Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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Yippee-ki-yay . . . Discover the explosive story behind the creation of the Die Hard saga in this visually stunning, behind-the-scenes look at the adventures of detective John McClane.
Thirty years after the release of the groundbreaking action film, Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History takes an in-depth look at the entire Die Hard saga, from the original movie through to the hit sequels, comics, video games, and other extensions of hero John McClane’s story.
Loosely based on Roderick Thorp’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever, Die Hard, released in 1988, saw Moonlighting star Bruce Willis seamlessly make the transition from TV success to movie stardom in a film so taut, explosive, and full of suspense that it would come to define the action movie genre for decades to come. Directed by John McTiernan (Predator), Die Hard also starred revered British stage actor Alan Rickman who turned lead villain Hans Gruber into a presence so deliciously malevolent, audiences didn’t know whether to love him or hate him.
For the first time, Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History tells the complete story of the making of Die Hard and its sequels, through exclusive interviews with the cast and crew of each film and a wealth of rare and unseen imagery, including set photography and concept art. Also exploring Die Hard comics, video games, and other merchandise, this book will tell the full story of the saga and its remarkable thirty-year legacy.
"Forget about ‘behind the scenes’—Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History goes not only behind the scenes, but behind the curtain, inside the sausage factory, and into the room where it happened. A must-have for not just fans of the Die Hard franchise, but for any student of contemporary filmmaking!"
-- Steven E. de Souza, screenwriter, Die Hard and Die Hard 2
"The research and passion put into this book by its authors is obvious and impressive. This is the kind of work that can serve as a coffee table conversation piece or an intimate part of your home library." ― Geeks of Doom
“The book is magnificent—destined to become a cornerstone of future critiques and appreciations. The most complete reckoning of the insane energy and selfless teamwork of all concerned in the creation of the most beautiful, satisfying and downright fun motion picture of the hands-on era of filmmaking and its fascinating children.” -- Jackson De Govia, Production Designer, Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance
“It’s rare to find the truly definitive work on a piece of hugely influential pop culture—this is that book. For any fan of modern American cinema, let alone Die Hard fans, this book provides the genuine story of the blood, sweat and many tears that went into creating and perpetuating a giant American icon. The book resonates with the authenticity that making the great action movies of the 1980’s required, and sets these movies in stark contrast to the cookie-cutter superhero toy advertisements that pass for entertainment today." -- John Moore, director, A Good Day to Die Hard
“...a fantastic holiday gift for any movie fan.” ― Men’s Journal
"It's a museum in a book... the most comprehensive Die Hard book" ― IGN
"This definitive guide to one of the greatest action-movie franchises of all time is more than just a gift for fans. It’s a win for anybody who loves beautifully-crafted books." ― Wonder Alliance
"Holiday shoppers hoping to make Die Hard buffs happy this festive season would do well to proceed directly here." ― The Morton Report
"What a wonderful look back on the early days of my career. Kudos to the writer as well as all involved!" -- Reginald VelJohnson (Sergeant Al Powell), Die Hard/Die Hard 2
"Since Die Hard is totally a Christmas movie, The Ultimate Visual History would make a great Christmas gift for the cowboy in your life." ― We Live Entertainment
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.