Screenwriter Reveals Why Clint Eastwood Turned Down Die Hard

The Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart revealed that there was a reason Eastwood did not want to take on the role.


There is no one will deny that Clint Eastwood has had a fantastic career in the film industry as both an actor and director, but in a world of what-ifs, there has always been a question of how different the movie The Hard would have been if the legendary Dirty Harry actor had taken on the role of John McClane instead of Bruce Willis. The Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart revealed in a recent interview with SlashFilm that there was a reason Eastwood did not want to take on the role, and it came as a shock to the writer.

While Clint Eastwood was the first actor to be offered the now-iconic role of the New York cop just trying to have a quiet Christmas, he was not the only big-name star to turn it down. Others who rejected the part included action stalwarts Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson, among others, and is a testament to Eastwood’s standing as an actor at that time to have been the first star offered the role. When it comes to why he turned it down, Stuart revealed it all came down to him “not getting the humor.” The writer said:


“They went to Clint Eastwood first. Ironically, his response to the producers was, ‘I do not get the humor.’ Which, for me, was a shock because if you listen to a lot of those words, Eastwood’s one of the few people who could have delivered a line like ‘Come to LA, have a great time.’ All that kind of stuff. You could see him doing that. He was my inspiration. “

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The movie industry is filled with innumerable questions of what could have been if other actors had been cast in certain roles. While over the years some of these have resolved themselves thanks to circumstance, such as the eventual casting of first-choice Michael J. Fox in the Back To The Future, there are others like Clint Eastwood’s possible casting as John McClane that we will never get to see. For that reason, it is hard to know whether the Unforgiven star’s charisma and macho appeal would have brought something better to the role or would have taken away everything that made the movie iconic.

As one of the most loved action movies of all time, it is fair to say that The Hard did not suffer too much for having Bruce Willis take the lead role instead. As if the movie did not get enough attention for being a great action film, then its constant discussion as a “Christmas Movie” makes up the difference and ensures that The Hard is always just a short time away from being right there in every social media discussion about the greatest festive movies of all time. One thing that is for certain, is that if Eastwood had accepted the role, it is unlikely he would have been able to put out the number of sequels the much-younger Willis has, and that would have robbed the world of a lot of yippie -ki-yaying.

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