Len Wiseman was at the Fox party for the Television Critics Association because he directed the pilot for The Gifted. I would’ve been happy to talk to him about the X-Men series too, but he’s actually too busy to be involved in the second season. So then we just talked about Die Hard: Year One, Wiseman’s in-development film that will feature both Bruce Willis as the John McClane we know and a young version of the unlucky detective in flashbacks.
We talked about how close Wiseman is to getting the film off the ground, how it will be different from Wiseman’s Live Free or Die Hard, and who from the extended McClane family could return.
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(We recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. /Film has explored the film from every angle with a whole series of articles. To conclude our coverage, we took a special tour of the film’s locations and attended a spectacular screening on the Fox lot.)
By now, everyone knows that the filmmakers behind Die Hard utilized 20th Century Fox’s Fox Plaza, a real skyscraper in Los Angeles’s Century City, to stand in for the movie’s famous Nakatomi Plaza. The building is still being used by Fox today, and typically, film journalists aren’t allowed to go inside and explore it. But this past weekend, we were among a small group of journalists invited to take a Die Hard tour showing off a ton of the locations used during the making of the movie.
To top it all off, Fox organized a 30th anniversary screening of the film on the studio lot, with the building itself towering over the audience. Check out our video and photos below.
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Bruce Willis recently woke up from one of his lengthy naps to attend The Comedy Central Roast Of Bruce Willis, where friends and well-wishers took to the stage to insult him. Willis then stepped up to the podium himself and committed the ultimate faux pas: he declared that his classic action film Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. You’re wrong, Bruce Willis.
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(This week marks the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. To celebrate, /Film is exploring the film from every angle with a series of articles. Today: someone who has managed to not see this classic checks it out for the first time with a fresh perspective.)
This year is the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, an action classic starring Bruce Willis as John McClane and Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber. It’s part of the fabric of American pop culture. References to Die Hard still show up in movies and television shows to this day and Willis’ turn as McClane has been endlessly modified and copied over the years. It seems everyone has seen Die Hard. Everyone but me.
Despite being very much alive in 1988, I grew up in an extremely sheltered environment. By the time I’d even heard of Die Hard, it would’ve been the late 1990s. Never one to look back, I focused on present-day pop culture. Nothing against the film, I just never got around to it. Until now. Will Die Hard hold up to the scrutiny of 2018 storytelling? Will it be too much a product of its time to be enjoyable? Without nostalgia-goggles, will I even see what the big deal is? There was only one way to find out.
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(This week marks the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. To celebrate, /Film is exploring the film from every angle with a series of articles. Today: we spoke with ten modern filmmakers about why the movie still holds up, how it influenced their work, and more.)
The first shot in Die Hard is a plane landing on a runway. But the second shot does something relatively atypical for the testosterone-fueled action movies of the 1980s: it established a weakness in its protagonist. New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is afraid of flying, and the first thing we see of him is his hand tightly gripping his armrest. His seat neighbor gives him an odd remedy for stress relief, and when McClane eventually gives it a try during a Christmas party at L.A.’s Nakatomi Plaza, a hostile takeover leaves him barefoot at the worst possible moment.
But that weakness gives the character some much-needed humanity, a far cry from the muscle-bound lugs embodied by actors like Schwarzenegger and Stallone at the time. That humanity and relatability is a huge part of the reason the film remains a stone cold classic three decades after its release. In the latest entry in our series of articles looking back on Die Hard, /Film spoke with a handful of modern Hollywood directors and writers about the impact the film had on them, how it influenced their work, why the movie has stood the test of time, and more. Read More »
(This week marks the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. To celebrate, /Film is exploring the film from every angle with a series of articles. Today: a look back at the 1979 novel that inspired the film.)
There are few movies that bring me pure, unadulterated joy the way John McTiernan’s Die Hard brings me joy. Recently, I flew from New York to Los Angeles for the first time and as I looked around the Los Angeles airport, I couldn’t help but shake my head and say “California” with pure disdain. In truth, I have no beef with the state, but I had just traveled the same route that John McClane took nearly 30 years earlier and I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity of recreation.
In fact, the purpose of this trip was to celebrate my birthday with a Die Hard drinking game party. I visited Fox Plaza (the real Nakatomi Plaza), soaked in the lobby (which looks similar despite the Peet’s Coffee), and stole a rock from the courtyard as a souvenir (don’t report me).
