Die Hard is a 1988 American action thriller film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It was produced by the Gordon Company and Silver Pictures, and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
The film follows off-duty New York City Police Department officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) who is caught in a Los Angeles skyscraper during a Christmas Eve heist led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). It is based on Roderick Thorp’s 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, the sequel to 1966’s The Detective, adapted into a 1968 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra. Fox was contractually obligated to offer Sinatra the lead role in Die Hard, but he turned it down; after Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to shoot the film as a sequel to his 1985 action film Commando, Fox reluctantly gave the role to Willis, then known as a comedic television actor.