Seeing the constant bombardment memes in my Facebook feed this week about Die Hard being/not being a Christmas movie (spoiler alert: It is), got me thinking about what useless trivia about the film I could dig up. And I found a Doozy!
Die Hard, Predator, Alien and Commando all take place in the same universe and I have proof!
The thread that connects these 20th Century Fox (now Disney) literary masterpieces is the fictional tiny Nicaraguan-inspired Central American nation of Val Verde!
Our tail begins in 1985 with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action/revenge yarn Commando. A dad will stop at nothing to get his daughter back and doesn’t care how many terrorists get in his way!
The movie is basically the film Taken…if Taken had been produced in the 1980’s
Except, in true 80’s fashion, our hero is excessively muscular and the terrorists are from a tiny Nicaraguan-inspired communist nation, as opposed to being from the Middle East.
Basically, John Matrix’s (Schwarzenegger) daughter is kidnapped by a disposed dictator in an effort to get him to assassinate the current ruler of the nation of Val Verde. Matrix then kills pretty much the combined armed forces of a third world nation to get her back (There is more to the story…but does it really matter?).
We next hear about the Central American nation Val Verde when cigar chomping United States Special Forces Major Dutch, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the previously mentioned John Matrix, leads a team of muscle bound badasses into Val Verde on what they believed to be a rescue mission.
Except it turns out they were lied to by CIA stooge Dillon, who used to be somebody Dutch could trust, and end up being hunted down one by one through the jungles of the same nation of Val Verde for sport by a visitor from another world. This is of course one of the all time greatest sci-fi and action movies of all time: Predator.
But we are not done with the fictional nation of Val Verde or their evil former political leaders yet because another one pops up in 1990 during Die Hard 2: Die Harder. (Seriously, how short are the political terms in this government?)
In this sequel to the greatest Christmas movie of all time (Christmas Vacation is a close second place), we meet another disposed Val Verde dictator that irked the U. S. of A. the wrong way and is being extradited to the States for trial or something.
Anyway, hard drinking super-cop John McClane (originally John Matrix when the early versions of Die Hard was still a Commando sequel) has something to say about all these holiday terrorist shenanigans happening on his watch and 2 hours of shoot em’ up action ensues.
So, as you can see, the nation of Val Verde links the world of Commando with the world of Die Hard (and all its sequels) and the world of the Predator (and all of its sequels). So we are up to at least 10 total movies (Commando, 4 Predator movies and 5 Die Hards), with another potential Die Hard sequel in some stage of pre-production, in this shared universe!
By extension, even the world of Aliens would be included in this ‘Val Verde-verse’ thanks to the Aliens/Predator movie cross-overs. That is another 6 Alien movies plus the 2 Alien/Predator cross-over movies. That brings the 20th Century Fox (still hard to believe now Disney) ‘Val Verde-verse’ to a Marvel Cinematic Universe rivaling 18 feature films!
While researching this topic, I came across an article on Forbes by Daniel Baldwin (no, not the actor) where he went as far as to link the Commando, Predator, Die Hard, Alien, Speed, Lethal Weapon (another Christmas classic) and Ricochet franchises into one massive 25 film cinematic universe! That would dwarf the Marvel Cinematic Universe in size, scope and revenue. While some of his connections are rather thin (“yeah probably nothin'” as Riggs and Murtaugh would say), they do exist and his logic is easy to follow.
Recently, Disney awarded the comic book publishing rights of the Aliens and Predator properties to Marvel Comics (another Disney property) from Darkhorse Comics.
This makes financial sense for Disney (why split profits with another publisher when you own one?) and opens the door for cross-over stories such as John McClane/Punisher, Predator/Wolverine, Aliens/Guardians Of The Galaxy or even Colonial Marines/S.H.I.E.L.D.
Since the movie distribution rights were not part of the deal, these stories would be regulated to comic book/graphic novel form and not the big screen. At least for now…
What are your thoughts on this massive interconnected feature film universe? Does it change how you look at any of the films? Does it make you want to go back and re-watch these films in chronological order?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, please also check out:
- List of The Top Ten Christmas Movies For Guys
- Top Ten List Of The Toughest Johns In Movie History!
- Fan Theory: Home Alone’s Peter McCallister Was A Mob Boss!
- Fan Theory: Modern Family is a Married With Children Sequel!
- Nic Cage Mystic powers over beige Volvos