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Added by badwolf on 21 Apr 2010 09:56
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Die Hard and related films (trivia)

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People who added this item 43 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Detective (1968)
First Die Hard film is based on Roderick Thorp's thriller novel Nothing Lasts Forever which is a sequel to his thriller/detective novel simply entitled The Detective. The Detective was filmed in 1968 starring Frank Sinatra. The name of the main character is not John McClane but Joe Leland and, indeed, he is a detective instead of a police officer.
People who added this item 431 Average listal rating (314 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Thorp has told, that after seeing this 1974's Steve McQueen-starring disaster film, he saw a dream of a man being chased through a building by men with guns. At the end of a creative process awaited Nothing Lasts Forever. Perhaps without this film, we might not have Die Hard.
People who added this item 1298 Average listal rating (921 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Commando (1985)
Originally, in the mid-80s, Nothing Lasts Forever was supposed to be adapted to a sequel for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s über-macho Commando. Just hold on, and think that for a moment: the Governator uttering John McClane's famous one-liners with his Austrian accent while trying to squeeze himself through the ventilation system of Nakatomi Tower. Eventually, Arnold turned down the role.

Commando was co-written by Steven E. de Souza and produced by Joel Silver. These gentlemen have similar roles in the first two Die Hard films. Commando also features a fictional country called Val Verde and so does Die Hard 2. In fact, Val Verde also makes an appearance in the film Predator and TV series Supercarrier and Adventure Inc.. Commando and Predator both star Schwarzenegger, and both films were produced by Silver. De Souza has writing credits in all the five items plus he was an executive producer for Supercarrier. (Wow, I’m getting sidetracked, but just think of all the connections.)
People who added this item 4302 Average listal rating (2975 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.2
The film is based on Roderick Thorp’s novel which this list has mainly been about so far. In the novel, Joe Leland is visiting the Klaxon Oil Corporation's headquarters in LA, where his daughter Steffie Leland Gennaro works. During his visit a German terrorist team, led by Anton "Tony" Gruber, takes over the building. Leland manages to remain undetected and fights off the terrorists one by one, aided outside the building by LAPD Sergeant Al Powell. For the film, some of the names were altered, but the storyline is mainly the same. One notable change is of course that Leland’s daughter became McClane’s wife, and that Gruber and his group, who were actually freedom fighters, became thieves.
Thorp hadn’t written more Joe Leland novels but another author, Walter Wager, was the salvation when the production team tried to find an idea for a sequel. His novel "58 Minutes" tells of a cop trying to stop terrorists who take over an airport while his wife's plane circles overhead. It was adapted to repeat some key elements of the first Die Hard film, and voilà: Die Hard 2. Due to the film's origins, in several French-speaking countries it was called "58 minutes pour vivre" (58 Minutes to Live).

Interestingly, to keep Schwarzenegger in this list, Wager has also written a novelization of Arnie's 1986 film Raw Deal.

Thorp received a writing credit for "certain original characters". Unfortunately, they misspelled his name as "Thorpe".
People who added this item 859 Average listal rating (617 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
In The Last Boy Scout - produced by Joel Silver, by the way - we see the daughter of Willis' character watch Lethal Weapon on TV - a movie also produced by Silver. The scene she is the one where Mel Gibson is tortured by a mook played by Al Leong. Leong also played Uli, one of the terrorists in Die Hard.
People who added this item 502 Average listal rating (356 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.2
Bruce Willis has an uncredited cameo as John McClane in this National Lampoon spoof produced by his brother. By the way: the film also features Bruce's co-star Allyce Beasley from the TV series Moonlighting which made Willis a star. When the series was coming to an end in the late eighties, Die Hard was already available on VHS. In one of the last episodes, Willis and a love interest of his walk past a video rental store while an employee is tearing a Die Hard poster down from the window.

