Was Die Hard an Adaptation of a SEQUEL to a Book That Was ALSO Made Into a Film?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Die Hard was a screen adaptation of the sequel of a book that also was adapted into a film.

Die Hard has had a very interesting history when it comes to the novels and screenplays that the film and its ensuing sequels have been based on.

Roderick Thorp’s 1966 novel The Detective ended up playing a significant part in film history, and not just for its later connection to the Die Hard series.

The book, which is about private detective Joe Leland being hired to investigate the death of a woman’s husband only to find that the man’s death tied into a murder that Leland investigated while on the police force, became a best-seller.

Robert Evans purchased the rights to the book, and he used that fact to parlay said rights into a role as a producer on the film adaptation.

The film starred Frank Sinatra (now as a police detective, and the plot was slightly different – but the main thing about the book that the film captured was the FEEL of the story – the book was noted for its darkly realistic take on detectives and police and the movie followed suit) and its success led to Evans’ highly successful career as a film producer.

Thirteen years after his first book starring Joe Leland, Thorp wrote a sequel, 1979’s Nothing Lasts Forever.
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