I've written and directed some of your parent's favorite movies including Cliffhanger, Long Kiss Goodnight, Die Hard 2 and Deep Blue Sea.

My next film is Hercules, starring the dreamy Kellan Lutz which will be in theaters next spring.

Ask me anything!

social media post

EDIT: Thanks so much. This was amazing. Your questions were better than any reporter I have ever spoken with. I've gotta get going back to work on editing Hercules but I will log-in later on and answer any question I missed. Thanks again and please check out Hercules when it comes out this spring.

Comments: 571 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

hellendrung238 karma

When I was younger, I was in the local video store when Cliffhanger was first released to VHS. I was walking around and noticed that my Catholic priest was renting Cliffhanger. I ran up to him and told him it was Rated R, because my child brain thought "Priests can't possibly watch Rated R movies!" He just turned to me and said, "I know it is. I just need to make sure the good guys win in this one."

Sorry. Not really a question. Just a fond memory of my priest renting Cliffhanger.

RennyHarlin_211 karma

That is one of the greatest anecdotes I have ever heard. I wonder if he also watched my Exorcist.

workitloud146 karma

The Long Kiss Goodnight is one of my favorite films, as it has a playfulness and matter-of-fact attitude about people doing their jobs through adversity (Heat, with DeNiro and Pacino comes to mind). Any plans for a redux or sequel in that vein? Thanks for Cutthroat, by the way.

RennyHarlin_138 karma

Love you man. Nice compliment on a Monday morning can get you going. I've been working on a sequel for Long Kiss for a few years and we finally getting the script in order. Sam has already agreed to be in it.

workitloud34 karma

Who was responsible for the machine gun-through-the-ice-thing? Very nice birthing imagery, escape into chaos, etc. Thoughts on Ormond and Smillas Sense of Snow, Kormakur's early work (101 Reykjavik), where the Nordic/Scandinavian countries fit in with their atmospheric worldview? I have great hope for the thoughtfulness and wicked humor associated with this genre, for lack of a better word.

RennyHarlin_54 karma

The scene was from Shane Black's genius brain. The execution was me, Sam and Geena working together with the great cinematographer Guillermo Navarro. I love the movies that you mentioned. You can take a boy out of the snow but you can never take the snow out of the boy.

workitloud36 karma

Many thanks for making visually nutritious content. If you are ever in Tennessee, PM me through here, I'll buy lunch. I have a few ideas you might like. Stranger things happen every day--free lunch, right?

RennyHarlin_50 karma

You're the best. I will keep you in mind when next travelling through Tennessee.

professortycoon113 karma

I used to hate Die Hard 2. I considered it the worst of the trilogy. Now, having seen where they went after Vengeance I feel a fool because at least you were true to the character and feel of the original. So, sorry Renny! You made a fun movie.

RennyHarlin_127 karma

Thanks for your opinion. All the movies in the series are quite different from one another. My goal was to replicate the experience of the first one without copying it. I think it's important to be faithful to a character and this applies to his behavior, his sense of humor and also his limitations. It can be dangerous when stunts make a down to earth character into a superhero.

DrownedJellyfish85 karma

Hey Renny, your countryman here.

Could you confirm that you were responsible for the ~12 minutes shorter cut of The Evil Dead, back in the grim film censorship days of Finland?

What other vhs releases did you cut for us back then?

RennyHarlin_167 karma

Guilty as charged. I worked for a distribution company in my late teens and was given the grim task of cutting some awesome gore out of a few horror films. Unfortunately can't really remember others besides Evil Dead. I apologize to all the fans for my senility.

theevildead8469 karma

What was it like being a young guy looking to make it in film and landing yourself right in the middle of a high grossing series like Nightmare on Elm Street 4? Did you feel a lot of pressure coming onto that set? Was everyone respectful of you as a director?

Also, why are you so damn good at directing action flicks? Love Die Hard 2 and Deep Blue Sea.

RennyHarlin_92 karma

You are AWESOME BTW. I was just a kid coming for Finland coming to Hollywood with big dreams. I lived in a garage and didn't even have a car. I believe that through passion, hard work and a bit of talent you can create your own luck. The producers of Elm Street kicked me out of their office 5 times but I wouldn't give up. I was scared out of my wits directing that film but it became a commercial and critical success. That gave me the opportunity to move into the bigger movies. I've loved action films since I could walk and love making visually exciting films.

Toyou4yu55 karma

Will you be my friend?

