In previous years, Gordon Long covered the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, and then I have covered Santa Claus, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, the Grinch, and a Christmas Story. (Am I missing some? I guess we went two years where we didn't do Christmas posts....)
So I wasn't sure if I was going to do one this year, but I apparently set a calendar reminder, and then I wasn't sure what to cover, but the past two years I've been using a list of the top 100 Christmas movies to watch Christmas movie marathons, and Die Hard was listed as the number 2 Christmas film on the list after It's a Wonderful Life, and I thought Die Hard would be fun to cover.
So here's Die Hard. More crossover connections than you'd expect.
Using Movie Timelines, a youtube series I've fallen in love with, for some dates. If you are a timeline junkie like me, check out this series. He's crazy obsessive with details, and that's exactly what we try to do here as well.
1937--Birth of Mr. Nakatomi.
May 23, 1955--Birth of John McClane.
1965--John becomes claustrophobic after he is dared to crawl under a house to obtain the Playboys hidden there, and then as luck would have it the house begins to be bulldozed while he is underneath, forcing him to try to escape from a tight space under immediate danger. [from Die Hard: Year One]
1966--OUR MAN FLINT--Also a villain named Hans Gruber... Related?
1972 - 1975--John McClane is a marine in Vietnam. [from Die Hard: Year One] In the summer of 1972, McClane has to hide in a Viet Cong tunnel to avoid being napalmed. By the end of his service, John has made sergeant.
1975--JOHN MCCLANE--This is a short. I found this on IMDB. Tried to find the short on YouTube. No luck. So I'm not sure how well it fits into the canon since I have no info other than it's set in 1975. This would be after he gets out of the Marines but before he joins the NYPD.
July 4 - 5, 1976--DIE HARD: YEAR ONE VOLUME I--John McClane is a rookie cop in New York during the bicentennial when there's a terrorist and stuff. According to a file on him in Live Free or Die Hard, John McClane becomes a police officer in June 1977. However, since this is just a prop file and the comic states a more specific and intentional date, I'm going to go with the comic book date.
July 13 - 14, 1977--DIE HARD: YEAR ONE VOLUME II--John McClane is now a first year detective during the infamous NYC blackout. Perhaps the June 1977 date from his file seen in Live Free or Die Hard is referencing when John was promoted to detective?
1979--This is the year that an upcoming film also entitled Die Hard: Year One will take place, which of course may conflict with the comics, but maybe not. We'll see. This is according to the Die Hard Wiki. According to IMDB, the next film in the franchise which is a prequel is simply called McClane. It may be the same film project. Bruce Willis is rumored to be in it though so it may not be the same project or it may take place in both the present and in flashback. The plot according to IMDB is "The original story to the popular film franchise, 'Die Hard'." Bruce Willis mentions a possible sequel in an interview with Jimmy Fallon this past year.
September 15, 1984--Birth of Jack McClane according to his file in A Good Day to Die Hard.
December 24, 1987--The events of Die Hard. Terrorists take over Nakatomi Plaza in L.A. New York police office John McClane is in town to visit his wife who has taken a job there, and finds himself single handedly taking on the bad guys. It's a Christmas movie. I don't care what you think. [Likely, a movie was made based on this film and came out in 1988, like in the real world, to cover zonks.]
July 15, 1988--The movie DIE HARD is released in the real world and the TVCU, based on the "real" events. I mention this because Die Hard is referenced a lot in shows and films set in the TVCU. Particularly, I'll mention that Jake Peralta (BROOKLYN NINE-NINE) became a cop because of this film and Adam Goldberg (THE GOLDBERGS) saw this film when he couldn't find any other Christmas movie to watch that year, and it turned him into an action film fan. Also, Brian Griffin (FAMILY GUY) had a small role in the film. In the TVCU, a few times there have been musicals also made based on the film (based on the real events).
