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Bombing Won’t Delay Third ‘Die Hard’ Movie

Boston Globe

Twentieth Century Fox has no plans to delay the release on May 19 of its explosives-laden summer film, “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” in light of the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, officials for the movie house said Tuesday.

“This will not impact the release date. It is opening May 19,” a Fox spokeswoman, Meredith Nevins, said in New York. She added that the film will open in Oklahoma City on its nationwide release date.

For months, the studio has heavily advertised the May 19 opening date for the movie, the third installment of the lucrative series starring Bruce Willis as cagey Det. John McClane.

In the new film, Jeremy Irons plays McClane’s nemesis, Simon, who sets off bombs at various locations in Manhattan. Previews for the film are on screens around the country; Nevins said Tuesday that they would continue to be shown.

Martin Grove, CNN movie analyst and columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, said Tuesday that even after the April 19 Oklahoma City bombing, few expected the studio to change the film’s release date.

“People are certainly aware there’s a bombing plot in ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance,’ but obviously it was not inspired in any way by recent events, and was done well before all this tragic stuff happened in Oklahoma. I don’t think it’s going to impact in any negative way on the film. I think people differentiate between reality and Hollywood.”

From Alfred Hitchcock’s 1936 film “Sabotage” to “Black Sunday” in 1977 to last year’s Boston-based thriller, “Blown Away,” bombs and bombers have long been a staple of action films, Grove said. Last year, planted explosives figured prominently in two action films, “Speed” and “True Lies,” each of which grossed more than $100 million.

“In big action films,” Grove said, “bombing is often a potential plot line because it’s very visual, very destructive and very suspenseful.”

Three television shows had bombing plotlines filmed before the Oklahoma City attack. Executives at the Fox network and Spelling Entertainment, producers of the popular program “Melrose Place,” are still discussing how best to handle the show’s May 22 season finale, which has a character detonating a bomb in the apartment complex that is the series’ centerpiece. A spokeswoman has said taping a new finale has been ruled out.

Fox did opt not to broadcast one episode of its animated program “The Critic.” That installment’s story involving a bomb was scheduled to air five days after the Oklahoma City catastrophe.

“All My Children,” the ABC daytime soap opera, had a plotline last week that involved a bombing. The network ran a disclaimer before those episodes, explaining that they were completed before the Oklahoma tragedy. But after several shows, ABC announced it would be “irresponsible” to continue airing the storyline, which has since been edited out.

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