- Die Hard (franchise)
Die Hard Creator Roderick Thorp Original work Die Hard Print publications Comics Die Hard: Year One Films and television Films Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Live Free or Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard
Games Video games Die Hard
Die Hard Arcade
Die Hard Trilogy
Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza
Die Hard: Vendetta
The Die Hard series is a series of four action films beginning with Die Hard in 1988. All four films are centered around the character of John McClane (portrayed by Bruce Willis), a New York City police detective who finds himself fighting a group of terrorists in each episode. There are also several video games based on the films, as well as a comic book series released in August 2009.
- 1 Films
- 2 Characters
- 3 Other media
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Die Hard (series) Directed by John McTiernan
Written by Jonathan Hensleigh (III) Screenplay by Jeb Stuart (I)
Steven E. de Souza (I-II)
Doug Richardson (II)
Mark Bomback (IV)
Story by Mark Bomback (IV)
David Marconi (IV)
Based on Nothing Lasts Forever by
Roderick Thorp (I)
58 Minutes by
Walter Wager (II)
"A Farewell to Arms" by
John Carlin (IV)
Starring Bruce Willis Music by Michael Kamen (I-III)
Marco Beltrami (IV)
Distributed by 20th Century Fox Release date(s) 1988 – present Country United States Language English Budget $298,000,000 Box office $1,130,432,180
Die Hard (1988)
The first film begins on Christmas Eve when McClane is traveling to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who is living in Los Angeles with their two children and using her maiden name. They attend a party at the fictional Nakatomi Plaza. During the party, East German terrorists break into the building and take the partygoers hostage. McClane escapes detection and manages to hide throughout the building, gradually killing off the terrorist gang and learning that their real aim is to steal millions from the building's vault. When McClane meets the terrorist's leader, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), a climactic battle ensues and McClane throws Gruber out the window.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
The second film takes place one year after the events of the first film, once again on Christmas Eve. The setting for the film is Washington, D.C., McClane is at Washington Dulles International Airport awaiting the arrival of his wife. Meanwhile a group of mercenaries led by former U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Stuart (William Sadler), take over the airport's communication systems, stranding several planes in the air, including the one McClane's wife is on. Colonel Stuart's plan is to free a captured Latin American dictator (Franco Nero) who is en route to the airport. McClane discovers the plan, including a conspiracy between Stuart and an Army counter-terrorist unit sent to stop him. He foils their plans and provides a visual landing signal for the circling aircraft by exploding the plane the villains were using for their getaway.
Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)
In the third film, McClane is back in New York City, and is now separated from his wife, suspended from the police force, and a borderline alcoholic. A terrorist who goes only by the name "Simon" (Jeremy Irons) threatens to blow up various locations in the city unless McClane will play his twisted version of Simon says. McClane must solve a number of riddles and challenges in order to keep the bombs from going off. He receives the reluctant help of Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson), a shopkeeper from Harlem who had saved McClane after the first challenge "Simon" had put him through. The FBI finally reveal that "Simon" is in fact Simon Peter Gruber, the brother of Hans Gruber, who is attempting to kill McClane in revenge for his brother's death in the first film. In a subsequent revelation, McClane discovers that revenge is only a timely and clever cover story to conceal the true purpose behind his terrorist activities: the forced depletion of New York's Federal Reserve. With the help of Carver, McClane tracks Simon to the Canadian border. There, in a decisive final confrontation with the latter in a helicopter, McClane puts an end to Simon's plan with a handgun and a power line.
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
The fourth film begins with McClane now divorced from his wife and estranged from his daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). A group of cyber-terrorists begin hacking into the computers of the FBI, who sends McClane to bring in computer hacker Matthew "Matt" Farrell (Justin Long) to question him about the cyber-attack. In the process, a group of assassins, hired by terrorist mastermind Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), attempts to kill McClane and Farrell. Farrell tells McClane that the terrorists are actually in the middle of performing a crippling cyber-warfare attack on the infrastructure of the country, disrupting all power, public utilities, traffic, and other computer-controlled systems. The terrorists later take Lucy and Farrell hostage. In the end, McClane saves them and foils the terrorists' scheme.
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
On May 5, 2010 it was announced that X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The A-Team writer Skip Woods was in negotiations to script a fifth Die Hard movie and that the film will be produced by Alex Young. Bruce Willis will again return as John McClane, and Willis said that he would like to see Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman return and even wishes to see the story take place outside of the United States of America, with a tentative title of Die Hard 24/7.
