Five Fun Facts About 'Die Hard'

Die Hard: Five fun facts about the 1988 movie with Bruce Willis.
December 6, 2019 - 14:30 / Clemens Fanger

The 1988 action movie Die Hard did not only make Bruce Willis the superstar he is today, it was also the starting point for an extremely successful franchise that has fans all over the world. Here is some trivia about the popular movie!

The new Netflix series The Movies That Made Us recently premiered on the streaming platform. It deals with iconic movies and reveals some interesting facts about each and every one. Let's look at some interesting facts about the 1988 classic Die Hard that starred Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman.

Frank Sinatra was offered the role of "John McClane"

Since the script of Die Hard was originally commissioned as a sequel to the 1968 thriller The Detective that starred Frank Sinatra, producer Joel Silver was legally bound to offer the role to the member of the Rat Pack.

Sinatra passed. Other Hollywood big shots like Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Gere, James Caan and Sylvester Stallone also passed on the role of "John McClane".

Bruce Willis starred as "John McClane" in Die Hard.

Die Hard: One particular stunt was actually the real thing

The scene in which "John McClane" (Bruce Willis) slips down the elevator shaft in the Nakatomi Tower ended up in the movie although it actually features footage of a stuntman that accidentally lost his grip.

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"Quiet on set, please!"

All scenes in and outside of Nakatomi Tower were filmed at Fox Plaza in Los Angeles, the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. During production, Fox Plaza remained a functional office building which meant that the crew had to be really quiet inside the building until 5 p.m. so they wouldn't disturb the lawyers on the 25th floor.

Alan Rickman as "Hans Gruber" in Die Hard.

"Hans Gruber's" death: Alan Rickman was really(!) scared

For his character "Hans Gruber's" final scene, in which he falls to his death, Alan Rickman had a very fearful look on his face. It turns out that that look was not only good acting, but actual fear. The stunt coordinator told Rickman that he would give him a 3, 2, 1 countdown before pushing him off a 40-foot piece of scaffolding onto a prepared airbag, but ended up pushing the actor at "3".

Where did the ambulance come from?

A little slip-up was discovered in an early screening of the film that had to do with the ambulance one of the terrorists uses to flee from Nakatomi Tower. It was supposed to be hidden inside the truck that "Gruber" and his crew arrived in, but in the scene where they exit the truck, the ambulance is nowhere to be see. Surprisingly, director John McTiernan chose to ignore the mistake.