Sameul L Jackson and Willis, who would two years later co-star in the third Die Hard film, didn't meet each other in the filming of Loaded Weapon 1. Their roles here are unconnected.
People who added this item 3499 Average listal rating (2444 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.2
Speed (1994)
Nakatomi Plaza of the first film was actually a building called Fox Plaza, 20th Century Fox’s HQ (unfortunately, in the film they destroyed only a model). The lobby of the building was also featured in another action film distributed by Fox, Speed, which has often been referred to as "Die Hard on wheels". Fox Plaza has also been used, at least, in Airheads, Motorama and Fight Club.
People who added this item 2730 Average listal rating (1858 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
The film is based on a script written by Jonathan Hensleigh originally titled "Simon Says", which in early stages was considered to be conceived as a Brandon Lee action film or as the fourth instalment of the Lethal Weapon series. Well, it became Die Hard 3, with John McTiernan returning to the director’s chair.

In the original script the villains planned to burgle the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That idea wasn't used here but it appeared in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, also helmed by John McTiernan. By the way, guess who was the star of the original film? Answer: Steve McQueen, six years prior to Towering Inferno. Furthermore: the remake starred Pierce Brosnan, who also played the titular character of Remington Steele, a comedy-filled detective TV series bearing a lot resemblance to Moonlighting. Brosnan appeared as Steele in a series 3 episode of Moonlighting. (Yeah, this is pretty far-fetched)
People who added this item 962 Average listal rating (630 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
At an early working stage, the title of this movie was subtitle for Die Hard 4. The project needed some work, though, and in the meanwhile Willis wanted to do something else. He told the studio he'd commit to Die Hard 4 if he could use the subtitle for this movie.
People who added this item 952 Average listal rating (637 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
Hostage (2005)
Wait a second. Bruce Willis plays a cop, who ends up in the middle of a hostage situation born out of a robbery attempt? And his family is in trouble, too? Oh, as an added bonus he used to be a hostage negotiator in Los Angeles? Have I seen this somewhere before?
People who added this item 2460 Average listal rating (1673 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
This film's inspiration wasn’t a novel but a 1997 article "A Farewell to Arms" written by John Carlin for technology-related Wired magazine. It also got some inspiration form another unrelated script, "WW3.com", which was written by David Marconi. Marconi also wrote screenplay for Enemy of the State, another techno-thriller.

An Australian actor called Kevin Smith, in his first Hollywood role, was supposed to star in Tears of the Sun along-side Willis. Tragically Smith died before the filming began, and ironically, in Die Hard 4 Willis stars with another Kevin Smith. Further on namesakes: in a 1966 film Our Man Flint one of the villians was called Hans Gruber.
People who added this item 257 Average listal rating (183 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.6
12 Rounds (2009)
The "Simon says"-based plot is nothing but a Die Hard: With a Vengeance rip-off. First we believe the film is about revenge, but in the end it turns out to be a robbery conceived by a criminal mastermind. Perhaps this is Die Hard 2 director Renny Harlin showing frustration that he didn't get any more Die Hard films to direct even though John McTiernan did.

Plus, to talk a little more about Speed, at one point 12 Rounds starts to resemble Speed (a bus being threatened by a bomb). 12 Rounds was co-produced by one of Speed's producers.
Yeah, a fifth film is coming. Even though I'll check it out sooner or later, I can't really call myself excited. The sequels have distanced themselves from the original idea - they have abandonded small environments and simple setting, which created suspense and thus a hell of an atmosphere - in favor of ridiculous CGI stunts, making the events more and more implausible. A skyscraper, an airport, a city, several states... and now the story goes worldwide? Please, stick to the original formula, that's my opinion, unless you have a clear and somewhat plausible storyline with small-scale man-on-man fight scenes.

By the way, the fifth film is penned by Skip Woods, whose Swordfish and Hitman were far from clear-plotted films with small-scale action scenes. That keeps my expectations quite low at this point. Hopefully I will be positively surprised.

Die Hard is an essential action movie. It made Bruce Willis an action star and the whole quadrilogy is pretty recognizable and well-remembered. This list explores some films connected to the franchise with a somewhat interesting way. In total, the list features 24 films and 4 TV series. Only the ones with a notable connection are added as main items. Some of the connections are very loose but I hope it makes reading this list a lot of fun. Enojy! Warning: Includes unnecessary details. May cause headache.

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