Under the Radar

The Surprising Return of an Action Movie Genius


Legendary action director John McTiernan hasn't made a feature film since he directed Basic in 2003, but he's the man behind some of the greatest movies of the '80s and '90s: Die Hard, Predator, and The Hunt for Red October.

The 21st century hasn't been easy for him. There was an ill-advised remake of Rollerball in 2002.  Some complications in his personal life that led to an ill-advised alignment with sleazebag Hollywood private investigator Anthony Pellicano. Once the FBI bumbled its way through an investigation of the PI's phone taps and intimidation tactics, McTiernan was left holding the bag. He made some questionable legal maneuvers to fight charges that he hired Pellicano to wiretap his enemies and ended up being the only one of the dozens of movie industry heavyweights who used the dirtbag's services to go to prison.

With zero fanfare, McTiernan recently directed a new trailer for Ubisoft's upcoming game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands due to be released on March 7th. In the game, the Santa Blanca Mexican drug cartel has set up shop in Bolivia and players are members of The Ghosts, an elite U.S. special ops team sent in to clean up the mess.

The trailer features a group of drug thugs playing cards. A sniper is drawing a bead on the bad guys and a cat stars following the laser from his rifle scope like it's playing with a laser pointer. It's a simple idea but it's great to see a master shoot an action scene the right way.


There's an "untitled John McTiernan" project listed on his IMDB page but nothing definite on the calendar. He's only 66, still a young guy. Once Iron Man revived his career, Robert Downey Jr. used his power and influence to resurrect Predator screenwriter Shane Black. Black has gone on to direct Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys and the upcoming Predator reboot. Let's hope one of the many, many actors and directors influenced by McTiernan can do the same for him.

Show Full Article