Die Hard director sets record straight: ‘It’s NOT a Christmas movie’

Die Hard director sets record straight: ‘It’s NOT a Christmas movie’

August 11, 2022

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Die Hard fans have long been fighting to let everyone know that the 1988 movie is actually a Christmas movie at heart. It does, after all, follow Bruce Willis as John McClane fighting bad guys at a Christmas party before being reunited with his kids at the very last minute, just in time for Santa to arrive.

But John McTiernan, the movie’s director, has delivered some sour news to the fans of the action movie.

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McTiernan recently appeared on the Empire podcast where he announced the truth behind the film’s production.

He revealed Die Hard “was not supposed to be a Christmas movie”.

He continued: “The fact that it was deliberately built around Christmas, but not intended to be a Christmas movie.

“But the fact that it was a Christmas movie had a lot to do with, you know, cause it’s actually, from a distance, politically very strident.”

McTiernan added that the only reason the movie “survived” was because the studio behind Die Hard thought it was “just an action movie about a Christmas party” rather than a narrative on capitalism and corporations.

He went on to say: “It’s not for us to say [whether it’s a Christmas film], it’s people. It’s for the audience to say. If the audience decides they want to make it a Christmas movie, it’s a Christmas movie. It turns out that way.”

McTiernan is not the only person from the film’s production who has discussed this controversial topic at length.

Die Hard producer Steven E de Souza recently spoke candidly about whether the movie could be considered a Christmas movie because of its deaths.

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de Souza said: “Some people say to me Die Hard can’t be a Christmas movie because you kill people… and I say was Ellis killed? Yes. We don’t see Ellis killed, he’s off-camera, does that still count? Do off-camera deaths count? Yes.”

With that in mind, he went on to argue that White Christmas – maybe the quintessential festive movie of all time – is also an action movie.

“Well, if we’re counting Ellis,” he added. “Now that you, my sceptic about Die Hard being a Christmas movie, admit that off-camera deaths count, the body count in White Christmas is 26,128 people in the Battle of the Bulge, the opening scene in the movie.”

However, there are a lot of narrative themes that also point at Die Hard being a Christmas movie and that point at McClane as a Christlike figure.

The story goes that, throughout the events of Die Hard, McClane kills 12 terrorists – mirroring the 12 disciples.

Two women are also pregnant, hitting the theme of birth around Christmastime.

What’s more, McClane spends most of the movie barefoot, in a Christlike manner.

And to make things even more obvious, he gets his feet punctured by shards of glass throughout the movie, symbolising the stigmata.

Whether Die Hard is or isn’t a Christmas movie, it was a total success.

The action flick made a staggering $140 million on just a $30 million budget and made Willis a household name.

After this, the actor blew up in Hollywood, making his career bigger than ever.

Die Hard is available to watch on Disney Plus now.


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