RennyHarlin_85 karma

Yes. Send me a Facebook invitation and I will connect to you:


brttf353 karma

Renny, big fan thanks for doing this! Two questions. 1 - how much real climbing was there in cliffhanger? And 2 what are your thoughts on film vs.digital?

RennyHarlin_105 karma

Most of the climbing in Cliffhanger is real. We shot for 5 months in the Italian Alps in extreme conditions. Sly (who claimed that he had a fear of heights) was a REAL trooper and did everything I asked him to do. I confess that I LOVE digital. I grew up with film and love to touch it and smell it but with digital you can make any of your dreams come true.

Frajer53 karma

From your perspective what happened with Cutthroat Island?

RennyHarlin_113 karma

I know exactly what happened --

The company that was distributing the film was not involved in the making on it so they had zero invested interest. At the time of the release the entire company was being sold and they decided to spend zero marketing money on a Christmas release. 3 months before the release we knew that we had no chance in the competitive marketplace.

No one knew the movie came out.

moviemanic9148 karma

Is John Lithgow as terrifying as I think he is?

RennyHarlin_148 karma

John is the sweetest and kindest of guys. A gentle giant. When he had some down time during Cliffhanger he would sit on a hilltop and paint water colors.

chooter47 karma

Hi! So I have to say this - I am a BIG fan of Cutthroat Island. It's a genre defying, super-fun pirate flick. Any fun behind-the-scenes stories to share?

RennyHarlin_70 karma

Thanks so much for your comment. It was an incredible movie to shoot in Malta and Thailand. In Thailand when one of the ships was on fire 20 stuntmen had to jump into the ocean but no one realized that their pirate boots would fill with water and make them sink for real. It's not really a funny story but it shows what kind of crazy things can happen on a movie set. Everyone was saved in the nick of time.

pyabo44 karma

What's up with the 747 on the runway for like 10 minutes in Die Hard 2? Did no one during production say, "you know, this scene is pretty silly...?" The runway must be 15 miles long.

RennyHarlin_182 karma

i guess you didn't see Fast 7. How long was that runway dude. Also, Ben Affleck paid homage to my work in Argo. I mean, how long was that runway...

jackANDpepto44 karma

Hey Renny! I'm a huge fan of your movies!

I loved Deep Blue Sea for the campy amounts of fun it had. How fun was it for you to kill off Samuel L. Jackson like you guys did? It's considered one of the best death scenes of all time, and SLJ seems to be a good sport about this stuff. Were there any laughs by you, your crew, or SLJ himself?

RennyHarlin_85 karma

Loved shooting that film. Sam's character was not in the original script but I had promised to work again with Sam so we created it just so we could kill him. It became one of the highlights of the movie. It taught me that there is NOTHING like a great surprise in the middle of a film.

liferhythm38 karma

Can I be an extra in your next film? You said to ask you anything...

RennyHarlin_46 karma

Of course you can. Where do you live, any idea?

liferhythm58 karma

I live in the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area. I'm a 28 year old male but i suffer from being asian so i look more like 22.

RennyHarlin_114 karma

You're perfect. I suffer from being Finnish. Stay in touch.

blondegirlfrnd35 karma

You're from Finland. Tell me, how different is the American sauna experience from a "real" one? Kiitos

RennyHarlin_66 karma

American sauna is child's play compared to the Finnish inferno. Also the fun thing about Finnish style is that everybody (men and women) get together naked.

Syappi31 karma

Renny! Mitä äijä! Huge fan here. I have one question: Now that Andrew Dice Clay is doing a sort of an comeback with Blue Jasmine, what are our chances to see The Adventures of Ford Fairlane 2 !!! The first one is a classic! Thanks for my favorite movies and keep on rockin !

RennyHarlin_42 karma

Thanks buddy. Ford Fairlane has a HUGE cult following and I would be ecstatic to make a sequel. I better call Dice. Kippis!

DonTayt30 karma

How would you approach Kalevala as in making it to a feature film?

RennyHarlin_51 karma

Great question. obviously one of the cornerstones of Finnish literary history. It would be a dream to turn it into a Lord of the Rings type of saga.

Str33mr28 karma

Did you go to film school before becoming a director? I am more curious if film school is a necessity in the film world, or if it is something that as long as you are good enough you can jump right into that line of work easily.

RennyHarlin_79 karma

I went to film school in Finland for a year only to realize that film school can give you technical abilities but you only learn film making by MAKING films. It's more useful to make a 30 second film from beginning to end than sit in a lecture hall for a month.

