Like it or not, it’s become clear that Die Hard 6, reportedly a prequel about a young John McClane titled Die Hard: Year One, is a movie that is going to happen. We’ve know that it will explore the origins of the everyman hero, but aside from that, specifics have been few and far between. Now director Len Wiseman revealed a few details and a larger idea of what the film may look like is forming.
Len Wiseman is currently on the trail stumping for his upcoming Fox series Lucifer, but when Collider caught up with him, they couldn’t resist firing off a couple Die Hard 6 questions. What he offered gives us a clearer timeline of when Die Hard: Year One will take place, and what the story will involve. He said:
The film itself will take place on New Years’ Eve 1979, so trying to gear things towards that would be fun, if we could come out around the same time, but these movies take their own paths… We’ve never seen the actual love story. We know its demise, but we’ve never seen what it was like when he met Holly, or when he was a beat cop in ‘78 in New York, when there was no chance of him making detective. It’s always been something I’ve been thinking about, and now we’re doing it.
When we first meet John McClane in 1988, he shows up with a lot of baggage. The New York cop is estranged from his wife, choosing to stay in the Big Apple to work a backlog of cases rather than accompany his wife and children to Los Angeles where she has an incredible career opportunity. Even when we see them together, there’s obviously a lot of history and a lot of issues to work through, though Die Hard never really gets into the nuts and bolts of their relationship.
Still, there’s also obvious affection between the husband and wife—it couldn’t have all been bad—and from what Len Wiseman says, we’ll get to see how that came to be. And I’m sure we’ll also get to see the beginnings of the renegade cowboy cop that John McClane becomes—it just wouldn’t be a Die Hard movie without some improvised heroics on his part. Let’s just hope they don’t go too over the top with it—that’s been one of the big complaints about the last few films in the franchise, that instead of an average Joe stuck in a terrible situation and rising to the occasion, the character has become almost an unkillable superhero.
And in case you’re worried that there won’t be much Bruce Willis in Die Hard: Year One, we recently learned that he’ll be around for more than just a cameo, and Len Wiseman reiterated that old John McClane will serve as more than just a frame for the origin story. They also want to cast a relative unknown as the younger version, which is going to run into the same problems that Lucasfilm has encountered trying to find a young Han Solo. Bruce Willis is so connected to this role that it will be difficult for fans to picture anyone else in the part.