Frank Sinatra almost played Bruce Willis’ character John McClane in Die Hard.
The beloved singer, who was 70 years old at the time, was offered the part because the film’s producers were contractually obliged to as Sinatra had starred in The Detective.
The film is based on Roderick Thorp’s 1966 novel of the same name. The sequel book to The Detective is Nothing Lasts Forever, which Die Hard is based on.
The name of the character in The Detective was changed and Die Hard was not a direct sequel to Thorp’s first book, but Sinatra still had to be considered as it was a loose adaptation of the sequel novel.
Frank Sinatra turned the role down, and it was subsequently offered to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, James Caan, Richard Gere and more before Bruce Willis was considered.
The Detective was one of Sinatra’s biggest box office hits, and became one of the highest-grossing films of 1968.
“We hadn’t intended it to be a Christmas movie, but the joy that came from it is what turned it into a Christmas movie,” he explained.
Bruce Willis had previously shared his own thoughts on the matter in 2018, saying categorically: “Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. It’s a god damn Bruce Willis movie!”