Str33mr11 karma

Thank you very much for the answer. Good information!

brttf322 karma

Former film person here, didn't go to film school, but worked in NY for over a decade. I think another important thing worth mentioning is that for the cost of a semester of college you can buy a camera and a computer and make a film.

RennyHarlin_42 karma

I agree. Doing is the best way to learn

gaseouscloud23 karma

The Finnish seem to hit above their weight in a lot of industries. Has being Finnish helped you in any way? And do you always try and stick Finnish references into all your films?

RennyHarlin_45 karma

Being European in general I think has given me a little bit of a different point of view to American movies. I am proud of my Finnish background and like to always include something from my home country in my films.

DrownedJellyfish22 karma

Hercules is your return to BIG films. But what exactly happened after Deep Blue Sea? It was such a great film, good size budget, name actors, did fine at the box office and all that. But then budgets and names got smaller and smaller, some films didn't get a wide release, etc. I mean you have done good films since, but the scale have been very different. Did you ever thought that you wouldn't be able to make another big film?

RennyHarlin_33 karma

As a director you are passionate to be on the movie set. Sometimes you don't have the patience to wait for the "right" project. The big films especially are rare gems. I love studio films but also the smaller independent ones. If I could bounce between both worlds I would be the happiest.

mlc9002622 karma

Hey Renny, As a kid, I loved Cliffhanger and I always thought that Long Kiss was a really ballsy movie. So few mainstream movies would pair an African American man with a white woman without being preachy.

I'm an aspiring director, born and raised in LA. I have my MFA in directing and have even shot some shorts that have made it into well known festivals. I've worked for A-list directors and producers but just can't seem to crack the nut. What advice can you give me to help me start making a living out of my passion beyond "not giving up." I haven't given up yet and I never will.

RennyHarlin_38 karma

Can you send me your short films so I can take a look and see what type of materials you've made. If you're a writer you should create a cool short script that you can afford to shoot and try to impress the hell out of people with that.

My contact info is here:


Ballacaust300020 karma

Was that guy in Cliffhanger really a fuckin' good strikah?

RennyHarlin_24 karma

Yes. I think pretty much all English people are.

remote_production18 karma

Tell the truth, you turned on HBOZone right now and saw it was playing Die Hard 2 and thought, "I wonder what Renny Harlin is up to now?" too, right?

RennyHarlin_24 karma

You got me.

jaani_r18 karma

Hi Renny! I'm a fan, big time, but.. You mentioned Rush as this years best - I agree it was great. This begs the question: can you give any explanation as to why Driven was so awful? As a motorsports fan the memory of that film still haunts me to this day.. I need some enlightment as to what happened there. You've made such great films, why did you have to make Driven?

In the future I'd really like to see you return to the genre in which you're the best there is (DH2, CH, LGKN..) : bad ass winter action. Real stunts w/ no obvious CGI bullshit. Any chance of that?

Finally, great answers here on Reddit, you are a stand up guy and a class act. Really rooting for Hercules to do well! Take care.

RennyHarlin_37 karma

Great comments. Driven was a sum of many parts and without ducking the blame (which I share in) it was a situation where there were too many chefs in the kitchen. I think we could have used Gordon Ramsey to keep things in line. I am a life long motor sports fan as well and have raced cars and boats. The film was planned as a Formula 1 story but that didn't happened. The plot and the characters changed several times and ultimately i wasn't very happy with the result myself. I really don't want to point fingers. The lesson I learned is "don't ever make a movie for the wrong reasons'. When I saw Rush it filled me with happiness because Ron Howard really got it right.

I agree about the gritty winter action movies. I would love to return to one of those. I love the old fashioned, real-time action when stuntmen where men and the crew was running scared. When CG makes everything possible including the creation of actors reality often goes out the window.

kittenpantz17 karma

You have been the king of action since before CGI was ever used, and your films showed incredible depth and stunning visuals. What is it like now, to have the digital technology as well? Can't wait to see HERCULES!!!!

RennyHarlin_30 karma

Thanks so much man. Digital technology is a double edged sword. One the one hand, you can create anything your imagination will allow you to but I think like with any technology you have to be careful not to lose the reality of the characters and the story. I still like some of the action to be done the good old fashioned way.

NecroMasterMan15 karma

Just thought I'd let you know I watched Deep Blue Sea on VHS everyday for 2 years from the age of about 9. Loved.That.Film.

So... yeah.... Cheers :)

RennyHarlin_16 karma

That must have been an awesome childhood. What are you watching now?

