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Die Hard 4.0 - Len Wiseman interview

Len Wiseman, director of Die Hard 4.0

Interview by Rob Carnevale

UNDERWORLD director Len Wiseman tallks about the challenge of making a new Die Hard movie 12 years after John McClane (Bruce Willis) last hung up his vest…

Q. Did you feel under any pressure coming into one of the most successful franchises of all time?
Len Wiseman: Honestly, I don’t think about pressure until I get in front of the press and they remind me of it. Then I begin to feel really tense. Obviously, I had two responsibilities – one was to direct the movie and the other was to watch the movie as a fan. So I gave myself a lot of pressure in terms of making a movie that I wanted to watch.

Q. How easy did you find it striking a balance between big set pieces and the fact that John McClane is supposed to be an ordinary guy?
Len Wiseman: For me, it’s Die Hard and the original was extreme for its time. We thought about this quite a bit for in terms of how over the top the action goes and, for me, as long as that character pays the price for what he does, then I don’t worry about it. John McClane has always got the most jacked-up [in the films].

I remember seeing the original and watching John McClane tie a fire hose around his body and jump from the top of an exploding building, then swing through a glass window and survive. At the time, that was over the top. But if you see him doing some amazing stunt; so long as you see him pay the price for what he does [in terms of how the character becomes bloodied and bruised] then I’ll buy it.

Q. How did you make the computers exciting?
Len Wiseman: It was a goal of mine to try and get through the film with the least amount of keyboard shots as possible. The discussions early on were a little ridiculous. People were like: “We don’t want any shots of keyboard.” But I said: “That’s impossible.” That said, I wanted to make sure we got in and out of it. It is a Die Hard movie. I remember some of the early reaction to the concept of John McClane fighting the internet was sceptical and I talked to a lot of people before the trailer came out explaining that, you know, “McClane is not a computer guy, he doesn’t check his email, he’s not that kind of guy”. When the trailer came out, people realised it was a summer action movie. We just had to get in and out as fast as possible with the camera [when it came to the computers].

Read our review of Die Hard 4.0

  1. Loved the film. An exciting romp from start to finish. Tell me though, the taxi driver with the mole on his nose, a possible tribute to the Dr. Suise episode of Moonlighting???? Yes?

    Stu Borken    Jul 22    #