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Items in the 24 Sep 1989 LAT and the 3 Oct 1989 HR announced that Craig Baumgarten and Gary Adelson would produce Universal Soldier, written by Leslie Bohem and Richard Rothstein. Principal photography was expected to begin late fall 1989. An article in the 26 Feb 1990 DV reported that Andrew Davis had signed to direct the film, with a screenplay written by Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch, Leslie Bohem and Andrew Davis. The film was listed as a Daniel Melnick/IndieProd production, to be produced by Craig Baumgarten and Allen Shapiro. Gary Adelson was no longer noted as a producer and he does not receive onscreen credit. Filming was planned for late fall 1990. However, a brief in the 15 Mar 1991 Screen International announced that director Roland Emmerich had replaced Andrew Davis. Items in the HR on 11 Jun 1991 and 13 Aug 1991 credited the screenplay to Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch and Dean Devlin. Bohem and Davis were no longer listed as screenwriters, and Melnick was not reported as part of the production team. Bohem, Davis and Melnick do not receive onscreen credit.
       The 11 Jun 1991 HR stated filming would take place in Mexico. However, according to the 13 Aug 1991 HR, principal photography began 12 Aug 1991 in Arizona. As stated in end credits, Universal Soldier was “filmed on location in Ashfork, Cottonwood and Prescott, Arizona; The Grand Canyon – Kingman, Arizona; The Hoover Dam – Boulder City, Nevada.”
       Universal Soldier opened on ... More Less

Items in the 24 Sep 1989 LAT and the 3 Oct 1989 HR announced that Craig Baumgarten and Gary Adelson would produce Universal Soldier, written by Leslie Bohem and Richard Rothstein. Principal photography was expected to begin late fall 1989. An article in the 26 Feb 1990 DV reported that Andrew Davis had signed to direct the film, with a screenplay written by Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch, Leslie Bohem and Andrew Davis. The film was listed as a Daniel Melnick/IndieProd production, to be produced by Craig Baumgarten and Allen Shapiro. Gary Adelson was no longer noted as a producer and he does not receive onscreen credit. Filming was planned for late fall 1990. However, a brief in the 15 Mar 1991 Screen International announced that director Roland Emmerich had replaced Andrew Davis. Items in the HR on 11 Jun 1991 and 13 Aug 1991 credited the screenplay to Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch and Dean Devlin. Bohem and Davis were no longer listed as screenwriters, and Melnick was not reported as part of the production team. Bohem, Davis and Melnick do not receive onscreen credit.
       The 11 Jun 1991 HR stated filming would take place in Mexico. However, according to the 13 Aug 1991 HR, principal photography began 12 Aug 1991 in Arizona. As stated in end credits, Universal Soldier was “filmed on location in Ashfork, Cottonwood and Prescott, Arizona; The Grand Canyon – Kingman, Arizona; The Hoover Dam – Boulder City, Nevada.”
       Universal Soldier opened on 10 Jul 1992, and the 13 Jul 1992 HR reported a “solid” Friday to Sunday box-office gross of approximately $9.8 million.
       An article in the 6 Feb 1995 Var noted the film’s worldwide box-office gross to date was $100 million, and the “financially strapped” Carolco Pictures sold worldwide television series distribution rights to the film to Skyvision Entertainment. The 17 Dec 1997 HR stated that two made-for-television sequels were planned for the Movie Channel, with actor Matt Battaglia re-creating the role of “Luc,” played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in the feature film. Universal Soldier 2: Brothers in Arms was broadcast in 1998 and Universal Soldier 3: Unfinished Business aired in 1998. Van Damme returned as “Luc” in the 1999 feature film, Universal Soldier: The Return (see entry), and both Van Damme and actor Dolph Lundgren reprised their roles in Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009, see entry) and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012, see entry).
       The 27 Nov 1995 LAT reported that Historical Truth Productions, based in Tampa, FL, claimed Universal Soldier was based on their 1989 script, The Last Boxer, developed by the company’s president. However, a New York federal court judge dismissed the lawsuit, stating that it had “numerous outright falsehoods,” and the company’s claims of similarity were “misrepresented” or “stock elements” from action films.
       End credits include the acknowledgement: “In memory of Clarence Holter.” End credits also include the following: “The producers wish to thank: Adelson/Baumgarten Productions, The Arizona Film Commission, Compaq Computer Corporation, Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, Galco International, The Hoover Dam – Boulder City, Nevada, Mojave County Airport Authority – Richard “Mock” Daniels, Panasonic, Prescott Chamber of Commerce, Veterans Administration Hospital – Prescott, Arizona, Waveframe, Inc.”; “Special thanks to The Hualapai Tribe for their assistance and cooperation in filming in The Grand Canyon”; “Read the Berkley Book” and “Play the Universal Soldier video game from Accolade.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1990
p. 1, 6.
