By the late Eighties the action movie was beginning to die a slow death. The indestructible, mountainous and mechanical Kings of the genre, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, were finding that even they could not defeat the apathy of an audience who had grown weary of monosyllabic monoliths with big guns and bad jokes. The decade of excess was losing its grip and so were its heroes.
Enter John McTiernan, fresh from his success with Predator starring, ironically, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and casting for his new movie Die Hard. Based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorpe, Die Hard was originally intended as a sequel to Schwarzenegger’s Commando, but the Austrian actor turned it down and, thankfully, Die Hard became a very different beast altogether.