Based on the excellent and highly recommended novel "Nothing Lasts Forever
" by Roderick Thorp, Die hard was, in many ways, "Predator
II". For a start, the script, co-written by Steven DeSouza, was salvaged from his script for the abandoned sequel to Arnie's jungle film. The idea, originally, was to set it in the city. (As, in fact, was eventually done in the real sequel some years later). Many of De Souza's ideas were transplanted into Die Hard. Secondly, Die Hard was John McTiernan's second mainstream movie... after "Predator
The success of 1985's "Commando
" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger prompted writers to create a sequel. The script for the sequel featured John Matrix (Arnold) living in Los Angeles and working as the head of security for a large corporation that gets taken over by terrorists. Rae Dawn Chong's character was also to be in the film, although now her character would've completed law school and would've been a lawyer as opposed to a flight attendant. Arnold was only interested in making the sequel to "The Terminator" and subsequently declined participation in the film. Source: "The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger
" The key sequences for "Commando II" were kept and the story was altered somewhat to create an "average joe" cop hero named John McLane, who's a "fish out of water" at an X-mas party for his wife's company. This part was first offered to Clint Eastwood, who felt he was a little too old for the role. It was then offered to Richard Gere, who declined for unknown reasons. It was then offered to Burt Reynolds, who also declined.
On your Commando page it says in the trivia that a script for Commando 2 got turned into Die Hard. On the Die Hard trivia it says that the script came from a draft for Predator 2... One must be wrong. Well...
Contributed by: Andy Douglass
After deciding not to use the story for predator 2, Die Hard was then passed on to be a sequel to another Arnie vehicle, Commando 2. However producers found the idea too original and decided to make an altogether new action film!
Contributed by: MKaneJeeves
At one point, the film was allegedly conceived as a possible vehicle for Charles Bronson
! But he was under contract to Cannon films and would have been unable to be in the picture.
would play John McClane (or a very distant relative thereof) in a cameo appearance in the 1993 spoof "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1".
Theo (Clarence Gilyard Jr.
) is perhaps best known for his role as Ranger James Trivette in "Walker Texas Ranger". He also appeared in "Top Gun
" and CHiPs in the early 1980s.
Contributed by: Robert Baum
A few of the film's cast had experience in 007 films: Andreas Wisniewski (Tony, the first terrorist killed) portrayed the Red Grant knock off Necros in "The Living Daylights," FBI Agent Johnson portrayer, Robert Davi, would star as the charismatic drug lord Franz Sanchez in "Licence to Kill" and Grand L. Bush, who played the other FBI Agent Johnson, portrayed a DEA agent in the same film.
Contributed by: Paul Shrimpton
The teddy bear that John McClane is carrying with him on the plane at the beginning of Die Hard is the same one that Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) carries with him on a plane at the very end of 'The Hunt For Red October' (1990), also directed by John McTiernan.
Contributed by: Santiago Velasquez
, who played the bad guy Karl ("I want his blood!") started off as an amazingly talented ballet dancer. One of his classmates and friends at the Riga Ballet school in Russia was Mikhail Baryshnikov. After graduating he toured with the Moscow Classical Ballet. In 1973 he won a gold medal at the Moscow International Competition. In August 1979 he defected from the USSR. The story grew in importance when his ballerina wife returned to the USSR a few days later. He joined the American Ballet Theater and danced with it until 1982 when he and it's director Baryshnikov had a falling out. He was, by then, a frequent companion of Jacqueline Bisset. Sadly, Godunov, who also starred in "Witness
" and played a hilarious part in Tom Hanks' "The Money Pit
", died in May of 1995 of natural causes. He was 46 years old.
Contributed by: K. Trocha
All of the terrorist "extras", aside from Rickman and Godunov were actual European male models! This was a conscious choice of the director.
The body count in die Hard was just 18 -compared with 164 for Die hard 2
Here's how the terrorists go: Tony (neck breaks); Heinrich (shot twice by McClane); Marco (shot six times); Alexander/James (plastic explosives); Fritz (shot by McClane); Franco (shot four times in legs, then falls through glass window); Uli (shot three times); Eddie (shot between eyes); Hans (falls out of window); Karl (shot three times by Powell); The other two terrorists, Theo (black guy) and Kristoff, are only punched out by Argyle and McClane respectively. They also don't have any guns or weapons of any kind.
The scene in which Hans Gruber and McClane meet was inserted after John McTiernan found Alan Rickman was proficient at mimicking an American accent.
Contributed by: C.T. Warren
Despite playing uber-villain Hans, Alan Rickman
doesn't always play bad guys, he's just excellent at them! A few of his non-villain roles include Col. Brandon in "Sense & Sensibility", the actor/alien Alex Dane/Dr. Lazarus in "Galaxy Quest", and voiced Marvin the depressed robot in "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy". Additionally, Alan is slated to appear in all 8 "Harry Potter" films as Prof. Snape, but is he a bad guy in them? If you didn't read the books, you'll have to watch'em all to find out!
Contributed by: rdnkgrl74
Alan Rickman also plays "the voice of God" in Dogma and I must say he is a riot in this film. One of the best actors around!
At one point in the movie a model of a bridge is shown at the Nakatomi headquarters and commented upon by the hans Gruber. The model is of an unbuilt Frank Lloyd Wright project to cross San Francisco Bay in the 40's.
It is often forgotten that Alan Rickman also starred in the movie "January Man" with Kevin Kline in 1989.
Contributed by: politeintruder
The lead role in Die Hard was offered to Mel Gibson
but he had just done Lethal Weapon which was a similar smart ass kinda role.
Bruce Willis' lines during the scene when he pulls the glass out of his feet were ad-libbed.
One cop says that John McClane (Bruce Willis) "could be a damned bartender for all we know". Prior to becoming a well-known actor, Willis was a bartender.
Contributed by: Mr. Zimmerman
The sound effects for the guns being fired are the same as used in "Robocop".
Contributed by: Jordan &Quot;Indy&Quot; Olson
Andreas Wisenewski, the nefarious Necros in the 007 adventure "The Living Daylights" played the first guy who McClane killed in this film (Tony, the guy who fell down and went boom. Karl's brother.)
Contributed by: James Ivie
Reginald Vel Johnson, who played the cop that helped John McClane along the way would go on to play Carl Winslow in the hit family sitcom "Family Matters". He also played the same cop in a hostage situation on the tv show "Chuck" -he also ate his famous twinkies!
Contributed by: Phantom Planet
One of the terrorists blown up by Maclaine's C4-laden chair is acclaimed German actor Wilhelm Von Homberg. Wilhelm had a cameo in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness with Sam Neill and also played the evil portrait-dwelling demon, 'Viggo' in Ghostbusters 2.
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What follows are trivia items we now believe
are bogus. Some of them will have explanations, some will not. We just leave 'em
in for interest, really.
I have heard that the renowned stuntman, Dar Robinson, died during the filming of this movie.
-Dar Robinson die during the filming of "Million Dollar Mystery", not "Die Hard"