Earlier this week, Aint It Cool News reported that a proposed fifth “Die Hard” film had been given the working title “Die Hard 24/7” because “at one point, The Powers That Be mulled an idea – ‘Die Hard 5′ and the TV show ’24’ were to cross over. The intent was for Kiefer Sutherland to appear as Jack Bauer in an adventure with Bruce Willis’ John McClane. Hence ‘Die Hard 24/7.'”
The article acknowledges that the idea didn’t pan out (look instead for Sutherland in a solo “24” movie in the future), but it got me thinking all the same. There have been a few movie crossovers in the past — mostly monster movies like “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” (1943) and “Alien vs. Predator” (2004) — and we’re looking forward to Joss Whedon’s “Avengers” film in a few years, but crossovers at the movies are still extremely rare, probably because between rights negotiations, star salaries and egos, they’re logistical nightmares to produce. But logistics mean nothing to the imagination, so here’s a few crossovers I’d love to see (and never will):
“Dirty Harry” (1971) Meets “Bullitt” (1968)
Strong ties already link these films: they’re both set in San Francisco just a few years apart, and both feature music by Lalo Schifrin, not to mention the fact that Steve McQueen’s Lt. Bullitt was modeled after Det. Dave Toschi, one of the lead investigators on the Zodiac case, which served as the model for the “Dirty Harry” villain Scorpio. Neither guy has much use for partners or bosses, which makes it an ideal team-up to begin: too much bad behavior gets the two most unruly cops on the SFPD paired with one another on a case involving a series of grisly murders. I can already see Harry Callahan seething over Bullitt’s “hippie” turtlenecks and Bullitt telling one of his lady friends about how Callahan’s compensating for something with that big gun. I’d like Robert Shaw as the villain, a dirty city councilman who frames Bullitt and Harry for the crimes they’re investigating.
“Goodfellas” (1990) Meet “The Godfather” (1972)
These beloved Mafia classics are set a few decades apart, but both are about the destructive impact of drugs on the world of organized crime. Plus, most of “Goodfellas” takes place in the years between “Godfather Part II” and “Part III,” so we could set our story then. De Niro’s Jimmy the Gent and Pesci’s Tommy DeVito had a habit of disrespecting authority in “Goodfellas” — it’s pretty easy to imagine a scenario where the two of them piss off another made man and have to go ask The Godfather, Michael Corleone, for a life-sparing favor. He agrees, but as usual it’s one of the make-them-an-offer-he-can’t-refuse kind of deals, which puts Jimmy and Tommy in Michael’s debt. Things would go predictably south from there, though not before Henry Hill and Joey Zasa exchange sauce recipes.
“Back to the Future” (1985) Meets “The Terminator” (1984)
Two of the most popular sci-fi franchises of the 1980s and 90s hinged on wild time travel paradoxes, so why not combine them into one insane mega-movie? If it doesn’t make any sense, who cares? Just blame it on the paradoxes! I envision one of the Schwarzenegger Terminators going back to Hill Valley, CA circa 1985 looking to acquire the Flux Capacitor the machines need to time travel back to 1984 to look for Sarah Connor (gotta love those paradoxes!). Meanwhile Marty, who learns that his son is destined to become John Connor’s most trusted lieutenant in the war against the machines, has to use the Delorean to travel to 2015 to save Marty Jr. from the T-1000 AND get home in time to stop Biff from sleeping with his girlfriend Jennifer. Heavy stuff.
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) Meets “No Country For Old Men” (2007)
“Lambs”‘ Hannibal Lecter and “Old Men”‘s Anton Chigurh were both villains audiences loved and even identified with in some ways. So it could be a lot of fun to see who everyone would root for if they squared off in a good old fashioned “Freddy Vs. Jason”-style slobberknocker. Our battle would take place before both films, at a time before Lecter was incarcerated by Edward Norton and/or William Petersen. After he eats the wrong person with the right wine pairing, someone puts a hit out on Lecter and Chigurh accepts the contract. The only problem I imagine here is the fact that neither character is known for letting their enemies live, which means one of them would have to kill the other, which would foul up both film’s continuity. We’d probably just have to settle with a coin flip.
What crossovers would you like to see? Maybe “The Goonies Meets The Monster Squad”? How about “Alien vs. Planet of the Apes”? Tell us in the comments section.
[Photos: “Live Free or Die Hard,” 20th Century Fox, 2007; “24,” 20th Century Fox, 2009; “Bullitt,” Warner Bros., 1968; “Dirty Harry,” Warner Bros., 1971; “The Terminator,” MGM, 1984; “Back to the Future,” Universal Pictures, 1985; “The Silence of the Lambs,” Orion Pictures, 1991; “No Country for Old Men,” Miramax, 2007]