After 30 years, Die Hard remains the best and most quintessential action film of all time. If you hold this movie close to your heart, well, welcome to the party, pal. But the film began its life as something very different: a 1979 thriller novel called Nothing Lasts Forever.
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(This week marks the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. To celebrate, /Film is exploring the film from every angle with a series of articles. Today: the cast and crew look back on the making of an action classic.)
John McTiernan‘s 1988 action tour de force is one of my favorite movies ever made. It’s a masterclass on every level: building entertaining characters, crafting escalating action, establishing and navigating geography, and putting an empathetic hero through the ringer in the face of extraordinary odds. McTiernan and his collaborators made this all look easy, but as the rash of Hollywood imitators that followed quickly proved, it was anything but.
Die Hard turns 30 years old this weekend, and to celebrate, I spoke with cinematographer Jan de Bont, writer Steven E. de Souza, and actor Reginald VelJohnson (who played Sergeant Al Powell) about why the film still holds up, how some of its most memorable scenes came together, and much more. Read More »
(This week marks the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. To celebrate, /Film is exploring the film from every angle with a series of articles. Today: examining the film’s legacy through the numerous rip-offs and knock-offs it inspired in the ’90s.)
If you’ve ever seen the Honest Trailer for Die Hard, then you may recall the lightning round of references at the end riffing on how it was “the original masterpiece that inspired countless knockoffs.” Director John McTiernan’s 1988 film redefined Bruce Willis as an action star and gave rise to a pervasive action-movie formula in which the proverbial one man *epic movie trailer voice* is trapped in a single setting with a bunch of bad guys.
Owing to this, the movie’s title has become a metonym used to refer to other flicks with similar plots. “Die Hard on a plane, Die Hard on a train,” etc. If you grew up during the heyday of ‘90s action movies like I did, then it’s possible you may have been snapping open Blockbuster Video cases to watch some of these flicks at home in your living room before you ever even saw Die Hard or realized that it had influenced them.
As we celebrate its 30th anniversary here on /Film, let’s take a look back at nine key instances from the ‘90s where Hollywood movies recapitulated the Die Hard formula and in some cases launched or reinvented the careers of other notable action movie stars and franchises. Viewed with an appreciation for genre history, these nine derivative actioners (coupled with some honorable mentions from the ’90s and beyond) still hold rewatch value, while illuminating special aspects of Die Hard and showing how it was the gift that kept on giving.
Spoilers for all of these movies lie ahead.
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Every year, Gallery 1988 takes an opportunity to look back 30 years by featuring pop culture artwork inspired by the movies that came out three decades previously. This year it just so happens that the flashback is the same year of their namesake: 1988.
The entire gallery of pieces from the Gallery 1988 30 Years Later art show is available, and it features artwork from movies such as Beetlejuice, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Child’s Play, Die Hard, The Land Before Time, Twins, Bloodsport, Big, Coming to America, The Naked Gun and more.
Gallery 1988 30 Years Later Art Gallery
As you can see, there’s far more representation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Beetlejuice, two of the most popular movies of the year. But there’s plenty of love for some of the other hits of the year as well. Personally, I wish that the Best Picture winning Rain Man was featured in this collection, but maybe that’s just me.
Featured artists for this show include Xander Lee, Shian Ng, Simon Delart, Nicholas Moegly, Matthew Lineham, Josh Eckert, John Barry Ballaran, Jason Yang, James Loram, Hans Woody, Fiona McCall, Erin Hunting, Danny Haas, Daniel Clark, Dan Nash, Chris McGuire, Catherine Moor, Bruce White and many more.
This is just a sample of our favorite pieces from the new art show. You can check out a bunch more pieces available, including some sculptures and originals, over at the Gallery 1988 shop. Some of the prints are already sold out, but there are plenty of others with larger edition sizes for you to pick up.
In this edition of sequel bits:
- It 2 working title revealed
- Rob Zombie begins shooting Devil’s Rejects sequel Three From Hell
- What’s up with Enchanted 2?
- Arnold Schwarzenegger says Twins sequel Triplets is still happening
- Michael Giacchino begins recording Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom score
- Jeff Goldblum will play Ian Malcolm again in a Jurassic World videogame
- An update on the new Die Hard sequel no one wants
- Danny McBride provides an update on Halloween
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