On October 5, 2010, Willis announced during a MTV interview that a first draft of the script was finished and that the shooting should begin in 2011. Regarding a possible Die Hard 6, Bruce Willis told ShowbizSpy, "for me, I want to do Die Hard 5, then one final Die Hard movie—Die Hard 6—before finally hanging that white vest up for good". Noam Murro was set to direct the film scripted by Woods and continue to develop the script, but he left to direct the 300 prequel, 300: Battle of Artemisia, instead. Irish-born director John Moore is now signed on to direct. The film is said to involve John McClane and his son heading to Russia.
On 13 October, 2011 the studio announced exclusively on The Jim Rome Show that the film would be called A Good Day to Die Hard and would be released on Valentine's Day 2013. On the same day sources at FOX Studio's indicated that Patrick Stewart is under strong consideration for the film's main villain, a disgraced Russian general who plots the assassination of the visiting U.S. President. The Studio are looking at Liam Hemsworth, Aaron Paul, James Badge Dale and D.J. Cotrona for the part of John McClane Jr. in the film. 
Shooting begins in January 2012 in Budapest, Hungary.
Die Hard is adapted from the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Nothing Lasts Forever is a sequel to the novel The Detective which was also adapted into a film starring Frank Sinatra. Both novels are about a private detective named Joe Leland. Die Hard 2 was adapted from the 1987 novel 58 Minutes, by Walter Wager. Die Hard With A Vengeance was adapted from a script called Simon Says and Live Free or Die Hard was based on the 1997 article "A Farewell to Arms" written for Wired magazine by John Carlin.
Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide Die Hard July 15, 1988 $83,008,852 $57,759,104 $140,767,956 #548 $28,000,000  Die Hard 2: Die Harder July 6, 1990 $117,540,947 $122,490,147 $240,031,094 #323 #300 $70,000,000  Die Hard with a Vengeance May 19, 1995 $100,012,499 $266,089,167 $366,101,666 #442 #143 $90,000,000  Live Free or Die Hard June 27, 2007 $134,529,403 $249,002,061 $383,531,464 #238 #124 $110,000,000  Total $435,091,701 $695,340,479 $1,130,432,180 $298,000,000
The Die Hard series as a whole has received generally mixed to positive reviews.
The original Die Hard has received substantial praise. Pete Croatto of FilmCritic.com called the film "a perfect action movie in every detail, the kind of movie that makes your summer memorable." James Berardinelli wrote that the film "represents the class of modern action pictures and the standard by which they must be judged." The cast and crew also received much praise, as well. Critic Desson Howe wrote that "Willis has found the perfect vehicle to careen wildly onto the crowded L.A. freeway of Lethal Weapons and Beverly Hills Cops." Willis was also called "perfect as the wisecracking John McClane" and "an excellent casting choice as a sardonic action hero." Alan Rickman's portrayal of villain Hans Gruber was described as "marvelous" and "a career-making performance." Gruber also ranked 46 on the villain side of AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly ranked Die Hard the greatest action film of all time.
The first sequel, Die Hard 2, received generally mixed reviews. Despite only giving the original film only two stars, critic Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars and called it "terrific entertainment." James Berardinelli called the film "somewhat-muddled but still entertaining." On the other hand, Peter Travers wrote that "however impressively made, Die Hard 2 begins to wear thin."
The third film, Die Hard With a Vengeance, received even more mixed reviews. The action was praised more than the plot. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly stated that while "McTiernan stages individual sequences with great finesse... they don't add up to a taut, dread-ridden whole." James Berardinelli thought that the explosions and fights were "filmed with consummate skill, and are thrilling in their own right." Samuel L. Jackson was also praised in the film. Desson Howe of the Washington Post thought that "the best thing about the movie is the relationship between McClane and Zeus," saying that Jackson was "almost as good as he was in Pulp Fiction." James Berardinelli, said that Jackson "rises above the material."
The most recent entry in the series, Live Free or Die Hard, has been praised as being as good as the original. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle claimed that the film "is the best in the series, an invigorating return to the style of blockbuster that dominated summers back in the early 1990s." USA Today film critic Claudia Puig said that the film "delivers when it comes to kick-butt, action-packed mayhem," but "as a convincing techno-thriller, it doesn't really work."
Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic (DVD) Yahoo! Movies Overall Cream of the Crop Die Hard 94% (50 reviews) 63% (8 reviews) 70% (13 reviews) B+ (7 reviews) Die Hard 2: Die Harder 65% (45 reviews) 63% (7 reviews) B- (6 reviews) Die Hard with a Vengeance 50% (43 reviews) 55% (10 reviews) 58% (19 reviews) Live Free or Die Hard 82% (198 reviews) 79% (39 reviews) 69% (34 reviews) B (13 reviews)
A number of video games based on the successful movie franchise Die Hard have been released over the years, ranging from beat 'em ups to first-person shooters. While some of the games are based directly on the movies, a few further detail the adventures of John McClane between or after the series.
- Die Hard for Nintendo Entertainment System
- Die Hard for MS-DOS
- Die Hard 2: Die Harder for Commodore Amiga
- Die Hard Arcade for arcade and Sega Saturn
- Die Hard Trilogy for PC, PlayStation, and Saturn
- Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas for PC and PlayStation
- Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza for PC
- Die Hard: Vendetta for Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2
In May, 2009, BOOM! Studios announced that they would be releasing an ongoing Die Hard comic series that would serve as a prequel to the first movie. Its story is set in 1976 and follows John McClaine as a rookie cop in the NYPD, and is scripted by Howard Chaykin. The first issue of Die Hard: Year One was released on September 30, 2009. Eight issues have been released, with the eighth released on April 12, 2010.
The official description read:Every great action hero got started somewhere. Batman Begins. Bond had his Casino Royale. And for John McClane, more than a decade before the first Die Hard movie, he’s just another rookie cop, an East Coast guy working on earning his badge in New York City during 1976s Bicentennial celebration... and the Summer of Sam. Too bad for John McClane, nothing's ever that easy.
- ^ a b "Die Hard comic chronicles John McClane’s first year". Comic Book Resources. 2008-07-23. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/05/die-hard-comic-chronicles-john-mcclanes-first-year/. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ Except for international rights to the third film, owned by Cinergi Pictures and Touchstone Pictures
- ^ "'Die Hard 5' Script In Negotiations". MTV. 5-05-2010. http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1638454/20100505/story.jhtml?rsspartner=rssYahooNewscrawler. Retrieved 2010-05-5.
- ^ Fresh New Titles for Fox's Die Hard 5 & Fantastic Four Reboot
- ^ Billington, Alex (June 9, 2010). "Fresh New Titles for Fox's Die Hard 5 & Fantastic Four Reboot". http://www.firstshowing.net/2010/06/09/fresh-new-titles-for-foxs-die-hard-5-fantastic-four-reboot. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- ^ 'Die Hard 5' Script Almost Ready, Bruce Willis Says - MTV Movie News
- ^ "Willis Back For Two More Die Hard Movies". MovieHole.com. October 20, 2010. http://www.moviehole.net/201030351-willis-back-for-two-more-die-hard-movies. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
- ^ Fleming, Mike (2011-02-11). "Noam Murro To Direct 'Die Hard 5'". Deadline Hollywood. http://www.deadline.com/2011/02/noam-murro-to-direct-die-hard-5/. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- ^ "John Moore to Direct Dire Hard 5". IFTN. http://iftn.ie/news/?act1=record&only=1&aid=73&rid=4284212&tpl=archnews&force=1. Retrieved 02 Sept 2011.
