Die Hard interviews

(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 »

die hard 2

In Die Hard 2, John McClane (Bruce Willis) found himself trapped in a bigger building, Dulles Airport, with hundreds of more people at risk than the original hostage situation he thwarted in Die Hard. To show the new terrorists are even deadlier than the Nakatomi thieves, Col. Stuart (William Sadler) crashes a plane full of passengers when his demands are not met.

Screenwriter Steven E. de Souza revealed that the studio filmed a second plane crash sequence. Why did they do this? Find out after the jump.

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The Real Reason ‘Hudson Hawk’ is So Bonkers

hudson hawk

It’s no secret I was Team Hudson Hawk from day one in 1991. Although the film has achieved cult status among its fans today, it was a box office bomb in the summer of 1991. Some say it was ahead of its time, mixing musical numbers and wacky comedy with action. Producer Joel Silver once told me he thought it should have been more like Wayne’s World.

It is true that Hudson Hawk is not the movie Silver set out to produce, nor the one that screenwriter Steven E. de Souza wrote for Bruce Willis, and there is a very distinct reason for that.

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the running man alternate versions

Before Paul Michael Glaser directed The Running Man, four other directors worked on Stephen King‘s big screen adaptation. Here are the three The Running Man alternate versions we almost saw.

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die hard

In the middle of Die Hard, hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) meets terrorist thief leader Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), posing as a hostage. McClane suspects something is off and gets away. In the film, it could be McClane’s police instinct or Gruber’s European choice of cigarettes. Screenwriter Steven E. de Souza had a more specific intention, but only scant remnant are left in the film.

Speaking at a 30th-anniversary screening of his other movie, The Running Man, de Souza said there used to be a bigger plot point about the 12 “terrorists” all wearing the same watches.

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