NecroMasterMan8 karma

Haha yes it was! I'm sure my parents hated it for me, a small, pale white kid shouting "You ate my bird!" constantly :) And I'm grown up now so I don't get chance to constantly re watch films :'( any suggestions?

Edit: I forgot the obligatory Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as English TV show them nonstop :)

RennyHarlin_13 karma

Of the recent films I love Rush and Gravity.

BillyMumphreys13 karma

Have you watched Cutthroat Island recently? I think it holds up pretty well.

RennyHarlin_26 karma

Thank you. I never watch my movies again unless I have to do a director's commentary so I haven't seen it since the 90s but I have fond memories of making it and am happy whenever new people discover it.

ttnurmi13 karma

I remember the Cliffhanger was the first movie my father took me to see when i was young and my mother wasn't supposed to hear. I was so excited and the movie made quite an effect. It's still one of my favourite sction movie. Thanks for being able to thank you!

RennyHarlin_45 karma

Your father is obviously a genius. My mother took me to see Rosemary's Baby when I was 8. I'm still traumatized.

LarryDavid0112 karma

Thanx for letting me stay in your appartment in New York! ;)

Serious question: You almost directed Alien3 before Fincher was brought on board. How was it working on that project? I remember you said in one interview that your movie would have taken place in the Alien homeworld? Did you like Prometheus and do you think there is another SciFi film in you someday?

RennyHarlin_18 karma

Mi casa es su casa.

Yes I was involved for a year on Alien 3. Couldn't agree with the studio about the story. I wanted to show where the Aliens come from. Prometheus was not the story that I would have told but Sir Ridley is a GREAT director. My dream movies to make are a horror film, a western and a sci-fi adventure.

LarryDavid0114 karma

There was a rumor once that you were making a Werewolf movie set in the moon ? Was that a real project ? Because if so, THAT´s a movie ! :D

RennyHarlin_16 karma

Ha, ha. I did develop that script but it never became real.

eggonrye11 karma

Do you have that one project that just "got away". Something you wish you could have made, but the elements just didn't line up?

RennyHarlin_46 karma

Yes. An epic European war movie called Mannerheim. I tried to get it off the ground for 12 years and mixed up with the wrong people in putting together the financing. Made my heart break at the time.

topchief110 karma

Is there any film of yours that surprised you with the critical/public reactions?

RennyHarlin_28 karma

I'm continuously amazed how many appreciate my first American movie Prison starring Viggo Mortenson. I had no idea that it had become a cult film.

duckmunch10 karma

Mr. Harlin,

Can you explain what happened with Exorcist: The Beginning? Wasn't there two other director's before you came along?

RennyHarlin_22 karma

The weirdest experience of my career. Paul Schrader originally directed the film but the studio wanted changes which Paul didn't agree with. To make a long story short they ended up reshooting the entire movie and through a series of coincidences I ended up directing it.

FuckingQuestions10 karma

  • How many directors/showrunners have you met put on a 'persona' when directing, in order to keep an air of mythos/enigma (like Kubrick had), to try and command more respect from people and make them fall in line? Do you find directors who joke around with everyone and keep things light and casual can still be as successful?
  • Who from the 'Hollywood' world do you actively socialize and hang out with off the set? Actors? Directors? Crew types? Or do you just go home and barbeque on weekends with childhood friends, people from other industries, etc? Is there a DP you found who just happened to love cars or some other similar interest who is now your BFF? Is there an actor you've worked with that is now a close personal friend? A sound guy?
  • How many directors are just as 'socialitey' as celebrities? Are most of them completely off the radar in real life or is it a mix?
  • How much do you direct on the fly, versus sit with actors and prepare them for a long time about exactly what you're expecting from them, and the mentalities they need to be exploring in their minds, etc?
  • Can you describe any directors you know who are great at creating conditions for great acting (think Phil Jackson's approach to basketball), and what directors rely more on brute and total command of the actors & set? Do they both have their merits? Any specific examples? What is your style?
  • You do a movie every 2-3 years it seems. Is this your personal preference? Do you turn down a lot more work than you take? What do you do in the months/years you're not working?
  • Do you travel personally alot, or are you a homebody?
  • What moment from what movie in your career caused you the most personal self-doubt or anxiety and why? How did you overcome it mentally?
  • Who is the single most influential person you've met while working on the set in your career? Someone who you watched work that really left an impression on your approach to work/life/directing/style/whatever.

