned by the news.
“Anchor Bay is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our friend, Moustapha Akkad and his daughter, Rima,” said Mark Ward, VP of acquisitions. “Our thoughts are with his family as they go through this extremely difficult time.”