Daily Variety
8 Jul 1992
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 1992
p. 5, 9.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1992
p. 3, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1997.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Sep 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1992
p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
27 Nov 1995.
---
New York Times
10 Jul 1992
p. 17.
Screen International
15 Mar 1991.
---
Variety
13 Jul 1992
p. 42.
Variety
6 Feb 1995
p. 25, 28.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
And
as "Dr. Gregor"
Jack Moore
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Mario Kassar presents
An Indieprod Production
In Association With Centropolis Film Productions
A Roland Emmerich Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst "A" cam
2d asst "A" cam
Steadicam®
1st asst "B" cam
1st asst "B" cam
2d asst "B" cam
Cam loader
Video playback
Projectionist
Chief lighting tech
Best boy-elec
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Video playback, 2d unit
Cam prep, 2d unit
Aerial 1st asst cam, Aerial unit
Cam op-gyrosphere, Aerial unit
Gyrosphere asst, Aerial unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Conceptual artist
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Editorial consultant
Addl ed
Asst ed
Negative cutting by
SET DECORATORS
Leadman
Key dresser
On-set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop crew
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Stand-by scenic artist
Set const and UniSol truck by
Const supv
Const coord
Const coord
Const coord
Const support staff
Const support staff
Const support staff
Const support staff
Farmhouse const coord
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Stand-by carpenter
Stand-by carpenter
Model unit
Model unit
Model unit
Lead scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward mistress
Set costumer
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
Asst costumer
Cost const
Const team
Const team
Const team
Const team
Const team
Const team
Addl cost
Supv
Const team
Const team
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus cond
Mus prod and sd eng
Asst sd eng
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR mixer
ADR ed
Sd FX des
Sd FX rec
Stunt sd FX driver
Foley artist
Foley ed
Foley asst
Foley rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec at
Sd mixer, 2d unit
Dolby Stereo consultant
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv and des
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Tech eff
Tech eff
Spec eff, 2d unit
Spec eff, 2d unit
Title des and coord by
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Spec make-up eff by
Spec make-up eff by
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Larry R. Hamlin's and Michael Burnett's makeup eff
Makeup artist and hairstylist, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Unit pub
International pub
Project consultant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord/L. A.
Asst prod coord/Arizona
Loc mgr
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod exec/IndieProd
Prod exec/Centropolis Film Productions
Asst to Mr. Kassar
Asst to Mr. Emmerich
Asst to Mr. Baumgarten
Asst to Mr. Shapiro
Asst to Mr. Michaels
Asst to Mr. Van Damme
Asst to Mr. Lundgren
Mr. Lundgren's personal trainer
Asst to Mr. Devlin
Key set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office courier
Extras casting
Casting asst
Casting asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation office mgr
Mechanic
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
First aid
Caterer
Caterer
Craft service
Craft service
Scr supv, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Craft service, 2d unit
Aerial coordinator and Vietnam/Grand Canyon/Hoover
Aerial tyler mount op, Aerial unit
Kingman Airfield/Hoover Dam/Sikorski pilot, Aerial
The guppy commander and pilot, Aerial unit
Vietnam/Hoover Dam helicopter co-pilot, Aerial uni
Helicopter ground support, Aerial unit
Financial services by
Banking services by
Completion bond services provided by
Vietnam War footage courtesy
Interview with Richard Nixon courtesy
STAND INS
Mr. Van Damme's stunt double
Mr. Lundgren's stunt double
Ms. Walker's stunt double
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Body Count’s In The House,” written by Ice-T and Ernie C., performed by Body Count, courtesy of Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Qua Cau Gio Bay,” performed by Bach Yen and Tran Quang Hai, courtesy of Sounds of Film
“Goin’ Out On The Town Tonight,” John Lombardo and Harry Shannon
+
SONGS
“Body Count’s In The House,” written by Ice-T and Ernie C., performed by Body Count, courtesy of Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Qua Cau Gio Bay,” performed by Bach Yen and Tran Quang Hai, courtesy of Sounds of Film
“Goin’ Out On The Town Tonight,” John Lombardo and Harry Shannon
“Life's Too Confusin' Anyway,” written by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon
“The Worst Always Happens,” written by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon
“Breakin' Up, Breakin' Down,” written by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon
“It's Almost Time To Put The Bottle Down,” written by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon
“Waking Up And Walking Out The Door,” written by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon.
