When Die Hard was finally made, Bruce Willis was mostly known for TV. His $5 million fee was seen as a huge risk. The film ended up taking at least $140 million.

Die Hard

This article is about the 1988 action film. For the film series it launched, see Die Hard (film series). For other uses, see Die Hard (disambiguation).

Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza. It stars Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, and Bonnie Bedelia. Based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, Die Hard follows New York City police detective John McClane (Willis) who is caught up in a terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles skyscraper while visiting his estranged wife. The film features Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Paul Gleason, and Hart Bochner in supporting roles.

Desperate for work, Stuart was offered the job of… Continue Reading (48 minute read)

10 thoughts on “When Die Hard was finally made, Bruce Willis was mostly known for TV. His $5 million fee was seen as a huge risk. The film ended up taking at least $140 million.”

  1. RuinedSplendour

    Can I ask German speakers if Die Hard means The Hard in German? That would be a very different movie

  2. MsKlinefelter

    Die Hard released the beast. Bruce Willis was great on the small screen, but it always seemed like there was more… When he hit theaters, he absolutely owned every role he attempted, including Hudson Hawk and Blind Date.

  3. Co_Kind86

    Watch “The movies that made us” on Netflix. Making of Die Hard is on there, lots of stuff you didn’t know.

  4. amazingsandwiches

    Die Hard was also written as a sequel to the 1968 film where John is played by Frank Sinatra.

  5. aiandi

    Moonlighting… Miami Vice… Twilight Zone… Emmy Awards… Golden Globes..

    The man had chops, a huge fan base, and many profitable ad spots.

  6. We-are-straw-dogs

    Everyone knows the movie was offered to Frank Sinatra, but the lead was also offered to The role was then offered to stars including: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Nick Nolte, Mel Gibson, Don Johnson, Richard Dean Anderson, Paul Newman, and James Caan.

  7. popmachine2019

    Die Hard is on tv so much, Bruce Willis will still be known from tv.

  8. oopstoolate

    Alright, this seems like as good a time as any to ask; Die Hard is a Christmas movie, yes or no?

  9. Blue_Swirling_Bunny

    I saw the trailer for *Die Hard* on my high school’s Senior Skip Day when a few friends and I went to see *Willow*. *Die Hard* would premiere two months later, and this was the first any of us had heard of it.

    When that gravelly movie narrator voice mentioned the hero’s name and Bruce Willis showed up on screen, most of us in the theater reacted with “What?! *Bruce Willis*?! Oh man, that is gonna suck.”

    But it did not. It did not suck.

  10. Akwagazod

    One of the main reasons Bruce even took the job was because he wanted to quit drinking, and one of his biggest money making gigs at the time was starring in commercials for wine coolers. Like, IIRC he was actually making less doing Die Hard than he was making doing the TV stuff.

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