In 1990, Renny Harlin succeeded John McTiernan to direct “Die Hard 2: 58 minutes to live”. The opportunity for producer Joel Silver to once again use Val Verde, a fictional country he uses in several of his productions.
58 minutes to live: the return of John McClane
In 1988, Bruce Willis becomes an international star. Thanks to his role as John McClane in Crystal trap he becomes the new face of the action man in the 1990s. A first diehard which met with unexpected critical and popular success. Given the success of this first part ($141 million in revenue at the box office for a budget of 28 million), 20th Century Fox embarks on the production of an entire saga. Today, License diehard has five feature films of varying quality.
In 1990, Renny Harlin staged 58 minutes to live aka Die Hard 2. Bruce Willis is obviously back as John McClane. In this second episode, the steadfast policeman waits for his wife’s plane at Washington International Airport. Strange comings and goings attract his attention. Quickly, John McClane discovers that a group of terrorists is about to take control of the airport. Less appreciated than the first opus, Die Hard 2 yet again exploded the box office. It yields more than 240 million dollars in revenue for a budget of 70 million.
What is Val Verde?
In 58 minutes to live mention is made of a fictional country in South America: Val Verde. This country was invented by producer Steven E. de Souza, reused regularly thereafter by producer Joel Silver. When their stories require a location in Latin America or Central America that would cause legal or diplomatic problems in the United States, they choose Val Verde. In Renny Harlin’s feature film, Val Verde would have been subjected to the dictatorial regime of General Esperanza. If this fictional country was used by Joel Silver for the purposes of 58 minutes to live it’s not either the first or the last time that he appears in a production of the time.
The Val Verde appears for the first time in the film Commando with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1985. Subsequently, this fictional country was mentioned in many productions such as in the saga predator in the saga Alienin The lethal Weapon or in Speed. A strange connection between these different films which have, a priori, nothing to do with them. We know that the sagas Alien and predator are connected. So maybe this easter egg suggests that all of the aforementioned movies are set in the same universe?
The producer’s explanation
Steven de Souza explained in 2015on the occasion of the release of the comic strip Sheena, the origin of this invention:
It’s a place like Guyana. A country that encompasses lush Caribbean resorts popular with tourists. A mysterious unexplored rainforest, and a mix of Anglo-Spanish, African, Creole and indigenous cultures. It’s a fantasy land that I’ve used in several movies and TV shows.
Subsequently, the Val Verde gained popularity in the world of the seventh art. And many artists have brought their own tribute to this mysterious place. This fictional country also appears in other productions such as the series Supercarrierin NCISin comics Sheenaor even in the anime Symphogear. Another example is the movie Jurassic Attack even takes place entirely in Val Verde.