As the festive season rapidly approaches, we’re reflecting on the greatest Christmas film in the “dudes rock” canon, Die Hard. A film that initially slated Hollywood heavy-hitter, Frank Sinatra, to take on the role of Bruce Willis’ character John McClane.
Producers were contractually obliged to offer the iconic role to a then 70-year-old Sinatra, who starred in the film’s prequel — 1968’s The Detective. Die Hard is based on Roderick Thorp’s 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, the sequel to his 1966 book The Detective.
After Sinatra turned down the role, producers offered it to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, James Caan, Richard Gere before eventually casting Bruce Willis as the leading man.
During a recent interview with American Film Institute, director John McTiernan, weighed in on the long-debated topic of whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas film.
“We hadn’t intended it to be a Christmas movie, but the joy that came from it is what turned it in to a Christmas movie,” he said. McTiernan then went on to draw a link between the terrorists depicted in the 1988 cult classic and the current state of the United States.
“My hope at Christmas this year is that you will all remember that authoritarians are low-status, angry men who have gone to rich people and said, ‘If you give us power, we will make sure nobody takes your stuff,'” he said. “All those things you amass with power [are] meant to scare us, meant to shut us up so we don’t kick them to the side of the road and (let) decent people of the world get on with building a future. Merry Christmas, and I hope we have a better year.”
In other (cursed) news, Creed frontman Scott Stapp has been tapped to play the role of Frank Sinatra in an upcoming biopic about Ronald Reagan.
The forthcoming Sean McNamara-directed film, Reagan, will see Dennis Quaid take on the titular role, with appearances from Kevin Dillon, Penelope Ann Miller and Jon Voight.
“Sinatra in performance mode was an exercise in restraint,” Scott Stapp revealed in an interview with Billboard. “He had this steely, stylish swagger and his sheer presence commanded a room. I was excited to join the cast and blown away by the on-set attention to detail, style, and overall production.”