Trivia / Die Hard

Works in this franchise with their own pages:


Trivia for Die Hard:

  • Actor-Shared Background: Willis' own love of Roy Rogers inspired the film's other co-writer to come up with McClane's signature catchphrase.
  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Hans' quote on Alexander the Great. It's actually "Alexander of Macedon, who, upon hearing that there were other worlds, wept that he had not yet conquered one", though this would fit in with Hans' posturing and Delusions Of Grandeur.
  • Divorced Installment: The film was was based on a book, Nothing Lasts Forever. This book was a sequel to The Detective, which had its own popular film adaptation in 1968, starring Frank Sinatra. When Sinatra declined to be in a film sequel, it was quickly retooled... into a sequel to Commando, with Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as John Matrix. Arnie passed on it, too, leading to it being retooled into an original work entirely, creating the Die Hard known and loved today.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: All of the sequels were originally separate works. Die Hard 2 was based the unrelated novel 58 Minutes. With a Vengeance was based on a screenplay titled Simon Says, which was also conceived as Lethal Weapon 4. Live Free or Die Hard was based on both a magazine article titled A Farewell to Arms and an unrelated screenplay titled WW3.com. A Good Day to Die Hard is the first sequel to begin life as a Die Hard sequel, though it was originally a rejected screenplay for Live Free or Die Hard.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • During the filming of Die Hard, Alan Rickman was told that he was going to be let go on a count of three. They dropped him on "two," and the look of panic on his face is definitely not acted; one is not surprised to learn that he was extremely angry after that shoot was over.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons as Germans in 1 and Vengeance.
    • Russian Alexander Godunov plays Karl, who is from Germany.
  • Fake Russian: German actor Sebastian Koch plays the Russian Komarov in A Good Day to Die Hard.
  • Improv: Much of the script was improvised due to the constant screenplay tweaks that were being made during filming.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Bruce's exhaustion from his schedule (he was also shooting Moonlighting) forced de Souza to beef up the roles of the other characters, giving characters like Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), Ellis (Hart Bochner), Argyle (De'voreaux White), and Richard Thornburg (William Atherton) more personality and screen time.
  • Referenced by...: Knights of Buena Vista talks about this film using estranged people in love having to overcome their estrangement. One character also gives Fanon Discontinuity to the fourth and fifth films.
  • Running the Asylum: Arguably one of the biggest fans of the Die Hard franchise is... Bruce Willis. He apparently feels very strongly about not insulting the viewers' intelligence, and while his self-appointed "gatekeeper of the franchise" role makes directors cry, among other things it resulted in the villain of the fourth film actually getting a fully fleshed-out backstory (rather than what Willis described as a scene of "MySpace and cheerleader porn jokes").
  • Sequel Gap:
  • Star-Making Role: Die Hard for Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, the latter making his film debut.
  • Technology Marches On: Cell phones and wireless Internet would have made things easier for McClane... if the people on the other line weren't still being so thickheaded.
  • The Other Darrin: John's daughter and son appeared as adults in the fourth and fifth films but were played by different (child) actors in the first film.
  • Throw It In:
    • The line "I wanted this to be professional...he won't be joining us for the rest of his life." was an ad lib; Alan Rickman also improvised the bit of helping himself to the party buffet while saying this. Much of the scene where Hans tries to use a fake American accent to pass himself off as a hostage to McClane was apparently ad-libbed after the producers discovered that Rickman could do a good American impersonation.
    • The shot in the elevator shaft where McClane drops from the vent he was aiming for, but manages to grab the next one down was an accident on the part of the stuntman that made the final cut anyway.
    • McClane yellng "Whoa!" when he flings the parkour-using henchman off his car and into a wall; it was Bruce Willis's genuine reaction to the actor taking a bigger bump for the stunt than expected.
    • Al Leong improvised the bit where he takes a candy bar from the concession stand before fighting the SWAT team, as he felt the scene could use some comic relief.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The first movie was originally written as a sequel to Commando
    • This is the big one: Nothing Lasts Forever, the novel in which this franchise started from, was a sequel to the Novel "The Detective." Which was adapted to film starring Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was 73 at the time, but a clause in the first movie's contract meant he had a right to accept the role in the sequel before it could be offered to anyone else. In other words Frank Sinatra technically was and would have been the Original John McClane. Which actually would have fit pretty well in the adaptation, as its hero was an old, retired cop who found his inner Badass Grandpa during the siege.
    • Alan Rickman nearly passed up the role of Hans Gruber, which ended up being his first film role. He had only arrived in Hollywood two days earlier and was appalled by the idea of his first role being the villain in an action film.
    • Richard Gere turned down the role of McClane.

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