He’s been harder, had a vengeance, lived free and endured a not-so-good day as part of the Die Hard series. But could Bruce Willis have at least one more Die Hard sequel in him?
Fox certainly hopes so. Deadline is reporting that the studio is "making a deal" with Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman to return to the series and craft a Die Hard 6 chapter that would act as "sort of a prequel" that still would find a way for Willis to return to his signature role of John McClane. That’s… confusing? The report suggests that the idea Fox is pursuing would have Willis acting in a bookending story that frames a main story set in 1979, with young John McClane as a beat cop in New York City… long before the day he became a national hero by saving the victims of Nakatomi Plaza.
It has to be better than Jai Hard, right?
Listen, there’s no denying that the Die Hard franchise needs to head in a new direction. The Russia-based A Good Day to Die Hard couldn’t have been more generic if it tried, and Bruce Willis actually looked bored/upset that he was even in the movie – let alone tasked with coming up with a worthy chapter in his signature franchise. The film was universally panned, earning a devastating 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. I choose to blame Jai Courtney, who is displaying an impressive knack for destroying once-beloved franchises. (Hello, Terminator: Genisys!)
But do audiences want to see a new Die Hard if Bruce Willis is relegated to a storyteller mode, reminiscing on a once-difficult case and then handing the reigns over to – oh, I don’t know, Chris Pratt? Taron Egerton? Actually, this MIGHT be better than forcing Willis through the usual steps. He really mailed it in for A Good Day to Die Hard.
There’s a precedent in play for this story to work. Back in 2009, Boom Studios released the comic-book series Die Hard: Year One, which followed a rookie John McClane during the 1976 Bicentennial celebration in New York. Naturally, McClane repeatedly found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Could this story serve as the framework for this proposed Die Hard 6?
Deadline notes that Len Wiseman’s take on John McClane did very well at the box office, but Live Free was coming off of Die Hard with a Vengeance, which some consider the best of the sequels. Obviously this is the very early stage of development, but at least we know that Fox is interested in getting back into the Die Hard game. Are you willing to follow along?