Twentieth Century Fox marked the silver anniversary of its blockbuster DIE HARD movie franchise with a ceremony on the historic studio backlot, during which a massive mural depicting the film’s iconic hero John McClane was unveiled in front of Stage 8. And we were there!
Said studio chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos in his speech to the crowd,
“Today is about a film with an enduring legacy. It’s fitting that we’re here in the shadow of Nakatomi Plaza – which is still surprisingly operational given everything we did to it in the first movie. The films have thrilled audiences all around the world. [The franchise] has amassed a box office of $1.1 billion, but who’s counting…actually we are! Above all, it’s one of the most beloved franchises in history and a cornerstone to the studio. It’s succeeded because it’s about a character brilliantly embodied in the actor. While John McClane describes himself, ‘the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, the pain in the ass,’ I like to think that he’s just the every man – that he just has this uncanny ability of being in the wrong place at the wrong time who never, ever says ‘die.’”
An extremely gracious and semi-speechless Bruce Willis took the stage next saying,
“This is really great. I worked on this lot. I started on Stage 20 here and I moved on to bigger things here at Fox. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Fitting with the spirit of the evening, Gianopulos then handed the detonator to Willis who smiled as he set it off. Take a look at the video above when that glorious moment arrived. That sound you hear post-curtain drop are car alarms from the nearby parking garage going off.
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Director John Moore took the stage next to introduce Jai (hubba hubba) Courtney, Rasha Bukvic and Yuliya Snigir.
The DIE HARD mural is in good company as it joins already existing murals THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE SIMPSONS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, and THE OX-BOW INCIDENT. Check out the behind-the-scenes video of how intensive the process got for the newest addition to the lot’s landscape.
We then shuffled into the Zanuck Theater for our Dolby Atmos presented press screening of A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD where we were pleased to see Willis’ mother in attendance. And she was just as sassy, lovely and wonderful as you’d imagine her to be. She came to see her son kick ass! How sweet is that?!
Post show, we were led to the 21st floor of the Nakatomi tower for a reception celebrating the anniversary of the classic franchise. Special DIE HARD-tini’s and Russian themed cuisine were served. To cap off our evening, the building’s head of security pointed out to a small group of us journalists a fun fact located in the lobby. The lighting scheme has changed since filming and a painter had to be brought in to match the marble walls where the film’s sconces once were attached. If you look closely, you can see where they were. The building’s 30th floor (where Holly’s Christmas party takes place)has also changed with the times and is now rentable (and gorgeous) office space.
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD opens on February 14. The the Die Hard 25thAnniversary Blu-ray Collection is available now.