'Die Hard' Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Mural at 20th Century Fox
by Ben Pearson
February 1, 2013
When it comes to action films, it doesn't get much more iconic than Die Hard. Bruce Willis shifted the direction of American action away from muscle-bound heroes like Stallone & Schwarzenegger toward a much more relatable everyman persona, and the ingenious concept of confining the action to one place - Nakatomi Plaza, the home of the real 20th Century Fox - has been copied countless times in action movies over the years. Fox releases the next sequel A Good Day to Die Hard next month, but they celebrated the series' 25th anniversary Thursday evening with a special unveiling of a new mural and a party at Nakatomi.
20th Century Fox Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos greeted the visitors and employees on the studio's lot located in Century City, Los Angeles out in front of the historic Stage 8, where classic films like The Sound of Music and The Towering Inferno were filmed years ago. He introduced Bruce Willis with a speech:
"Over the years you've seen a lot of actors play Batman and Superman and James Bond and all of these great characters, but there's only one that personifies John McClane, and that's why we're here tonight: to honor the man and the movies. We're thrilled that he came out to the coast tonight to have a few laughs."
Willis, who was very soft spoken and clearly moved by the effort and attention being put into this event, took the podium and thanked everyone for being there. Gianopulos presented him with a novelty-sized detonator and when Willis hit the button, the 20th Century Fox fanfare music played, fireworks exploded with such force that multiple car alarms went off in the studio parking garages nearby. The veil dropped on the side of the stage, revealing a massive painting of McClane crawling through the air ducts from the first movie. They couldn't have chosen a better frame to encapsulate the wisecracking spirit of the movie. Here:
A Good Day to Die Hard director John Moore and star Jai Courtney were also in attendance, and after some quick photo ops, we all went to the studio's Zanuck Theater, where Moore introduced A Good Day to Die Hard (complete with new Dolby Atmos surround sound). We're not allowed to talk about the film quite yet, but if you're a cinephile and you have a chance to see a movie with Atmos sound, I highly recommend it.
After the film, we headed across the street to the famous Fox Plaza—aka "The Nakatomi Building"—for an afterparty and reception. A lot of remodeling has been done since 1988, but the first floor lobby looks exactly the same as it does in the film. We rode up to the abandoned 21st floor, which was bathed in red lights and adorned with posters from the Die Hard series, a giant cardboard cutout floor display for A Good Day to Die Hard. A DJ blasted music through speakers, food and drinks were consumed, and we all got to wander around in the place that started it all, where NYC detective John McClane fought Hans Gruber and those pesky terrorists all those years ago. As a huge fan of Die Hard, this was an amazing experience, and I want to thank everyone at 20th Century Fox for having me out for a few laughs. Watch a few more videos: