He has weighed in on the age-old debate.
Another Christmas has come and gone, along with another season-long debate about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
Yes, it appears there are some people out there who do not believe that a movie that takes place at a Christmas party on Christmas Eve, has a soundtrack filled with Christmas songs, makes Christmas wrapping tape a major plot point and features the line: “Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho,” actually deserves to be called a Christmas film.
In 2022, however, its director John McTiernan – also known for making The Hunt for Red October, Last Action Hero and Predator – gave his thoughts on the age-old debate in a podcast interview with Empire.
The filmmaker was in London for a screening of Die Hard where audience members showed up wearing Santa hats.
Asked if he had been following the “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie debate?’, McTiernan responded:
“It’s not for us to say, it’s people. It’s for the audience to say. If the audience decides they want to make it a Christmas movie, it’s a Christmas movie. It turns out that way.
“It wasn’t intended as a Christmas movie. It was deliberately built around Christmas, but not intended to be a Christmas movie.
“It’s actually, from a distance… politically pretty strident, and the only reason that survived was that the people in the studio who would have stopped that were deceived because they thought it was just an action movie about a Christmas party that goes wrong.”
So, there you have it. While in McTiernan’s eyes, Die Hard was not made to be exclusively a Christmas movie, it is perfectly acceptable to consider it as one.
The director’s words echo earlier comments made by the film’s co-writer Steven E. de Souza to Dazed Magazine in 2017.
At the time, he said: “While of course in the script I made many references to the holiday season, it wasn’t until I set foot on the set and saw the giant Christmas tree and all the decorations in the office building locations that it struck me how ‘Christmassy’ the film was, even when no one was actively mentioning it.”
Meanwhile, for nine reasons why Die Hard should be considered the greatest Christmas film of all time, click right here.