+
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 July 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 10 July 1992
New York opening: week of 10 July 1992
Production Date:
began 12 August 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Carolco Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 July 1992
Copyright Number:
PA572494
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Prints
Prints by Eastman Print Film
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1969, during the Vietnam War, Private Luc Deveraux’s tour of duty is almost over when his sergeant, Andrew Scott, murders a village of innocent Vietnamese citizens, claiming they are traitors. Luc discovers Scott holding the last two villagers hostage as he strings his victims’ ears on a necklace. Luc attempts to intervene, but Scott accuses him of being a traitor. When Scott shoots the Vietnamese boy, Luc knocks him aside and runs away with the Vietnamese girl. However, Scott shoots Luc, and throws a grenade at the girl, killing her. Luc stabs Scott with his rifle bayonet. The two men shoot each other and die. Later, Army medics are ordered to pack the bodies on ice and report the soldiers as missing in action. In 1992, a hostage situation at the Hoover Dam in Nevada allows the Army to employ their new Universal Soldier program. A specially equipped mobile command vehicle is flown to a nearby military facility and the “Unisols” disembark. Luc and Scott are part of the zombie-like team created through a top-secret military program which regenerates dead soldiers’ flesh by hyper-accelerating their bodies on a genetic level. The Unisols have superior strength and accelerated recovery from any wounds. However, the process causes the soldiers to overheat, and their temperatures are constantly monitored. When not on a mission, the Unisols are kept in a cooling unit in the command vehicle, and their brains are sedated with a serum that eliminates their memories. Luc is known as GR-44, and Scott is GR-13. Police and local reporters observe the hostage crisis from nearby, ... +


In 1969, during the Vietnam War, Private Luc Deveraux’s tour of duty is almost over when his sergeant, Andrew Scott, murders a village of innocent Vietnamese citizens, claiming they are traitors. Luc discovers Scott holding the last two villagers hostage as he strings his victims’ ears on a necklace. Luc attempts to intervene, but Scott accuses him of being a traitor. When Scott shoots the Vietnamese boy, Luc knocks him aside and runs away with the Vietnamese girl. However, Scott shoots Luc, and throws a grenade at the girl, killing her. Luc stabs Scott with his rifle bayonet. The two men shoot each other and die. Later, Army medics are ordered to pack the bodies on ice and report the soldiers as missing in action. In 1992, a hostage situation at the Hoover Dam in Nevada allows the Army to employ their new Universal Soldier program. A specially equipped mobile command vehicle is flown to a nearby military facility and the “Unisols” disembark. Luc and Scott are part of the zombie-like team created through a top-secret military program which regenerates dead soldiers’ flesh by hyper-accelerating their bodies on a genetic level. The Unisols have superior strength and accelerated recovery from any wounds. However, the process causes the soldiers to overheat, and their temperatures are constantly monitored. When not on a mission, the Unisols are kept in a cooling unit in the command vehicle, and their brains are sedated with a serum that eliminates their memories. Luc is known as GR-44, and Scott is GR-13. Police and local reporters observe the hostage crisis from nearby, and reporter Veronica Roberts arrives just as the Unisol rescue operation begins, much to the consternation of her boss, who fires her. Unisols arrive at the dam, and respond without question to orders received via headsets from their commander, Colonel Perry. Unisols infiltrate the facility, kill the terrorists, and free the hostages. However, as Luc notices a Vietnamese couple, he has a flashback to the Vietnam massacre and does not respond to commands. Inside the Unisol vehicle, Colonel Perry asks why he did not check in and Luc responds that the villagers were innocent. Woodward, a technician, believes Luc’s memory is resurfacing and wants to remove him from the program to run tests. Perry refuses, insisting Luc just needs another dose of the serum. Veronica wants her job back, and convinces her cameraman to sneak onto the military base with her to investigate the Unisols. She photographs technicians placing a container near the airplane, and discovers that Luc is inside, packed in ice. She thinks he is dead, but he opens his eyes. She runs back to the car and speeds away with her cameraman as alarms sound. Luc, Scott, and other Unisols are dispatched to retrieve her film footage. When Veronica’s car crashes, she pretends not to have any film. Scott shocks everyone by shooting her cameraman in the head. Veronica’s screams trigger Luc’s memories and he helps her escape. As they drive away, Luc becomes confused when Colonel Perry orders him to stop. Veronica grabs Luc’s headset, smashes it on the tarmac, and rams her foot over his on the