A Hollywood urban legend featuring a Die Hard era Bruce Willis 'cameo' in Pearl Harbor resurfaces - but not everyone is convinced

Pearl Harbor and Die Hard
(Image credit: Touchstone/20th Century Fox)

A clip from Pearl Harbor that features an extra who looks suspiciously like Bruce Willis as John McClane is making the rounds online.

The scene in question, just 12 seconds long, sees a weeping Jennifer Garner tending to injured victims while a wounded man walks by wearing a bloody white tank top and sporting a slightly spiky haircut with facial features that resemble none other than Bruce Willis in 1988's Die Hard.

Considered something of an urban legend, the IMDb trivia for the Michael Bay movie chalks it up to an extra who just happened to resemble Willis. However, the longstanding myth is that Bay simply edited Willis into the background of the scene, which explains why the person walking by appears to be in a lower film quality and different lighting. It's also possible that Bay included an extra that purposely resembled John McClane as a nod to John McTiernan's 1988 film.

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Bay and Willis worked together on the 1998 sci-fi disaster flick Armageddon, which came out just three years before Pearl Harbor. However, Willis allegedly did not enjoy his time on set. Back in 2007, the actor reportedly to took a forum on Ain't It Cool News to make an anonymous post about the director, hypothetically posing what would happen if Bay were to direct Die Hard 4. The anonymous post read, "[He] would have ruined DH4. Few people will work with him now, and I know I will never work with him again. Bay immediately released a statement, calling the post "hard to believe" and insisted that he never intended to direct Die Hard 4.

So...if Willis and Bay weren't on good terms, why would he edit him into the film? Or, why style an extra to resemble John McClane? Neither Willis nor Bay have confirmed or denied the supposed cameo – and it's likely to remain a mystery.

For more, check out our list of the best action movies of all time.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.