1990--ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE--The case Fairlane is on involves rock bands, or somesuch, but one of the bands mentioned is The Pussycats, which has the lead singer Josie. That would be interesting enough, but the movie drops a large number of other music based crossovers. Ellen Aim and the Attackers is from the Diane Lane flick Streets of Fire (1984); Nakatomi Boys Choir is a reference to the first Die Hard movie, which took place in the Nakatomi building in Nakatomi Plaza (perhaps Mr. Nakatomi was also a boy's choir bandleader--billionares have had stranger hobbies); The Nine Sisters is a band referenced in the film Xanadu. Another band is named Alba Varden after the bad guy's ship in Lethal Weapon 2. Perhaps the band was inspired by newspaper reports of Riggs and Murtaugh's adventures. (And Lethal Weapon is another Christmas action movie series to be covered maybe next year.)
1990--COLUMBO--"Uneasy Lies the Crown"--The Nakotomi Plaza is seen from a window in this episode.
December 24, 1990--The events of Die Hard 2: Die Harder. Three years after his heroics in L.A, detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is mixed up in another terrorist plot, this time at Washington Dulles International Airport, where he is waiting for his wife (Bonnie Bedelia). That same night, South American politico and drug profiteer Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is arriving in U.S. custody. McClane takes action when a treasonous ex-colonel (William Sadler) seizes control of the airport, threatening to crash every inbound flight unless Esperanza is freed. [Plot Synopsis stolen from Google. I never watched this movie completely.] The evil dictator is from Val Verde, a fictional country also seen or referenced in COMMANDO, SUPERCARRIER, ADVENTURE INC., SHEENA, and all were written by Steven E. de Souza, who created the fictional country when he wrote Commando.
1991--Ricochet (1991)--Gail Wallens, a reporter that appeared in Die Hard, appears again, played by the same actress, in the film Ricochet.
1994--The evens of Die Hard With a Vengeance. The brother of Hans Gruber is the bad guy. John McClane is aided by a reluctant bystander played by Samuel L. Jackson. No longer Christmas movies.
1994--SPEED--In Die Hard the terrorists use a Pacific Courier truck to sneak into Nakatomi Plaza. In Die Hard with a Vengeance we see an Atlantic Courier truck get blown up and finally in Speed the plane that the bus crashes into is owned by Pacific Courier. 1st photo is from Die Hard 3 (1995) 2nd photo is from Die Hard (1988) 3rd photo is from Speed (1994)
1997--John and Holly divorce.
December 31, 1997--DIE HARD ARCADE--From our video game expert Matt Hickman: The video game Dynamite Deka is called Die Hard Arcade here in the States with the main hero Bruno Delinger replaced by John McClane. They then released Dynamite Deka 2 here in the states as Dynamite Cop this time with Bruno Delinger intact. The interesting thing is that the main villain of both games is Wolf Hong. Which means in the U.S. Version events Wolf Hong was stopped form kidnapping the President's daughter on new years eve 1997 by John McClane and Swat officer Kris Thompsen only to try again in in 1999 only to be stopped this time by Bruno Delinger (a cop similar to but different form John McClane) , Jean Ivy, and Eddie Brown. Dude is bad at kidnapping. The main character from this game (though probably as Dynamite Deka) is a playable character in Project X Zone.
1998--ENEMY OF THE STATE--Live Free or Die Hard was originally based on a script that was meant to be a sequel to Enemy of the State, but was reworked to be a Die Hard sequel. So maybe Enemy of the State is still in the TVCU, and in an alternate reality, Will Smith's character from this film would have saved the day instead of John McClane in 2007.
SPIDER-MAN: THE GATHERING OF THE SINISTER SIX (NOVEL)
Release Date: March 1, 1999 (Contemporary Setting)
Horror Crosses: Scooby-Doo! (revival film series)
Non-Horror Crosses: Invaders; Captain America; Human Torch (golden age); Sub-Mariner; Casablanca; Hulk; Jackie Chan Adventures; Terry and the Pirates; Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal; Fargo; Trading Places/Coming to America; The Great Race; North by Northwest; Indiana Jones; Marathon Man; Smilin’ Jack; Iron Man; Sherlock Holmes; Die Hard; Fu Manchu; James Bond; Superman (modern age); Law & Order; Ellery Queen; Batman (Burton/Schumacher film series): Usual Suspects; Carmen Sandiego; Unbreakable; Maltese Falcon; NYPD Blue
The Story: A new Sinister Six is formed.
