John Fusco

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John Fusco dropped out of high school at 16 to travel the American south as a blues musician and factory worker. In his early 20s, he went back to night school and was later accepted into NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where his screenwriting mentors were Waldo Salt and Ring Lardner Jr. His first two student screenplays won the national Nissan-Focus Award two years in a row and the second, Crossroads (1986), based on his blues experience, was directed by Walter Hill in 1986. Now considered a cult film, Crossroads (1986) inspired the music video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (2007) (VG). In 1988, Fusco wrote and produced the box office hit Young Guns (1988) and its equally-popular sequel Young Guns II (1990). His research experiences on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation led to the controversial Thunderheart (1992) in 1992, an acclaimed expose of federal abuses in contemporary Native American communities. Fusco also went on to write the Native-themed ABC mini-series DreamKeeper (2003) (TV) and the popular Disney epic Hidalgo (2004). His first and only animated script Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003. More recently, Fusco has drawn on his background in the martial arts to write the The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), 2008, and his collaboration with producer Ridley Scott, "Wolf Brother," is expected to begin production in 2009.
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