Arnold Schwarzenegger Rejected $52M Paycheck in 1988 Movie That Spawned $1.4B Franchise for Failed Career in Comedy Movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a legend in the bodybuilding world and is immensely admired for his excellent fitness. The muscular hunk had also set a firm foot in the entertainment industry as an actor as well as triumphed in the world of politics. The bodybuilding star became quite famous in the 60’s era for his fitness and by the 70’s, he was ruling the Hollywood industry with movies like The Last Stand, Commando, Collateral Damage, Terminator, and Stay Hungry, among others.
The actor became the biggest action hero of the time, and his movie were blockbusters for almost two decades. Owing to his opulent success in the entertainment world, Schwarzenegger turned down several superhit cult classics and action genre films.
Arnold Schwarzenegger turned down Die HardKilling Gunther actor was riding the high horses of his successful career when he was offered the action-laced film Die Hard. As per reports, the makers of the film initially approached the star Arnold Schwarzenegger for the lead role of NYPD cop Jon McClane. However, the actor turned it down as he wanted to take a break from the action and dip his toes in the comedy genre. After rejecting the movie, he went on to work in the 1988 film Twins, which did not turn out to be as successful as expected.
As per reports, there was another reason also which made Schwarzenegger reject the movie. Speaking with Empire, Arnold Schwarzenegger recalled turning down Die Hard, which could have been a major game-changer. However, Arnold felt as though the script of the film was unfinished at the time. He said,
“There was an unfinished script, which someone gave me and said, ‘Would you want to play this?’ I was working with Joel Silver on Predator and Die Hard was his next movie. So we talked about it, but then he hired Bruce Willis.”
The actor tried his hand in other comedy movies like Kindergarten Cop, Jingle All the Way, Junior, Dave, Last Action Hero, etc. However, the movies could not recreate the charm of his action movies.
Bruce Willis got the lead in Die HardOne of the biggest hits of 1988, Die Hard has a massive fan following to date. The lead role was initially designed for Arnold Schwarzenegger, but after his rejection, it was given to actor Bruce Willis. The movie went on to become the tenth highest-grossing film of the year. The action thriller also received four Academy Award nominations. The movie was a commercial and critical success, making over $140 million worldwide with a $28 million budget. Following the success of the movie, four franchises have been made to date, and the complete franchise grossed approx $1.4 Billion.
Die Hard was directed by John McTiernan and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza. It was based on the 1979 novel, Nothing Lasts Forever by author Roderick Thorp.
Besides Bruce Willis, the star cast included Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, and Bonnie Bedelia, with Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Paul Gleason, and Hart Bochner in supporting roles.
The story follows a New York City police detective John McClane (Bruce Willis), who caught up in a terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles skyscraper while he was visiting his estranged wife.