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I reprint this here from my bonus question on my weekly Trivia Quiz:


Bonus: One of our favorite movies, the "original Die Hard"....is, technically, actually a sequel to a movie made some time earlier. In fact, the star of that earlier movie had the right of first refusal to play the role of John McClane that Bruce Willis played. But he declined to allow the younger Willis to take the part. What was that movie and who was the actor that had the right to play the role?

The movie was called "The Detective" and the actor was: Frank Sinatra.

The Detective is a 1968 color neo-noir crime film in Panavision directed by Gordon Douglas, produced by Aaron Rosenberg and starring Frank Sinatra, as Joe Leland based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Roderick Thorp.

In 1979 Roderick Thorp wrote a sequel to The Detective called Nothing Lasts Forever, in which Leland is trapped in a Klaxon Oil Corporation skyscraper after it is taken by German terrorists and must rescue his daughter and grandchildren. The novel was adapted into the 1988 20th Century Fox film Die Hard, in which Joe Leland's name was changed to John McClane, the object of his heroism was changed from his daughter to his wife, and Klaxon became the Nakatomi Corporation. Fox was contractually obligated to offer Sinatra the lead role, but he promptly turned it down as he would have been more than 70 years old when filming. The film launched a film franchise that continues into the 2010s.[5]

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