Friday, January 17, 2014

15 Things You Didn't Know About "Die Hard"

Yippie-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon.
Bruce Willis wasn’t the first choice to play John McClane. The role was passed from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Richard Gere, and Harrison Ford before Willis got it.

Willis' hearing was injured: Director John McTiernan wanted the gunshot effects to be as realistic as possible. In the scene where McClane is hiding under a desk and he shoots one of the terrorists, the bang was so loud that it actually caused permanent damage to Bruce Willis' hearing.

The movie was Alan Rickman's film debut.

The "German" the terrorists are speaking in the theatrical version is just gibberish. Most of the terrorists’ dialogue is incoherent gibberish that was later fixed for the VHS release. Only Alan Rickman actually spoke German in the movie.

Bruce Willis wasn’t on the original poster. Back in 1985, exploding buildings were all the rage and Bruce Willis was just another television actor. The studio had concerns that his image might prevent box office success because he wasn’t a proven movie star.
The look of terror on Hans Gruber’s face as he falls to his death is genuine. Director John McTiernan chose to drop Alan Rickman 40 feet one second before the actor expected it to achieve a look of surprise. They used the first take for the film and managed to piss off Rickman in the process. “They were very careful to make it my last shot of the film,” said the actor.

The Hans Gruber-Bill Clay scene was added to the script after shooting had already begun. Producers wanted a way for McClane and Gruber to meet prior to the climax and added it in after hearing Rickman’s American accent

Nakatomi Tower is actually 20th Century Fox’s headquarters. One would think that filming in your own office would be a smart way to trim the budget, but the studio charged itself rent to shoot there.

The movie had to be filmed at night. Willis was busy filming the TV series "Moonlighting" during his days and was only available at night.

“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!” is a piece of movie history. The line has been used by John McClane in all five movies and was voted as #96 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
Willis landed his part in 12 Monkeys thanks to Die Hard. 12 Monkeys director Terry Gilliam cast Willis for the part based on his improvised lines during the scene where he pulls broken glass shards out of his foot. Willis actually wore a pair of rubber feet while running through the broken glass. Look close enough and you’ll notice that his feet look unusually Hobbit-sized.
Die Hard was originally meant to be a sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Commando, but Arnold passed and the movie eventually became a stand-alone story.

Alan Rickman was scared of gunfire. The actor had only done stage work before signing on to play Hans Gruber and he wasn't used to the loud sound effects used on a film set. Every time he fired a gun he recoiled in shock, which wasn't ideal for a character that's meant to be an intimidating career terrorist. The director had to edit around this problem, so that's why you rarely see Rickman's face when he pulls a trigger.

Director John McTiernan turned the script down several times; he felt it was too brutal. When he was finally persuaded to take on the assignment, McTiernan was able to lighten some of the film's darker edges.

Bruce Willis was paid a then-unheard-of $5 million for Die Hard. The price was approved by FOX chairman Rupert Murdoch himself.

Sources: Uproxx, (AU) , and IMdb.


  1. Cool post! The part about dropping Rickman before he expected it made me laugh. =)

  2. I love behind-the-scenes trivia! This movie is one of my favorites. I've always liked Bruce Willis, he had me at "Moonlighting." :)



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