Notes: Because of the appearance of the Mystery, Inc team, and not as 40-somethings, this must be the team from the newer animated films that started with Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. This film series continues with all the previous animated series as canon. In Zombie Island, the gang are all adults, post college. Velma has a Master’s degree. The team had split up and in Zombie Island are reunited. So the “kids” here are now in the mid-20s, in a time period that is contemporary with release dates based on pop culture and technology. In the Horror Universe, the “kids” should be in their 40s. Furthermore, based on evidence from Looney Tunes: Back in Action, it’s likely the revival films are fictional in the Horror Universe, being fictional films about Mystery, Inc. However, Mystery Incorporated (in a divergent timeline) has an appearance of the Hex Girls, a fictional band that originated in revival series film Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. Based on the crossover rules I am using, that would place the revival film series if not in the Horror Universe main timeline, at least in a divergent timeline. And indeed, it must be placed in a divergent timeline. Thus,Spider-Man: Gathering of the Sinister Six should be placed in that divergent timeline. [Note that 99% of the Horror Universe, from my Horror Crossover Encyclopedia, is exactly the same reality as the Television Crossover Universe. And both share the same multiverse.]
1999--DIE HARD TRILOGY 2: VIVA LAS VEGAS [VIDEO GAME]--John McClane tries to take on thieves trying to rob all the casinos in Vegas. [This came out in 2000 but since it was released before Die Hard: Vendetta, I back dated it to maintain the chronological order, since I also place Die Hard: Vendetta in 1999 based on in-story dating references.] Note in this game John is in Vegas after being kicked off the force, but in the next game he is hired by the LAPD. So some months pass between the two likely.
1999--DIE HARD: VENDETTA [VIDEO GAME]--John McClane must save his daughter Lucy (now a cop herself) from the son of Hans Gruber, Piet. Matt Hickman notes: Some people consider Die Hard: Vendetta non canon because Lucy is a cop and talking to her dad while not a cop and estranged from him in Live Free or Die Hard. However it's set in 1999 (it's mentioned the events of Die Hard with a Vengeance happened five years before.) So I think it silly to think she couldn't have changed jobs and have a falling out with her dad in 8 years. [Note this came out in 2002 but it's set in 1999 based on taking place five years after Die Hard with a Vengeance.] Some other Die Hard games are out there, but they are based directly on the film plots so they can be considered the same events as those films.
2002--SHINOBI--The Nakatomi family and Corporation are featured in this and the sequel, Nightshade, in which they work with an evil sorcerer.
May 2007--FAMILY GUY--"Meet the Quagmires"--Roger from American Dad! appears at the very end of the episode. His sole line from the episode is a reference to the first episode of American Dad, where he says "Francine, did you remember to get the Pecan Sandies?" Great care is taken to recreate the feel of the decade. Some of the episode’s plot-points are derived from the Back to the Future trilogy and it incorporates elements from other movies: St. Elmo’s Fire, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Zapped!, Krull, Sixteen Candles, Die Hard, and Hellraiser. The time travel is animated to resemble Quantum Leap, and Brian propositions Lois in the televised version by using the band names Wham!, Oingo Boingo and Velvet Underground. Quagmire references the entrance to Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) when telling the guys about the fourth hole that women allegedly have. When Cleveland invites Peter to party at St. Elmo's Clam, Peter says that they will raise more Hell than Hellraiser, before cutting away to Pinhead, who is on a date, and unscrews the top of a salt shaker, which causes salt to spill onto his girlfriend's food, to his own amusement. This episode spoofs the title sequence of The Jetsons, copying it exactly up to the point where Jane tries to leave with George's wallet. Unlike the previous Jetsons spoof in “Brian in Love”, which featured Family Guy versions of the Jetson characters, this spoof features them in their original designs. While Brian is singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" you can see Michael Jackson and 2 gang leaders dancing, and Peter and Lois following. This is a reference to the closing dance in the Michael Jackson song "Beat It". This episode is loosely based on the plot of Back to the Future, and heavily spoofs it during the dance scene. During the dance scene, the photograph Brian pulls out while playing guitar, the first song playing, the phone call, Brian overdoing the second song, and the way Peter wins back Lois all parody the dance scene from the film. The same song "Earth Angel" plays during both dance scenes, mirroring the events in the dance in tune with the song. Although the episode parodies the first Back to the Future, much of the second Back to the Future is suggested, particularly the creepy alternate 1985 music when Peter learns of the skewered timeline, and Brian acting like Doc Brown using a blackboard to explain how history changed. In the TV version, during the Jetsons opening spoof George says "Bullcrap" instead of "bullshit".
