‘Tis the season for Die Hard. Directed by John McTiernan, and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza, the 1998 non-Christmas Christmas thriller ranks as one of the best action films ever made. Die Hard introduced the world to everyman hero John McClane, turned Bruce Willis into a box office draw, and created the “Die Hard in a _____” subgenre that still exists to this day. It also marked the film debut of Alan Rickman, whose Hans Gruber remains one of cinema’s most indelible villains. Die Hard, which places Willis’ New York cop John McClane in a cat-and-mouse game against Rickman’s Eurotrash terrorist Hans Gruber in a Christmas Eve standoff in L.A.’s Nakatomi Plaza, spawned four sequels and an in-the-works prequel/sequel hybrid. Jeb Stuart adapted Die Hard from the 1979 novel Nothing Last Forever, author Roderick Thorp’s sequel to his 1966 novel “The Detective,” which was made into the film of the same name that starred Frank Sinatra. Stuart would go to contribute to the screenplays of Leviathan, Lock Up, Another 48 Hours, The Fugitive, Just Cause, and Fire Down Below. He also wrote an early draft of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that was titled Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars. Jeb Stuart also directed the 1997 thriller Switchback, which pitted Dennis Quaid’s FBI agent against a serial killer, and the 2010 fact-based civil rights-era drama Blood Done Sign My Name with Rick Schroder and Nate Parker. He is currently working on the Rambo: New Blood TV series for FOX. The Austin Film Festival and the Paramount Theater will screen Die Hard in 35mm at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 as part of the Holiday Film Series at the Paramount Theater. Jeb Stuart will participate in a post-screening Q&A. Note: this interview was conducted before Sylvester Stallone announced he would not be involved in Rambo: New Blood.
Aired: Dec. 10, 2015
Web site: http://www.austintheatre.org/holiday-films/