In Executive Decision, Steven Seagal is not listed in the opening credits. His character dies fairly early in the film. Seagal is a well-known actor and it seems odd that he wouldn't be included in the opening credits:

Steven Seagal isn't named in the opening credits.

Is there any explanation from filmmakers on why Steven Seagal was not listed in the opening credits?

  • He is a well known actor... now... but was he then?
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 23:43
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    @Catija Sure he was. He was already a well established action star by the time this movie was released in 1996 :) Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 23:45
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    @Catija He definitely was. If anything, he was much more back then than now. Although the mid-90s might be said to already mark the beginning of his declining carreer, by the late 80s and early 90s, he was definitely a hot asset in Hollywood action cinema. In fact, the film even somewhat seems to capitalize on his appearance, with his early death being rather unexpected, which makes his lack of being mentioned in the opening credits even more unusual.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 1:12
  • What's interesting is that if you google "Executive Decision Movie Poster", some have Seagal on it and some don't. I know that Seagal was always supposed to die early, and that the whole "shock" was supposed to be, "Oh crap, the action star is dead! Now what's gonna happen??" Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 3:40
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    @RonBeyer Sure, he dies early in the film, but he was also a well established star at that point in his career. I would at least thought that he would be listed at the end of the opening credits following "and" or something like that to show his importance. Also, Seagal is known in Hollywood for his ego. I imagine that he would protest not being in the opening credits. Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


His role in the movie was extremely minor considering his fame as an actor. He was not involved in the planning of the insertion on the plane, and as already mentioned, he died saving the other character's lives by closing the hatch, knowing that if he didn't, everyone aboard both planes would likely perish.

Although having such a small role for a famous actor isn't common, they usually don't add an opening credit because they do not want fans of that actor to be disappointed by seeing such a small role in the movie, especially when it ends in that character's death early on.

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    This doesn't provide any factual proof as to why he's not credited in this particular movie - it's just speculation
    – Luciano
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 10:15
  • I used to work in the film industry. I asked a producer why I (and many of my coworkers at the time) weren't going to get movie credits for the work that we did, and he told me that every credit costs the studio money (both for the credit itself and the frames it takes to display the credit whether they are rolling or not). He said that even A-list actors don't get opening credits if their role is too small.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 10:50
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    @Luciano - asking to prove a negative is generally considered a logical fallacy. Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 14:24
  • Every credit costs the studio money?? Union movies require specific credits, they either get listed or the Director get fined for not listing. I'm curious as to which production company you worked for? Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 0:10
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    Every frame costs money, and the more credits you have means more frames you need for the movie. I worked for Industrial Light & Magic, part of Lucasfilm. The unionized workers do all get their credits, but the non unionized people do not. I don't think the SAG cares much in this case on Seagal's behalf, but he probably could have fought for a credit if he wanted.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 12:40

Steven is not listed because he joined the cast late. It was already in production and asked if he could do any part. The producers said sure. I think he took part of Franks part away from him. Steven did not want any credit. and I doubt if he even got paid for the short scenes he was in.

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    I didn't downvote myself but I'm guessing it's because you didn't provide any proof of what you're saying... (e.g. quotes / links to quotes or paraphrasings of quotes from the filmmakers or Steven himself)
    – komodosp
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 8:39

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