We’ll cut to the chase: one of the internet’s favourite urban legends is that in Michael Bay’s war drama film Pearl Harbor, a shot features a cameo by Bruce Willis as his Die Hard character John McClane.
To give a little more context, the 2001 classic stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett as First Lieutenants/ Captains during a fictionalised version of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
After the attack, there are (predictably) a lot of wounded soldiers and civilians that need tending to; they’re all rushed to a hospital and into the capable hands of Jennifer Garner, who plays a nurse that ends up outside the building marking men for treatment.
That’s where the ‘cameo’ occurs – and yes, we scrubbed through the film to check that it exists. At the two hour and two minute mark (on Disney+), Jennifer’s nurse is having a crisis over the lives lost, and a very familiar face walks past in the background.
That familiar face appears to be Bruce Willis as his iconic character John McClane, from the action franchise Die Hard.
Watch below for yourself, in the clip has reignited the urban myth, posted to X by user @ThisIsCreation:
The reason ‘cameo’ is in inverted commas, is because we’re not exactly sure of a few things.
Firstly, is it really Bruce Willis? It’s possible that it’s an extra that just so happens to – coincidentally or not – resemble McClane.
Secondly, Bruce or not, was the extra really there? A large chunk of the internet thinks that the strange way the McClane lookalike moves in relation to the rest of the scene indicates that he’s been superimposed in – which, if it actually is Bruce as John, would make sense.
The third and arguably most obvious question is: Why?
Michael Bay and Bruce Willis reportedly didn’t really get along during Bruce’s time on set of Armageddon – 1998’s sci-fi disaster flick, which was directed by Michael.
He added: “Few people will work with him now, and I know I will never work with him again… [Armaggedon] was a great crew, but a screaming Director does not make for a pleasant set experience.”
It’s also worth noting that neither of the pair have confirmed the cameo – but neither of them have denied it, either…