accelerator. As Scott watches them leave, he calls Luc a traitor. Woodward insists Scott must be sidelined because he murdered an innocent man. However, Perry needs every soldier to stop Veronica from revealing the truth about the Unisols. He reveals the program is unauthorized because the Pentagon would never allow the regeneration of dead American soldiers. In the car, Veronica notices that Luc was shot and wants to stop, but Luc cauterizes the wound with the car cigarette lighter. Luc states that he cannot go home until Veronica is safe. When the car runs out of gas, Luc pushes it to a motel in Ash Fork, Arizona. While Veronica uses the pay phone, Luc notices his temperature monitor is red. He rents a room, undresses and stands in front of the air conditioner to cool down. Meanwhile, Unisols follow Luc’s tracking device to the area, and Scott shoots the telephone wires. Unable to make her phone call, Veronica joins Luc in the motel room and is surprised to see television news reports that she killed her cameraman. Overheated, Luc collapses, and she gets bags of ice from the hotel ice machine. As Luc cools, his bullet wound disappears. Outside, Unisols watch Veronica go to the office and try to use their phone, but it does not work. Perry orders Scott to hold his fire until Veronica is with Luc. When she returns to the room, Luc has recovered, and realizes they are surrounded. He pushes Veronica to the floor as Unisols shoot into their room. Luc knocks out the wall to the next room, and they crawl past a shocked couple in bed. Luc keeps knocking down walls to adjacent rooms. In the command unit, technicians note the last wall is concrete and the couple is trapped. Unisols move through the rooms, ignoring the couple in bed. As Unisols discover the last room empty, Luc and Veronica sneak from under the couple’s bedcovers, and take off in the couple’s car. Luc stops at the next gas station, and they remove the tracking device in his leg. As Unisols reach the gas station, Perry orders an infrared scan for body heat, and sees Luc’s weapon in the building. When Unisols surround the station, Scott notices the ice machine is open. The other Unisols shoot their way into the building, and realize they were tricked as a kerosene lamp ignites. The building explodes, setting several Unisols on fire. Perry, Woodward, and the technicians rush to save the burning Unisols. Meanwhile, Luc and Veronica sneak from their ice-filled car trunk, run into the command vehicle, grab classified paperwork, and drive away in their car. Scott appears from the back seat and attempts to garrote Luc. However, Luc slams on the brakes, and Scott flies through the windshield. They speed away as Scott gets up and returns to the command vehicle. Colonel Perry receives orders to cancel the mission, but Andrew Scott refuses. His memory has returned, and he shoots Perry and cuts off his ears. He declares himself in charge of the mission, and injects himself with muscle enhancers. Later, Scott drags two wounded Unisols into a supermarket freezer and takes customers hostage. He believes he is still in Vietnam and they are all traitors. When Luc and Veronica study the Unisol paperwork, she notices the name Dr. Christopher Gregor. They locate Gregor at a Clinton, Utah, veteran’s hospital, and Luc remembers him from the traumatic regeneration surgery. On television they see news coverage linking Veronica to Colonel Perry’s death and a report on the grocery store hostage situation. Luc takes Veronica to the bus station and hands her a ticket to Los Angeles. She has the story she wanted, and Luc insists she is safe because Scott is only hunting him. As she refuses to get on the bus, the “fugitives” are surrounded by police officers. They are loaded onto a prison van and escorted by police toward jail. However, Scott and another Unisol approach in the command vehicle. They destroy a police car, and kill the prison van driver. Scott tosses explosives into the van while his driver rams into it. Luc pushes Veronica out of the speeding van to safety before the van crashes and rolls over. Luc climbs on top as the Unisol vehicle pushes the van toward the edge of the cliff. He shoots the driver and jumps free as both vehicles tumble over the edge. A police car arrives. Luc knocks the officer unconscious, and drives Veronica to his parents’ home in Meraux, Louisiana. While he reunites with his surprised parents, Veronica calls her boss. When she leaves to meet a news crew, Scott is waiting in the car. He also kidnaps Luc’s parents and ties them up in the barn. Scott orders Luc to kill Veronica for being a traitor. However, Luc refuses, explaining the war is over. Scott insists it is not, and the two men fight. Scott injects himself with muscle enhancers and prevails in the brutal battle. As Luc yells for Veronica to run, Scott tosses a grenade at her. The resulting explosion ignites Luc’s fury. He grabs one of Scott’s hypodermic syringes and injects himself with the muscle enhancer. Strengthened, he impales Scott on the blades of a threshing machine, then turns on the machine and pulverizes his rival. Luc races to Veronica, discovers she is alive and they hug. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.