6Die Hard – 1988

The story behind it

Roderick Thorp wrote the novel called Nothing Lasts Forever and published it in 1979. In it, German terrorists occupy an office block in Los Angeles. He was inspired by Irwin Allen’s The Towering Inferno, whereas the novel was an inspiration to Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart to write the screenplay for the movie.


Even though Nothing Lasts Forever and Die Hard have touching points and thriller elements to them, the characters differ. For instance, Thorp’s hero is called Joseph Leland, and it was his daughter who got kidnapped and not his wife from whom he is divorced. Moreover, the building which was occupied belongs to Klaxon Oil instead of the Nakatomi Corporation as it was in the film. However, Harry Ellis remained the same in the movie and the novel. As you probably remember, he came to a bitter end.

Who was supposed to be the lead actor

Initially, Nothing Lasts Forever was supposed to feature Frank Sinatra who had already appeared in the adaptation of The Detective, Thorp’s previous novel. Sinatra would be Joe Leland, who is an elderly cop, not highly capable of crawling through ducts.

It was even speculated that Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to star in Nothing Lasts Forever, which was supposed to be adapted as a Commando sequel. However, Steven E. de Souza denied the rumors, saying that his never-used screenplay for Commando 2 had more in common with Escape Plan which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Silvestre Stallone. A connection between Nothing Lasts Forever and Escape Plan can be found, but eventually, the novel was adapted to Die Hard with a cynical young cop John McClane, played by Bruce Willis.