Die Hard Compared to The Book

If you had a Christmas that was worth a damn this past weekend, then you probably watched Die Hard, one of the best Christmas movies. You can feel free to debate that in the comments if you disagree that it’s in fact a Christmas movie, but that’s not why we’re here. Instead, we would like to enlighten those who may not know that Die Hard was actually based on a book, and it has some significant differences from the book.

Die Hard is based on a book called Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, and it was actually meant to be a sequel to The Detective, another book turned into a 1968 film led by Frank Sinatra as New York detective Joe Leland. That’s where the first key differences come into play, because the story featured Leland going toe-to-toe with a terrorist named Anton “Little Tony”Gruber in a high rise building belonging to the Klaxon Oil Corporation. Sounds pretty familiar.

See Die Hard compared to the book after the jump.

The basics of Die Hard are in the original book, but obviously some of the specific details have been changed since we have a villain named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and the high rise where the action takes place is Nakatomi Plaza (which was turned into a kick-ass Blu-ray set for the whole franchise).

Since the book was crafted as a sequel that was intended to be turned into a movie, the action set pieces are largely the same, and the most significant differences come in the characters. Aside from turning Sinatra’s character Joe Leland into John McClane (Bruce Willis), they change the character that our hero was going to visit. In the book, it’s the characters daughter, but in the movie, it’s McClane’s estranged wife (though they do share the same last name).

You can watch the whole video to find out more, or you can just read the book yourself.

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