The Deleted Fight from A Good Day to Die Hard – Previz by Eric Jacobus, Alvin Hsing, and J. J. Perry

After we spent a week at 87eleven, Alvin Hsing and I came away with this video to show what came of our efforts – a pre-viz (choroegraphed and shot rough version) for the final knife fight in A Good Day to Die Hard (that’s Die Hard #5). The scene called for McClane to face off against the film’s villain Alik on a rooftop, with Alik wielding a knife and using some combination of Krav Maga and some basic Silat. McClane is, of course, limited to his wits and left-handed haymakers, which was a lot of fun. Lock an artist in a room and he’ll build a city.

I play John McClane fighting the Alik character, played by Alvin. It’s an American-style fight with some Hong Kong flare, but done in a way to 1. take advantage of the fact that Willis is left-handed and 2. not overload the producers with “shoe leather”, or excessive martial artsy stuff. You know, that straight, industrial-grade action that we all drink by the gallon, the side effect being that we now require it on a daily basis.

But perhaps it was still too much, as the fight never made it into the film. I can’t say whether it was filmed and subsequently edited out, but judging by the structure of the finale of A Good Day it’s apparent that they never shot it at all.

So maybe we will.

All in all it was a huge joy primarily to work with JJ Perry in crafting the scene, with Chad Stahelski nearby. They would tell us when we were taking it too far in certain directions, since these guys know producers from an action standpoint like nobody else. We had some fun ideas that were just too Hong Kong-y, like a flying headbutt that was tied off so my body would stop mid-air when the contact line was hit, as well as a LOT more shoe leather. I love that stuff. Also working with Jeremy Marinas, who aside from being of the world’s best trickers is also a hell of a photographer, was straightforward and fun since we both knew the best angles for action, which tended to be the same. The Natural Law of Action shines through.

The Gold Rush

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2 thoughts on “The Deleted Fight from A Good Day to Die Hard – Previz by Eric Jacobus, Alvin Hsing, and J. J. Perry

  1. Eric, I know you from late 90s when you started to make short movies. It was age of Stunt People, Zero Gravity, Kwoon and some others. Even I tried to make some of my own here in central Europe and we spoke to each other on forums, exchanging know-how and stuff back then. And now look at you… Death Grip, Mortal Kombat and Die Hard… I wish you all the best. Keep up the good work. I wrote an article about you (http://www.moviezone.cz/clanek/23670-narez-14-prokopat-se-az-do-hollywoodu/) but I guess you won´t read much from it (unless you speak czech). I would love to arrange an e-mail interview with you. It could be very inspiring for everyone. Let me know if you are up for it. I understand your schedule is getting busy right now. 🙂

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