RennyHarlin_33 karma

The funny thing is, as a director you rarely watch other directors work. However, I've had a chance to see a few of them as a producer. Some directors like to keep the set tense and that way pull the most out of their actors. I guess the sense of uncertainty and tension keep people on their toes. I like to make the set a friendly place where everyone feels safe to participate.

I think it's ideal to have a mixture of friends and not necessarily socialize with people only in the business. It might surprise you but Hollywood people don't hang out together as much as you might think.

Many of my past DPs have remained my good friends and same applies to producers, writers and other crew members. More than cars or playing ping pong what reunites us is the love for storytelling.

The most important step in directing actors is in casting. You want to find the right person for the right character. I explore the characters with actors in pre-production but especially with action oriented pictures it's pointless to actually rehearse the scenes before hand. So much of those scenes tend to develop through the physicality of the situation and the nature of the location. In terms of the technical side of shooting I plan every shot meticulously before hand. I know every shot of the film before a single frame has been shot.

I think every director has their own approach to filmmaking and also different actors need different type of attention. Some like a lot of discussions and experimentation on the set. Some come 110% prepared and know exactly what they plan to do. I like the set to be a natural and safe environment where everyone can be themselves.

The hardest thing inn the world is finding a good project. At any given time I have at least half a dozen projects in development. As a director and a producer you never really take time off. You work every day trying to line up the stars in a correct way in order to get a movie off the ground. In my dream world I would make at least one movie every year.

I'm a gypsy. I love travelling but for me 90% of it happens through my work. Location scouts, film shoots, festivals and meetings take me all over the world constantly.

Shooting Die Hard 2 inn Colorado gave me great anxiety when I realized that all the snow we needed for our scenes had melted over night. When producer Joel Silver and I looked at each other and I could feel it in his eyes that he thought that we might not make it I considered suicide. But then I looked around me and realized that I was doing what I had dreamt of since I was a little kid and I knew that giving up was not an option.

Walter Hill is a great writer and a great director and I idolized him back in Finland. He was the first person in Hollywood who would take a meeting with me, give me advice and let me come to his set and watch the mater work.

tattoolemky9 karma

Hi Renny,just a short-ish question if I may....Given all the Hollywood stars that you've had the opportunity to work with,who would you say has been the most influential?

Oh,and who was your favourite to work with?

RennyHarlin_20 karma

Samuel L Jackson is one of the most talent, professional and fun actors to work with. I cannot wait to work with him again.

Having said that, I've had the good luck of working with a bunch of great ones and Kellan Lutz was completely amazing in Hercules.

Kengede8 karma

Hi Renny Harlin, -With this film and Brett Ratners interpretation coming out, do you think one film will succeed massively while the other will tank, like what happened with the two movies regarding the White House being taken over? -Why was Kellan Lutz chosen over a more rugged actor who is much more known for action?

RennyHarlin_12 karma

I think that this situation is very different and that there is room for two very different stories about Hercules. Ours is an origin story about young Hercules coming to terms with his destiny and the other is the story of Hercules after his 12 labors as a much older character.

I didn't want a stereotypical action guy for the role. The movie is a love story and I wanted to have an actor who could show both sides of the character.

katie_dunn118 karma

Hi Renny,

My name is Katie Dunn - I am a young filmmaker who's first documentary feature just premiered. My questions for you would have to be - what was the biggest risk you took for your career and how did it or did it not pay off?

RennyHarlin_30 karma

Hi Katie. I was 23 and sold my home and my business in Finland and moved to Hollywood without knowing a soul. I lost everything and all roads seems like dead ends but I decided that I'd rather die here than go back home and admit failure. My lesson was that if you are truly ready to die for your dreams they just might come true.

josephine_amos8 karma

Hi, Renny, I'm a big fan and can't wait for 'Hercules', your movies are awesome! Silly questions:

  1. What makes you laugh?
  2. Are you ticklish? If so where and do you have ticklish feet?

RennyHarlin_9 karma

Awesome questions.

Silly sarcastic humor is my favorite. I'm totally ticklish and can be immobilized by tickling hands.

jbeenk8 karma

Renny, just wanted to thank you for my favorite of the Elm Street sequels! It's a damn impressive, stylish film, even to this day!

RennyHarlin_12 karma

Thank you for the kind words. I was scared out of my wits making it and I think the producers thought that the film would ruin the franchise. When the audience cheered and gave us a standing ovation at our first test screening I felt like I had won the lottery.

