Frank Sinatra was one of the singers who was initially offered the leading role in the movie Die Hard. Wouldn’t it be amazing to watch a 73-year-old superstar playing a lead role in an action-packed film like Die Hard?
Sinatra, at the start of his movie-making career, was cast for mostly singing roles. He even tried hard to break the image of a “singer employed as an actor.” But the real question lies behind whether Sinatra took the role or not. Well, it all started with an author named Roderick Thorp, who published his book Nothing Lasts Forever in the year 1979. Die Hard movie was exclusively based on this book. A book called The Detective that was published in 1966, was, in reality, a prequel of Nothing Lasts Forever. The movie on was made on the same name, The Detective that starred Frank Sinatra as the main lead, Detective Joe Leland. This book became extremely popular and was one of the best sellers, so was the movie. Though it was a little less action-packed than the Die-Hard movie, it was still trendy at the box office.
When Sinatra was offered the role?
It was not until the year 1988, nearly ten years after the book was published when the producers decided to come up with a sequel. It is when they reached Frank Sinatra as they were contractually obligated to offer him the leading role. He was 73 years old at that time and gracefully turned down the offer. The next they reached to was Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he too turned it down. It is when Bruce Willis was cast in the leading role, and the character was renamed to John McClane instead of Joe Leland. At that time, Willis wasn’t precisely the kind of person the studio was hoping to cast in the role as he was known for mostly comedies and not the action sequences.
But as many stars had already turned it down, they had to go on with him, and the rest is history. With a total budget of $28 million the film grossed about $140 million by the time it was out of theatres and earned four Academy Award nominations. It was well-received by critics, and this made Die Hard franchise strong.
Sinatra passed away in the year 1998 at the age of 82, while Thorp died in 1999 at the age of 62. Willis, on the other hand, made his career by Die Hard movies and despite now going up there in himself, he remains involved in the series and other action movies.
Even after Sinatra being one of the most famous musicians, he will also be remembered for his roles in the movies, including The Detective.