Tom DeSanto is a founding writer/producer behind some of the biggest franchises in movie history (X-Men, Transformers). DeSanto’s films have grossed more than $3.3 billion dollars worldwide with a per film average of more than $550 million at the box office, in addition to billions more in merchandising. The proud owner of more than 30,000 comic books and a self-described pop culture junkie, DeSanto dreamed of bringing the characters he loved as a kid to life in Hollywood. X-Men was first on his list and besides producing, DeSanto co-wrote the story. DeSanto brought the property to director Bryan Singer and spawned a billion dollar franchise for Fox and started Marvel’s rise out of bankruptcy.
After the success of X-Men, DeSanto pulled another undervalued property, Battlestar Galactica out of mothballs and developed Galactica for Universal Television. Battlestar Galactica found a home on Sci-Fi Channel and was the number one rated mini-series of 2003 for all of cable. Many of DeSanto’s ideas and designs made it into the show including human Cylons, female president, and the new Vipers.
In 2003 Mr. DeSanto returned as part of the guiding creative team for X2: X-Men United, including the continuation of the Phoenix storyline which DeSanto set up in the first film. That same year Mr. DeSanto went after Transformers, another dormant property that he was a fan of since childhood. Mr. DeSanto brought the idea to his friend, and fellow Producer, Don Murphy. Based on DeSanto’s pitch and understanding of the universe, Hasbro gavethem the rights for free.
Transformers was a tough sell for those running the studios who did not grow up with the property. After being rejected by every studio in town Mr. DeSanto made a second pass at DreamWorks and after Steven Spielberg read his treatment, he decided his studio would do the film. Adam Goodman then at Dreamworks and now the president of Paramount was an early champion of the idea. Mr. DeSanto set the project up with DreamWorks and Paramount.
The first film grossed over $700 million dollars worldwide and Mr. DeSanto gave birth to another franchise. Transformers is the first live action franchise in DreamWorks history and Paramount’s largest moneymaker since Titanic. Mr. DeSanto returned as Producer of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009 and the film became the biggest moneymaker in 2009 with over $800 million in box office alone. DeSanto also produced Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is the highest in the series so far grossing over $1.1 billion dollars worldwide. DeSanto returns as Producer on Transformers: Age of Extinction, which will be released on June 27, 2014.
Known for being ahead of the curve, DeSanto was one of the first Hollywood producers in China. His next global film franchise will be based on his adaption of the Chinese classic Creation of the Gods into a trilogy of 3D global audience movies called, Gods. DeSanto describes Gods as Lord of the Rings meets Avengers. DeSanto is partnered with Yi Sang Media and production of Gods will begin in 2015.