Syappi8 karma

One more question :)

I consider you ,John McTiernan and the late Tony Scott to be the masters of the late 80s early 90s action movies. They sure don´t do action movies like those days anymore. So i would like to know what do you think about the action movie genre in general these days?

RennyHarlin_11 karma

I think that especially the 80's action scripts were more complex and interesting and the superhero genre has wiped out the traditional action movie. Also, the digital technology while a great help, has also damaged the reality of the stunts and effects that we used to do for real.

DigiMagic7 karma

I was always wondering, what do directors do when you are in the middle of filming a movie, and only then you realize "but this character would never do this"? Is it easier/cheaper to just go with the screenplay even though now you see that it's bad, or do you have power to say "no this doesn't make sense, we'll rewrite it so-and-so"?

Looking forward to Hercules! Does 3D still require a lot more work than 'classical' 2D, or is (hopefully) becoming routine and number of 3D movies would increase?

RennyHarlin_15 karma

In most cases the script is a living and breathing entity and you keep revising scenes and dialogue as you shoot. Different actors bring different things to the table.

Re: 3D, I loved shooting Hercules in 3D and am not a big fun of movies that have been converted from 2D. It never looks the same. 3D takes more time to shoot but it's certainly worth it.

Rainbow-7 karma

Hey Renny, who's decision was it to put LL Kool J in Mindhunters? How was he to work with?

RennyHarlin_10 karma

I had worked with LL on Deep Blue Sea and wanted to bring him on board again. He's an awesome guy to work with and works harder than anybody to make it all perfect.

TheBionicAnkle7 karma

Hey Renny, I love alot of your movies Mindhunters and The Covenant(rotten tomatoes be damned I liked that movie) but I know you have done a bunch of TV shows too for the USA Network whats more fun for you Movies or TV and what are the major differences in directing a few episodes of a show or one episode of a tv show compared to a movie

RennyHarlin_9 karma

My first love is movies but what's fun about TV is that instead of spending more than a year on 1 story you create an entire episode in a month. There are so many exciting stories to tell that quality TV can really offer a unique alternative.

TheBionicAnkle3 karma

WOOOOOO!! Thanks for answering...I got another question if you dont mind what movie(if any) did you that looking back now your like "why did I do that" or "i would have changed this scene that scene etc etc"

RennyHarlin_8 karma

In general I don't look back and take every experience as a lesson in life. Sometimes you don't make a film for all the right reasons. The problem being a director is that you are only alive when you are on a movie set and sometimes it's hard to find that right script when you need it.

iammaxcity6 karma

How do you feel about your work on The Covenant? In my opinion it was awesome and so underrated. Everyone in my dorm had the DVD in college. And would you consider continuing that story in the future? I think it'd be a hit in the current 'supernatural' infatuated market.

RennyHarlin_14 karma

I had a lot of fun with The Covenant. Unfortunately it seems like we came out a few years too early and the genre wasn't familiar to the audience yet. Now there are so many movies and TV series dealing with vampires and different type of supernatural elements that it's hard to imagine adding much to that wave.


What is you favorite film so far in 2013?

RennyHarlin_16 karma

I would have to say Rush but Gravity is a good second.

LeonidasKing6 karma

What is your perspective on R Rating vs PG 13. Did you go for PG 13 for Hercules because of the budget? (70 million dollars) And do you think a PG 13 Rating today can deliver an equivalent amount of thrills and action like R?

RennyHarlin_15 karma

I think the ratings system has changed quite a bit in the last 15 years. I grew up loving super violent R rated movies and have had a fair share of blood splatter in my films. With Hercules I wanted to make sure that I reach that I reach a younger audience who can really enjoy learning this amazing tale of Greek mythology. There is nothing soft or childish about this movie and it's filled with EXTREME action but it doesn't need to be bloody to get the point across.

Templar236 karma

Would you consider doing a production of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus! trilogy?

RennyHarlin_8 karma

I'm not familiar enough to give a definitive answer but working with Robert Shea would be AWESOME.

montyque5 karma

Hey, no love for your current film, The Devil's Pass?

RennyHarlin_9 karma

Devil's Pass is now like a teenager who has left home. He has to fend for himself. My new baby Hercules is taking all of my time.


I'm a huge fan and looking forward to Hercules, but have to ask....when and what will be your next genre of film, or TV show? I love your cult classics, like Long Kiss Goodnight and want to see another gritty, kick ass style story that you are so good at telling.

RennyHarlin_9 karma

Thanks for the great comment. I'm looking forward to making something dark, gritty and violent as my next project. I'll be announcing it in the near future. Until then, please check out Hercules.

