It's a blessing that the first Die Hard film even got made, let alone that it blossomed into a film-movie (and counting) action franchise that it is today. The original film began as an adaptation of the second book in a crime series – the first book of which was brought to the screen with Frank Sinatra starring. So Old Blue Eyes very nearly wore the vest.
The script wasn't finished when production began, director John McTiernan hated the project...it's truly miraculous it came out the platonic perfect action movie it is (what excuse does A Good Day To Die Hard have?) Since then, the ongoing adventures of John McClane and his multiple bad days have built their own rich, self-referential mythology.
In fact, it's an action movie series with a much stronger continuity than any other, with recurring villains, nods to the past and John McClane actually has a multi-film character arc. The ramshackle approach to producing them also means they're full of silly in-jokes, references to other films and Easter Eggs for fans that are really paying attention.
Obviously it's not quite the Marvel Cinematic Universe for densely packed references, but there's a surprising amount going on in the adventures of that bare-footed New York cowboy. From surprising cameos to crossovers to Tarantino nods, here are twelve Die Hard Easter Eggs you probably missed.
12. The Terrorists' Truck Is An Ironic Joke
The first Die Hard has a wicked sense of humour. That was mainly at the request of director John McTiernan, who turned the project down multiple times before finally accepting it, on the basis that the original screenplay was too cruel and brutal. He required some quips to make everything seem less mean and violent.
Which is how you get to “yipee-ki-yay, motherf*cker”, the John Wayne references, making fists with your toes and all that. It's also how you get the production designers getting in on the jokes, although you might not have noticed; the trucks the terrorists drive into Nakatomi Plaza are disguised as those of a shipping company called “Pacific Courier”.
As noted by production designer Jackson De Govia on the Die Hard Blu-Ray commentary, “Pacific Courier” means “Messenger Of Peace” – which the bad guys most certainly are not. The same truck gets blown up at the beginning of Die Hard With A Vengeance, only now it has an “Atlantic Courier” symbol painted on the side. Different coast, see?