2007--Events of Live Free or Die Hard (aka Die Hard 4.0). A hacker terrorizes Washington D.C. John McClane works with the FBI, another young hacker he has to protect, and his grown daughter to stop the bad guys.
2008--Date John was set to retire according to his file in Live Free or Die Hard.
August 2008--THE MIDDLEMAN--"The Clotharian Contamination Protocol"--From Sean Levin's Crossover Universe: a NASA employee is named Lethbridge-Stewart. A "Zygon-Rated" containment box appears. The Nakatomi Protocol expands the vents in Middleman HQ to human size, allowing the Middleman to crawl through them in case of an emergency. A Clotharian bomb has writing on it in Aurebesh. Lethbridge-Stewart is probably related to the CU counterpart of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart from Doctor Who. The Zygons are an alien race also seen in Doctor Who. The Nakatomi Protocol appears to have been inspired by John McClane crawling through the vents of the Nakatomi Plaza building, as seen in the movie Die Hard. The Aurebesh language is from the Star Wars film series. [Although the Crossover Universe of Win Scott Eckert and Sean Lee Levin is not the Television Crossover Universe, most crossovers that appear in the books Crossovers and Crossovers Expanded work just find the for the TVCU. I highly recommend you check out their books, which go far beyond TV and film crossovers and dive into literature and pulps.] Another thing to visit in Toby O'Brien's Toobworld. It was there that I also learned there were also mentions of Hans Gruber. Toby also has a theory that Vandalay Industries (from SEINFELD) may have an office within Nakatomi Plaza.
2008--HELLSING ULTIMATE: VOL. 5--Nakatomi Plaza appears.
2008 (alternate)--In an alternate timeline, perhaps... In the show The Kevin Bishop Show, there is DIE HARD 5: BRUCE ON THE LOOSE WITH BRUCIE FORSYTH. So either this fake film's events happen in an alternate timeline, or this is a fictional film that came out in the TVCU based on the franchise that started off based on McClane's real exploits but started to veer off into fictionalized adventures.
December 2008--CHUCK--"Chuck versus the DeLorean"--Nakatomi Plaza is being sold!
December 2008—CHUCK—“Chuck Versus Santa Claus”—In this episode we learn that Buy More manager “Big” Mike” is the cousin of police Sgt. Al Powell, who was one of the officers involved in the events of the films DIE HARD and DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER.
April 2010--DIE HARD: YEAR ONE--John has a conversation with his kids in which he tells the story of how he met their mother.
September 17, 2010 - April 9, 2011--Symbionic Titan--
From Salvatore Cucinotta in The Crossovers Forum on September 3, 2012: Cruising around TV tropes provided me with a fun link. It's marred by the fact that it uses a real town's name, but it's still fun. The town off Illinois features heavily in the scripts of John Hughes. If you don't know, he wrote films like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It is also the chosen setting of the Mecha action cartoon Symbionic Titan, only to pay homage to such films. There's also a cameo by Hans Gruber (the villain from Die Hard) in one episode (visual design), a character named Solomon Kane (He's very mysterious, so speculation is rampant), and, according to TV tropes at least, connections to Kim Possible and Dexter's Lab amongst the cheerleaders featured in the background (visual design and voice). There's others (a "The Spirit" Cameo, other homages/visual nods to Dexter's Lab, others to Metalocalypse, Archie, the Macross/Robotech series, Some Super Sentai/Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets visual nods) but I'd rather confirm them myself to see if they're useful in a crossover sense.