LeonidasKing5 karma

My last question, and a question to put you on the spot :D. Say if Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre and Johnathon Schaech from Hercules enter into a bodybuilding contest in ancient Greece with you as the judge, what would be results be like and who would win what?

RennyHarlin_6 karma

I would take them all to a sauna together but I think Kellan would be the winner.

lowlandsmatt5 karma

Would you direct another Die hard if offered?

RennyHarlin_9 karma

I think I gave the franchise all that I had when I did the second one and it's now more exciting to look into new challenges.

ImHardAs5 karma

Big fan Renny.

Loved your nightmare on elm street, you brought new life to the series.

Looking forward to Hercules, can we expect a cameo from yourself?

RennyHarlin_9 karma

I'm afraid so.

NorbitGorbit4 karma

would you consider it worth it for you to create significantly different versions of movies for theatrical and home release? (e.g. for theatrical release, have shorter length, mix sound to drown out popcorn eating, make dialog clearer, shorter; in home release, rebalance sound for detail, reframe picture to match smaller home size, etc...)

RennyHarlin_7 karma

It's a good idea but I'm not sure if the studios would pay for this and if all filmmakers would have the time to do it. The danger is that the work will be done by technical people without the director's vision in mind.

misconception_fixer2 karma

Eating less than an hour before swimming does not increase the risk of experiencing muscle cramps or drowning. One study shows a correlation between alcohol consumption and drowning, but there is no evidence cited regarding stomach cramps or the consumption of food.

This response was automatically generated from Wikipedia's list of common misconceptions

RennyHarlin_2 karma

Well now you know...and knowing is half the battle.

berrybutton3 karma


RennyHarlin_5 karma

I think that the action movies weren't as formulaic in those days. They felt fresher and the action was more tangible because they couldn't rely on digital effects. Characters had more flaws.

DrownedJellyfish3 karma

Let's go to the important stuff. How many times you rode the Planet Fun Fun roller coaster? What I can remember that was the best attraction in the whole place. But to be honest maybe one Fun would've been enough. :) I might have the badge stored somewhere, it had a flashing lights and everything.

RennyHarlin_6 karma

Awesome question. I road the roller coaster hundreds of times and the fun thing was that this was probably the only coaster where you could do it all with a cocktail in your hand. Those golden olden times.

LeonidasKing3 karma

I read you are doing a 6 Minute Long take! What are some of your favorite long takes in cinema? Did you enjoy the long takes in Gravity? And can you describe your the long take that you are doing for Hercules?

"I've written and directed some of your parent's favorite movies" LOL


RennyHarlin_7 karma

Gravity was spectacular. Stanley Kubrick's films have had some awesome long takes. Hitchcock did it many times as did Children of Men. Loved those.

Hercules has several scenes with long takes which I did because of the nature of 3D. I want the audience to really enjoy it. You'll have to see the film to see the shots that I mentioned earlier but it is awesome and your will dig it. Thanks for your question.

ihasacookie3 karma

Thank you for this opportunity. I really enjoyed Die Hard 2 and one of my favorite actors is Bruce Willis. Bruce seems like a down to earth and humble man. Is working with him as pleasant of an experience as I dream it would be?

RennyHarlin_9 karma

Working with Bruce was AWESOME and we hung out and he even came to Finland.

gaseouscloud6 karma

Did you take him to sauna? Whenever I visit Finland I seem to end up in a sauna with a bunch of naked people.

RennyHarlin_12 karma

We Finns love to hang out naked. Unfortunately Bruce didn't have time to experience the beauty of nude sauna with a bunch of hairy guys. Maybe next time.

NotAKSpartanKiIIer3 karma

Hey Renny! Need an Actor/Voice actor who is very motivated and has previous talent? Then look no further! I would love to work with you! Also, thanks for the ama!

RennyHarlin_6 karma

I always need great actors. Send your info to the offices of Midnight Sun Pictures.

McDoogleSnatch3 karma

Mr. Harlin, Die Hard 2 is an amazing action movie, made all the more evident by the latest two disasters. So, thanks for that!

I was wondering, can you talk a bit about how your career changed after Cutthroat Island? Financially bad movies are often the cause of so many factors outside of the director's influence, yet directors often get shouldered with a lot of the blame unfairly. What was the fallout like and how did it effect you?

RennyHarlin_6 karma

In Hollywood you are only as good as your last film. Also box office success is more important than critical acclaim. Naturally, Cutthroat Island had an impact, but this happens to everyone at some point in their career and as Sly Stallone said to me, "It's not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up." In many ways, a career in Hollywood is about reinventing yourself everyday.


What is in the future for you after Hercules?

RennyHarlin_6 karma

I am working on some exciting film projects and a couple of TV series as well. I would love to jump back and forth between movies and TV and tell many more stories.

[deleted]2 karma


RennyHarlin_16 karma

Look in the mirror in the morning and if you find yourself in a bad mood then have an attitude adjustment. You alone are in charge of how you feel.

TerriblWithNames2 karma

My parents favorite movies? Man, Die Hard 2 is m favorite of the series and I'm only 16. Don't have a question, just came to say, keep up the great work.

RennyHarlin_4 karma

Thanks, man.

jenious2 karma

I LOVED Deep Blue Sea! LL Cool J is one of my favorite rappers/actors. How was he on set?

RennyHarlin_6 karma

LL was totally awesome. We had so much fun together and became good friends. At one point the one ton 25 foot mechanical shark broke down and took LL to the bottom of the 20 foot deep tank in its jaws. That was extremely hairy but LL laughed it off.

kristopherw282 karma

hey thanks for some great movies die hard 2 takes way too much hits for not being good but i like it more then the first one i just saw dennis franz in idaho going to a water park and i thanked him for making the movie also

out of all of your movies which one did you have the most involvement in and it turned it out the best

RennyHarlin_4 karma

Thank you for your comments. Cliffhanger was an amazing experience because I love shooting in extreme conditions. Long Kiss Goodnight had a great script and a great cast. Hercules was a childhood dream in terms of telling an epic historical story. As a director you always get very involved in the development of the script, the casting and all the aspects of the production.

pennNteller2 karma

I thought The Adventures of Ford Fairlane was a decent comedy, why do you think it tanked?

Also - I was an extra at Red Rocks. Talk about a long night.

RennyHarlin_5 karma

Unfortunately Dice got heavily attacked for his comedy act. Both women and the LGBT community felt that he had gone too far. The movie was overshadowed by the negative attention. It was hard to separate the comedian from the actor.

page_mathews2 karma

Mr. Harlin, I think I am a little in love with you! You are awesome, I love Long Kiss Goodnight, and I can't wait to see Hercules, that would make me so happy!

This is super silly, but you said you're ticklish, I am too, so my question is:

Where are your ticklish spots?

I hope this makes you smile, I'll be the happiest girl to get a reply! Love and light, Paige xx

RennyHarlin_4 karma

Paige, I think I'm a little in love with you too. My craziest and most ticklish spot is my ears.

sleepingpie2 karma

What has been your favorite film to work on and who was your favorite actor? Also any funny stories you can tell? Edit: can you send me a voice recording saying hi? My whole family likes your films!

RennyHarlin_13 karma

I must say that Hercules is my favorite experience. An awesome cast and the hardest working crew in show biz. It was a huge, epic story to tell. The funniest thing was trying to control all the horses. Actors trying to look cool and give speeches were at the mercy of these crazy stallions. As for voice recording, reach out on FB and send me your contact info:


voyvoy1 karma

I'm sorry to ask this, but I simply must. Exactly how embarrassed are you about having made a movie such as Born American? And also was Markus Selin in the premiere (a finnish pun)?

RennyHarlin_5 karma

There are many movies that I am much more embarrassed about that Born American. It was my first film and it was a miracle that it got made. It was a great learning experience and brought me to Hollywood.

GuybrushMonkey1 karma

what is your favorite movie (of the ones you have been involved in and from the ones you haven't)?

RennyHarlin_3 karma

The Long Kiss Goodnight was a great experience because the script was so good and the actors really brought the characters to life.

Apocalypse Now is a move that I always enjoy seeing again.

titoblanco1 karma

Are you the person that posts a new behind the scenes photo of Dwayne Johnson on the set of Hercules to /r/movies everyday, or do you have an intern that does that? One was probably enough.

RennyHarlin_3 karma

Sorry, wrong Hercules movie, buddy.

jdat1551 karma

Hey I love a lot of your work and I am excited for Hercules. What cool things can you tell us about the making of Hercules?

RennyHarlin_3 karma

It was exciting to be able to create an entire world. Everything from the sets to the costumes and props and weapons had to be designed and made by hand. No one can tell exactly how the ancient Greeks looked over 3000 years ago. Mixing reality and fantasy was a filmmakers dream.