In 1988 movie buffs flocked to cinemas when ‘Die Hard’ opened. A classic was born, directed by a fairly unknown John McTiernan, having directed Nomads in 1986 and Predator in 1987. ‘Die Hard’ was shot on a budget of $28 million. Winning 4 Oscars and another 6 International awards, ‘Die Hard’ soared at the box office – earning $137.4 million. It propelled Bruce Willis from TV-star into the big league. To this day, Willis remains one of the most enduring and consistent box office stars. Although it took almost four years, a sequel was inevitable. ‘Die Hard: Die Harder’ was shot at a budget of $70 million, this time round directed by Renny Harlin (who’s biggest claim to fame at the time was ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Masters’ in 1988). The film grossed $239.5 million worldwide. The third installment in the now popular franchise was ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ in 1995, starring Jeremy Irons as the villainous Simon Gruber. John McTiernan resumed his role as director. The budget shot up to $90 million, and the movie grossed $354.4 million. Twelve years later, John McTiernan is back with ‘Live free or Die Hard’, this time as producer - the ropes as director being given to Len Wiseman.
Interestingly, Wiseman started his career in the art department as property assistant on Stargate (1994). He made his directorial debut with ‘Underworld’ in 2003, followed by ‘Underworld Evolution’ in 2006, which was also written and produced by Wiseman. Mark Momback, who also wrote “The Night Caller” and “Godsend”, wrote the fourth Die Hard installment. The film’s budget was $110 million while the technical specifications are equally impressive. With a fairly unknown cast, the film boasts no less than 79 stuntmen and 128 crewmen in the visual effects department alone. Add 25 special effects personnel and 23 sound technicians and you have one of the greatest action films ever made. ‘Live free or Die Hard’ is sure to please fans. The ‘Die Hard’ franchise clearly withstood the test of time. ‘Live free or Die Hard’ is also known as ‘Die Hard 4.0’.