January 2012--Events of A Good Day to Die Hard. I don't know. Something happens. I stopped watching after the last one. Google says: New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney). McClane thinks his son is a criminal, so it comes as a shock when he learns that Jack is actually working undercover to protect Komarov (Sebastian Koch), a Russian government whistleblower. With their own lives on the line, McClane and Jack must overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the Chernobyl region.
2014--FAMILY GUY: THE QUEST FOR STUFF--John McClane is an unlockable character.
The Near Future--MCCLANE--See my comments for 1979's Die Hard: Year One.
2036--In The Ben Stiller Show, there is a sketch featuring a parody of future film Die Hard 12: Die Hungry. Since it took 24 years for the first five real films to come out, I place the fictional 12th film in the franchise another 24 years in the future. Note the 28th film in the franchise comes out at least 20 years after this. The fictional films may have been films in the TVCU... but the actual events of those films may have been based on true events or they may have been fictionalized sequels. Sort of how the Stab movies were based on the events seen in the "real" world seen in the Scream series, but Scream 4 showed many sequels that weren't based on "real" in-universe events.
2054--In 22 Jump Street, the end credits features a spoof of future sequels. In 42 Jump Street: Beauty School, the tagline is Dye Hard. That has little to do with this timeline, but I felt like mentioning it. 22 Jump Street is in the TVCU, so I would consider all the future fake sequels actually happened in the TVCU as well. Since the first two films were set two years apart, I placed each future film every two years. The stars of the film look amazingly young this far in the future... Eventually I'll do a 21 Jump Street post.
Late 21st Century--THE PANDORA DIRECTIVE--Since we've established that John McClane's exploit at Nakotami Plaza at least became a film, I'll mention that in this game, there is a mention of Die Hard XVIII in the Bay City Mirror. Note that while Bay City is a real city in the TVCU, Bay City is also a nickname for Charmed, and Phoebe Halliwell worked for the Bay Mirror newspaper.
CLEVELAND SHOW (BLUE HARVEST)--The Cleveland Show did a parody of Die Hard similar to Family Guy and the Star Wars trilogy. It should be noted that in the pilot for the Cleveland Show, it's revealed that all the Star War parodies were in canon as Peter getting his friends to act out Star Wars (even though they were initially his telling the stories to his kids). So it could be the Die Hard parody is Cleveland getting his friends to act out Die Hard in-canon.
HONG KONG TVCU--Tie Dan Xiong Feng is a rip-off of Die Hard. But... this might also take place in the TVCU. There are a lot of coincidental retellings of Die Hard that take place in the the TVCU, in everything from Blindspot to MacGuyver to Star Trek. The lone guy taking on terrorists happens frequently in the TVCU. So much so I've chosen not to list them all. Let's just say there's a Die Hard scenario as a thing that repeats in the TVCU, and many times the characters will even realize at some point and say "Hey, this is like Die Hard."
RULE 34--This Ain't Die Hard XXX.
Skitlandia--Andy Samburg plays Hans Gruber, who apparently survived his fall, on a talk show, "Bad Guys and Good Conversation", as a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Hans Gruber also appears on Studio C at a dinner for movie villains. Note there are a lot of spoof sketches and films out there, and I'm not going to cover them all. Some may actually take place in the TVCU, while others take place in alternate timelines.
This was a lot of fun to write. It's been a while since I covered a non-comic book related subject. And it's also been a while since I sat down and knocked out a post in one night (in just six hours!)
So to end, I'm going to share this video, which barely has anything to do with Die Hard, but the song was stuck in my head the whole night while writing this: