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The Deleted Die Hard With A Vengeance Scene That Would Have Changed Everything

Besides the eternal battle over whether or not "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie, the second constant struggle regarding John McClane is which franchise entry is as good as the first? The most selected sequel (and one that even we picked) is his destructive drive through New York alongside Samuel L. Jackson in "Die Hard with a Vengeance." A cat and mouse chase for the ages, McClane's wise-cracking charm alongside a random stranger with the volume of Hollywood's loudest movie star is a great action movie. It's made even more enjoyable, though, with a villain connected to McClane's past, rounding off with one grand last-minute finale that sees the bad guy go down.

After being sent around New York City at the request of Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons), brother to the film's first bad guy, Hans (Alan Rickman), McClane catches up with his new foe at the Canadian border. A deadly shootout ensues with McClane bringing down Simon's helicopter and into a ball of flame. It's an explosive and massively entertaining way to end things but wasn't always the original plan for the film's final showdown. Initially, we were going to get a much quieter tense meeting between hero and villain. Well, not too quiet. There is a rocket launcher involved.

Die Hard with a Vengeance ended on a tense game of 'McClane Says

Rather than the action-packed exit we know and love, director John McTiernan's other closing scene had Simon escape the authorities and make it back to Hungary. However, his road to victory meets a major block when McClane pays an unexpected visit to Gruber during his morning paper. A bit of chit-chat reveals that McClane tracked the aspirin Simon was constantly taking for his headaches to a local pharmacy, which led him straight to his target. From there begins a round of 'Simon Says,' the go-to game that prompted the NYPD cop running around the city at Simon's request. The difference here is that this is a game of 'McClane Says,' a variant that involves a rocket launcher without a sight aim on the table, being spun in a Russian Roulette fashion. No pressure, Simon.

After a few rounds, Simon gets the last question wrong, forcing him to determine which end of the rocket's launcher will fire. McClane plays it cool, even up until Simon pulls the trigger, ultimately killing himself. As far as endings go, it's an intense showdown between the two leads but doesn't pack as nearly half a punch as the one we got. Also, it lacks a severe amount of Samuel L. Jackson, who is the film's secret weapon without question. In the end, no rocket launchers could really compete with that. Sorry, McClane.