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Clint Eastwood

Why Clint Eastwood Turned Down Starring Role In Die Hard

The screenwriter of Die Hard reveals why legendary actor Clint Eastwood turned down the lead role of John McClane in the iconic action film. Directed by acclaimed American filmmaker John McTiernan (Predator, Last Action Hero) and based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, the story of the 1988 action film revolves around New York City police detective, John McClane, as he finds himself caught up in a terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles skyscraper while visiting his estranged wife for Christmas.

The film saw Bruce Willis take on the role of McClane, and he was joined by a supporting cast that included Reginald VelJohnson, Bonnie Bedelia, Alexander Godunov, and the late Harry Potter actor, Alan Rickman, who played the antagonist and head of the terrorist group, Hans Gruber. Die Hard is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential action movies ever made and has also been named one of the best Christmas films by many. The film’s success has spawned four further sequels in the form of 1990’s Die Hard 2, 1995’s Die Hard with a Vengeance, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, and 2013’s A Good Day To Die Hard. While Die Hard saw Willis catapulted to movie star and action hero status, there were myriad other actors who were offered the part of McClane but turned it down, one of which was Eastwood.

Now, in a recent interview with SlashFilm, Die Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart revealed the reason why Eastwood turned down the role of McClane. Stuart stated that while the actor was the first choice for the part, he decided to pass on the offer as he “didn’t get the humor.” This came as “a shock” to the writer, as Eastwood was his “inspiration” in the first place and in his mind, “one of the few people” who could’ve made the snappy dialogues from the script come to life. Check out his quote below:

“They went to Clint Eastwood first. Ironically, his response to the producers was, ‘I don’t get the humor.’ Which, for me, was a shock because if you listen to a lot of those words, Eastwood’s one of the few people who could have delivered a line like ‘Come to LA, have a great time.’ All that kind of stuff. You could see him doing that. He was my inspiration.”

It’s no secret that Eastwood proved to be just the first of several A-list stars to reject the role, with the list of actors including the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and Richard Gere, to mention a few. The fact that the Oscar-winning actor/director was immediately considered for the part is understandable given his established status as a leading man at the time, which came as a result of his scene-stealing performances in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy and the Dirty Harry series, both of which featured iconic dialogues that are quoted to this day.

The possibility of an Eastwood-led Die Hard franchise may have sounded like an intriguing prospect back then, but it’s highly likely that an opportunity to add another major franchise to an already impressive filmography would have been a bridge too far for the veteran actor in the late ’80s, given the physically demanding aspects of the character. However, that’s not to say that he couldn’t have pulled it off. The fact that Stuart wrote the part with Eastwood in mind is a testament to the Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby actor’s longevity and undeniable charisma. While the Hollywood icon wouldn’t have been the worst casting choice for McClane, it’s safe to say that Die Hard fans were ultimately satisfied with the decision to give Willis a chance to play what has now become his career-defining role.

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood May Replace Steven Spielberg as ‘American Sniper’ Director

American Sniper – based on the late Chris Kyle’s memoir “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History” – has attracted some big Hollywood talent, ever since Bradley Cooper’s 22nd & Indiana production company picked up the rights in 2012 (with Cooper attaching himself as the star and producer). Case in point, Cooper’s Silver Linings Playbook writer/director David O. Russell was reported as being the first serious contender in consideration for the helming job on Sniper.

Russell has decided to look elsewhere, where it concerns the possible followup to his next project: the true-story historical dramedy American Hustle (also starring Cooper). Steven Spielberg appeared to be all-ready to commit as director on American Sniper back in May of 2013, but he then dropped out around three months later.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. wants American Sniper to begin filming by the first quarter of 2014. That could mean the studio intends to release the movie during the subsequent awards season; or, at least, have the Sniper adaptation ready in time to make an Oscar-qualifying limited theatrical run in December next year.

However, in order for that to be feasible, WB is going to need a director known for working fast, efficiently and effectively to captain the American Sniper ship – which may be part of the reason why the studio has begun “tentative negotiations” with Clint Eastwood, so as to have the Oscar-winning legend take the helm. If a deal is struck, then Eastwood will begin filming his Jersey Boys musical adaptation at the conclusion of this month (August 2013, at the time of writing this), before he wraps up production a couple months later and then jumps head-first into principal photography on Sniper.

