Die Hard 2 director Renny Haring recalls his major disagreements with Bruce Willis while filming the sequel, which centered on McClane's personality.
More than 30 years after its initial release, 'Die Hard 2' director Renny Harlin opens up about his big disagreement with Bruce Willis on the set of the action sequel . Shot two years after the events of the iconic original, the 1990 film finds Willis' John McClain stranded at Washington Dulles International Airport on Christmas Eve, waiting for Holly, who remarries him Land, just to fight the terrorists who have taken over the airport and stop any incoming planes from landing in the snowstorm. While Die Hard 2 wasn't as critically acclaimed as its predecessor, it was considered popular at the time, though not without hurdles to overcome.
In a recent interview with Empire, Rainey Haring reflected on his time working on Die Hard 2 and working with Bruce Willis. The director revealed that he and Willis actually had a difficult time working together on the film, mainly because the star wanted to portray John McClane in the film, choosing a tone that was much more serious than the original comedy, which led to Harlan, Willis and producer Joel Silver had to Hold sit-ins to negotiate a middle ground. See Harlem's explanation below:
Bruce had turned from a Moonlighting TV star to a movie star overnight with one movie. And it’s not uncommon that when actors get into that position, they sort of develop different goals. So Bruce had this notion from the beginning that he wanted to now play John McClane totally straight, that this movie had to be serious. I said to him, ‘That’s not the John McClane the audience loves. They feel like you’re their friend now, and they don’t want to lose their friend.’ We had a major disagreement about this. He said, ‘Those one-liners and jokey comments — that’s bullshit. With lives on the line, you can’t say that kind of thing.’ I said, ‘Yeah, not in real life, but this is a movie. This is Die Hard.’ It came to a point where I had to go to Joel (Silver) and say, ‘We have a real problem.’ We had a big meeting, Joel and Bruce and I. The outcome was that Bruce agreed to do as many takes as he wanted of the way he wanted to do it, and then we’d do one take the way I wanted to do it, with humor. He did it reluctantly, and not so happily, but he did it. And in the end, every single funny moment that could be caught — even a smile he might have flashed before he realized the cameras were rolling — was cut into the movie. The first question the executives asked, when they saw it, was, ‘Do you have any more moments with humor?’ I said, ‘Unfortunately, I used everything I had.’
Why Die Hard 2 Is One Of The More Divisive Sequels
Although the last installment in the series, Die Hard, remained the worst sequel by critics and audiences, Die Hard 2 is still considered the best. One of the controversial follow-up entries in the franchise. Many critics and fans took issue with the film's bland attempt to combine the stories of its predecessor, placing McClane in multiple locations rather than trapping him in one building in so many ways, Thus eliminating the claustrophobia of the original Die Hard. Travel to stay hidden from terrorists. Die Hard 2's plot was also considered far less believable than its predecessor, with many noting the complexity of its opponent's plans and the lack of possible security protocols to prevent such a terrorist takeover from happening.
One of the most consistent criticisms of the film from Die Hard fans is that its tone is very inconsistent, often overly melodramatic compared to its somewhat self-aware predecessor. From jaw-dropping plane crash that killed hundreds to Willis' hero delivering fewer one-liners Die Hard 2 has a harder time resonating with many viewers than it did before, as it strays away from the formula that made the original so popular. Evidence of this can be seen in subsequent sequels, "Die Hard" and "Die Hard" or "Die Hard" saw McClane return to the playful, beat-up character fans came to love and Looking forward to this role.
Harlin Is Right About John McClane
While Willis' desire to keep his character fresh in subsequent sequels is admirable, especially so early on, many will surely feel that Die Hard 2's Rainey Harlem was ultimately right The movie about how John McClane should be portrayed. While generally considered a hero in every film, McClain's self-deprecating humor makes him an imperfect protagonist that audiences can relate to more easily, and if he's a chiseled figure, his character appeals. Just a much smaller watch. Willis' time in the franchise may be over, but audiences can relive his tenure as McClane, now streaming the Die Hard franchise on Starz and Fubo.