- ^ Bracken, Mike. "First 'Die Hard 5' Plot Details Emerge: John McClane Goes Global (Updated with Director Shortlist)". http://www.movies.com/movie-news/die-hard-5-plot/3876?wssac=164&wssaffid=news. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- ^ McClintock, Pamela (2011-10-12). "Fox Moves Ahead With New 'Die Hard' and 'Percy Jackson' Films". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fox-die-hard-percy-jackson-247435. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- ^ Jeffery Racheff (October 14, 2011). "Bruce Willis Signs On For 'Die Hard 5'". LimeLife. http://www.limelife.com/blog-entry/Bruce-Willis-Signs-On-For-Die-Hard-5/137821.html. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- ^ "‘Die Hard’ Search For Bruce Willis’ Son Down To Four Actors". Deadline Hollywood. 2011-11-04. http://deadline.com/2011/11/die-hard-search-for-bruce-williss-son-down-to-four-actors. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- ^ "A Die Hard 5 januártól forog Budapesten". Magyar Távirati Iroda. Index.hu. http://index.hu/kultur/cinematrix/hirblog/2011/11/02/a_die_hard_5_januartol_forog_budapesten/. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- ^ Carlin, John (May 1997). "A Farewell to Arms". Wired (5.05). http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.05/netizen.html. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
- ^ "Die Hard (1988)". Boxofficemojo.com. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=diehard.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- ^ "Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)". Boxofficemojo.com. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=diehard2.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- ^ "Die Hard: With A Vengeance (1995)". Boxofficemojo.com. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=diehardwithavengeance.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Live Free or Die Hard (2007)". Boxofficemojo.com. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=diehard4.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ Croatto, Pete. "Die Hard". FilmCritic.com. http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/ddb5490109a79f598625623d0015f1e4/b1bdbb2b99c40a6d882567b6001b2b89?OpenDocument. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- ^ a b Berardinelli, James. "Die Hard A movie review by James Berardinelli". ReelViews.com. http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=308. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- ^ Howe, Desson (July 15, 1988). "Die Hard". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/diehardrhowe_a0b1af.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- ^ BBC.co.uk
- ^ Eyeforfilm.co.uk
- ^ MacReady, Gator. "Eye for Film: Die Hard Movie Review". http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/ddb5490109a79f598625623d0015f1e4/b1bdbb2b99c40a6d882567b6001b2b89?OpenDocument. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- ^ "The Action 25: The Best Rock-'em, Sock-'em Movies of the Past 25 Years". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20219939_24,00.html. Retrieved September 18, 2009.
- ^ Ebert, Roger (July 3, 1990). "Die Hard 2: Die Harder". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19900703/REVIEWS/7030301/1023. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
- ^ Berardinelli, James. "Die Hard 2". ReelViews. http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=468.
- ^ Travers, Peter (February 8, 2001). "Die Hard 2". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5949145/review/5949146/die_hard_2. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
- ^ Die Hard With a Vengeance - EW.com
- ^ a b Reelviews Movie Review
- ^ Howe, Desson (May 19, 1995). "‘Die Hard With a Vengeance’". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/diehardwithavengeancerhowe_c016b7.htm. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- ^ LaSalle, Mick (June 26, 2007). "Old-school, bare-knuckle action -- McClane delivers and then some". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/26/DDG56QKKFM1.DTL&type=movies. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- ^ Puig, Claudia (June 25, 2007). "Techno stuff shuts down the action in 'Die Hard'". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2007-06-25-die-hard_N.htm.
- ^ "Die Hard Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/die_hard/. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
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- ^ "Die Hard (1988) - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo! Movies. 1998-07-13. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800057265/info. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Die Hard 2: Die Harder Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/die_hard_2_die_harder/. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Die Hard 2: Die Harder Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/die_hard_2_die_harder/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- ^ "Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo! Movies. 1990-07-03. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800141720/info. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Die Hard With a Vengeance Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/die_hard_with_a_vengeance/. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- ^ "Die Hard With a Vengeance Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/die_hard_with_a_vengeance/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- ^ "Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995): Reviews". Metacritic.com. http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/diehardwithavengeance?q=Die%20Hard. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Live Free or Die Hard Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/live_free_or_die_hard. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Live Free or Die Hard Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/live_free_or_die_hard/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
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- ^ "Live Free or Die Hard (2007) - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo! Movies. 2007-06-27. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808403725/info. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ a b "Die Hard: Year One — John McClane Prequel Developed as a Comic Book Series | /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2008-08-25. http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/05/28/die-hard-year-one-john-mcclane-prequel-developed-as-a-comic-book-series. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ "Movies - News - 'Die Hard' comic prequel planned". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/a157576/die-hard-comic-prequel-planned.html?rss. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- ^ Marshall, Rick (June 29, 2009). "EXCLUSIVE: Die Hard: Year One Writer Talks Prequel Plot, Reveals New Jock & Dave Johnson Covers!". MTV.com. http://splashpage.mtv.com/2009/06/29/exclusive-die-hard-year-one-writer-talks-prequel-plot-reveals-new-jock-dave-johnson-covers. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
- ^ "Die Hard Gets A Prequel With Die Hard: Year One". Icon vs. Icon. May 28, 2009. http://www.iconvsicon.com/2009/05/28/die-hard-gets-a-prequel-with-die-hard-year-one. Retrieved 10-06-2009.
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