Kyle’s American Sniper book – detailing how the former Navy SEAL went “from Texas rodeo cowboy to expert marksman and feared assassin” – has been adapted into movie script form by Jason Dean Hall. The latter’s artistic credibility took a hit this past week, due to the poor critical reception for Paranoia (which Hall co-wrote). I’m taking the time to note this because Eastwood has a tendency to direct scripts with potential – something that Hall’s American Sniper script draft clearly has (given the talent it has managed to attract).

Problem is, Clint the director is able to work faster because he skips on polishing or fine-tuning the scripts he works from, as has become increasingly noticeable in his more recent films (see: Invictus, J. Edgar) – meaning, he may not be the right guy to give Hall’s American Sniper script draft any necessary tweaks it needs to realize its full promise. Moreover, Eastwood’s no-budge directorial temperament often gives rise to a slow-paced and soulfully-morose final product – but is that the right approach to Kyle’s story, passing over how respectful Eastwood would be towards his subject?

How about it, then: Clint Eastwood to direct American Sniper, yay or nay?

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood to Direct ‘Jersey Boys’ Film?

These days, actor/director Clint Eastwood is best known as the filmmaker behind hard-hitting dramas like Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River. However, the former Dirty Harry has been looking to try his hand at a very different genre for quite a while – the musical.

For years, Eastwood has been developing a remake of A Star Is Born, which was most recently brought to the big screen in 1976 with Barbara Streisand in the lead. Eastwood’s version – which would be the third remake of the original 1937 production – was set to star Beyoncé Knowles. However, Knowles has since dropped out of the project, leaving it in a state of limbo for now.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Eastwood will instead shift his focus over to another musical project with the film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway production Jersey Boys. The plot focuses on the rise and fall of musical group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and uses the group’s music to tell its story. Jon Favreau had previously been attached to direct the film.

If Eastwood takes on Jersey Boys, the film would likely be his next directorial project, followed (presumably) by A Star Is Born. The latter film is currently courting Grammy-winning jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding to star, though the project has also faced difficulty in casting its male lead. Sean Penn is among the most recent crop of actors being discussed for the role.

Eastwood’s decision to move on from A Star Is Born is a wise one, considering that project looks like it will take a while to gain any traction. Besides, a filmmaker as accomplished as Eastwood can lend just the right amount of gravitas to something like Jersey Boys. After last summer’s Rock of Ages failed to score at the box office, audiences may need convincing to check out another “jukebox musical.”

Do you think Eastwood is a good fit for Jersey Boys? Let us know in the comments section below.

Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest news on the Jersey Boys movie as this story develops.

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Clint Eastwood

‘Trouble with the Curve’ Images: Clint Eastwood Returns to Acting

Clint Eastwood hasn’t appeared onscreen in four years, and the last time he acted under the direction of someone other than… well, himself was in 1993. The 82-year old Hollywood legend returns to the big screen in Trouble with the Curve from his protégé Robert Lorenz, who’s worked on-and-off as an assistant director and/or producer on Eastwood’s films (beginning with Bridges of Madison County).

Eastwood co-headlines Trouble with the Curve alongside three-peat Oscar-nominee Amy Adams. The supporting cast isn’t shabby either, including John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard (The Descendants), and semi-newcomer Joe Massingill.

Trouble with the Curve is a father-daughter relationship drama explored through the lens of an off-the-field sports drama. Newcomer Randy Brown’s script revolves around an Atlanta Braves scout (Eastwood) who on the verge of being put out to pasture, due to his diminishing eyesight and old-fashioned approach to recruiting players (obviously, he doesn’t subscribe to the Moneyball school of thought).

Eastwood’s character convinces his estranged daughter (Adams) to accompany and assist him on what could be his last assignment, to determine whether or not a promising power hitter (Massingill) has potential to make it in the big leagues. Timberlake plays a player-turned-scout who’s on good terms with Eastwood, but risks trouble when he starts getting too friendly with Adams.

Lorenz has the opportunity to demonstrate the directorial tricks he’s picked up on working with Eastwood over the years, while establishing himself as a reputable storyteller on Trouble with the Curve (his feature-length directorial debut). The two-time Oscar nominee certainly works as efficiently as his mentor, given the six-month turnaround between the film’s production start date and its release this fall.

Moreover, Trouble with the Curve could satisfy as a capstone to Eastwood’s acting legacy, much like Unforgiven did for his days working in the western genre; not to mention, Gran Torino served as a swansong to his career playing characters who’re rough around the edges (ex. Harry Callahan). If Eastwood turns in a performance deemed awards-worthy by his peers, well, that’s icing on the cake.

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