Die Hard: 10 facts about the legendary action movie with Bruce Willis (11 photos)

Category: Movie, Facts, PEGI 0+
12 January 2024

Released in the summer of 1988, Die Hard made Bruce Willis an instant star, secured Alan Rickman's place in Hollywood and launched a five-film franchise.

The original Die Hard set the bar for what a quality action movie can do - an action-packed film that doesn't sacrifice logic or humanity in its spectacle.

No matter how many times you watch this legendary film, some facts may surprise you, so let's take a closer look.

Bruce Willis's salary has caused serious controversy in Hollywood

With a film budget of $28 million, Bruce Willis was paid as much as $5 million. It would seem that who cares how the film studio spends its money, but such a fee caused a huge stir in Hollywood.

People involved in the film industry loudly stated that such a high (at that time) amount would entail an increase in fees for other actors, because everyone would start thinking like this:

If someone was paid 5 million dollars, then why am I worse? Why should you settle for less?

MGM Pictures Chairman Alan Ladd Jr. said with concern that the fee would "knock out the movie business," whether the gamble paid off or not.

Who else was considered for the main role?

However, Bruce Willis was not the first choice. Whoever was considered for the role of John McClane - Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, and in general it seemed that any more or less famous actor was considered for the role.

This was the reason why they finally settled on Bruce. Director John McTiernan at some point decided that a simpler actor who was not known to a wide audience would look more natural in the role.

Director John McTiernan initially refused to work on the film

John McTiernan received an offer to work on Nut in the wake of the success of Predator, but interestingly, the director turned it down many times before accepting the offer.

He didn't want to take on the film because he didn't like the script. John found him too "nasty" and only accepted the job after Fox allowed him to soften the script a little and make it more palatable for the average viewer.

Considering that the darkly comedic tone of Die Hard is one of its most recognizable elements, it's safe to say that McTiernan was right.

Alan Rickman's debut

This may seriously surprise some, but the iconic role of Hans Gruber was Alan Rickman's debut in a big movie. Before this, he was known mainly for his acting on stage, and his screen work mainly consisted of roles in TV series.

And so, at the age of 41, Rickman made his debut as Gruber, and the rest is history. It is noteworthy that he almost turned down this role because he did not want to play a villain, and he arrived on set just a few days before it began.

Sam Neill turned down the role of Hans Gruber

Veteran actor Sam Neill already had more than a dozen prominent film roles under his belt before Die Hard even went into production, and was offered the role of Hans Gruber before Alan Rickman.

Given that Neill had a reputation for being good at playing villains (it wasn't until 1993 that he landed the sweet role of Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park), it's no surprise that the studio was considering him.

However, for some reason Neill turned down the role, and only after that Fox made an offer to Alan Rickman.

Bruce Willis' face was not used in marketing

In addition to the incredible fee, the very presence of Bruce Willis in the film caused massive controversy even before the release.

The actor was known primarily thanks to the TV series “Moonlight Detective Agency”, so they were dangerousI think having Willis in the marketing campaign will convince audiences that Die Hard is actually a comedy, which is why Bruce's face was removed from early posters. It was only after the film's release that the actor was reinstated in promotions and posters, cementing his reputation as a true action hero.

Many scenes are improvisation

Yes, most of the dialogue was improvised by the actors, since the script was in constant revision. Moreover, some of the sets were built before the scenes were even written. For example, the computer room where Hans memorably makes the "shoot the glass" joke was built before anyone knew exactly what would happen in that set.

While the improvisation worked miraculously, it did lead to some questionable production problems, such as the ambulance that emerges from the truck being too big to fit inside, and McTiernan had to cleverly edit the scene to make it work.

Minor characters got bigger roles because of Bruce

Die Hard boasts some of the most memorable supporting characters in action movie history. Troubled LAPD sergeant Al Powell, strange “Nakatomi” Harry Ellis, cheerful limousine driver Argyle, TV journalist Richard Thornburg, computer specialist Theo and other interesting characters graced the film with their presence.

However, in the original script, all of these characters had much smaller roles, and it was only because of Bruce's busy schedule, who was filming the series during the day and working on the film at night, that screenwriter Steven De Souza rewrote the script to reduce Willis's screen time in favor of the others. actors.

Alan Rickman's natural reaction

The scene where Hans gets his comeuppance is great for a number of reasons: the villain being thrown out of a skyscraper window, the gorgeous slow motion, the dramatic musical score, and Alan Rickman's shocked expression that perfectly captured his character's emotions.

However, such a phenomenal game has its own secret, since McTiernan played a cruel joke on Rickman. According to all safety rules, the actor was thrown from the platform onto the airbag, but the stunt coordinator deceived Rickman, saying that he would throw him off the platform on the count of three, but in fact he did it on two, so the shock on Alan's face was the most whatever is natural. The actor was most likely afraid that the stunt had somehow gone wrong.

Bruce doesn't think it's a Christmas movie

A few years ago, Bruce was honored with a Comedy Central Roast and he stated that he didn't think Die Hard was a Christmas movie.

No, this is not a Christmas movie! It's a movie with Bruce Willis!

In general, the debate about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie has raged for literally decades, especially in recent years, when the discussion has turned into one continuous meme.

Is Willis right? Most likely, not entirely, since even John McClane's wife is named Holly, but Bruce may quite rightly have his own point of view.

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