Director John McTiernan may have three of the greatest action films ever made on his resume (Die Hard, Predator, and The Hunt For Red October), but that resume only consists of 11 feature length films total. In fact, the last film we received from the legendary director was 2003’s Basic. Since then, McTiernan’s career has gone as silent as the Red October.
As such, you would think that the first John McTiernan-directed live-action piece in 14 years would be a cause for uproarious celebration that would have genre fans lining up around the block. Instead, that release took the form of a Ghost Recon: Wildlands trailer quietly uploaded online earlier this year.
Yes, it turns out that the incredible live-action short intended to promote Ubisoft’s next entry in the Ghost Recon franchise was directed by none other than John McTiernan.
Hearing that information triggers a number of great questions, such as “Why?” and “How?” Well, according to this report from Variety, McTiernan’s career fell apart when he became associated with a private detective named Anthony Pellicano. Without going into the full details, Pellicano did some very shady things during his time as a private detective and was associated with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. However, McTiernan was the only notable personality that became legally linked with the activities. Some say that this made him a bit of a fall guy. Regardless, McTiernan ended up serving time in prison.
Although he was released in 2014, this short is the first known film of any length directed by the legend we’ve seen in the last 14 years. It’s not entirely clear how Ubisoft and McTiernan came to collaborate on the project, but knowing the director’s recent history does seem to explain why that information hasn’t been publicized.
In any case, the final product does make it immediately clear that the director does indeed still have it. It’s a taught, clever, and simple action piece the likes of which few modern genre directors are capable of achieving. It certainly makes us eagerly anticipate the unnamed project McTiernan is currently working on in China as well as the next Ghost Recon game.