The trend, nowadays, is for a long-running film franchise to go back in time, erase some of its legacy, and create a sequel to an older sequel, virtually ignoring anything that came before it. The Terminator series is trumpeting the fact that Tim Miller's upcoming sequel will only acknowledge the first two movies, bringing Linda Hamilton back to continue the story. Halloween is doing something similar, bringing Jamie Lee Curtis back for a new chapter. And then there is Die Hard, which is moving ahead on Die Hard: Year One... which will be a prequel AND a sequel in one. Bruce Willis will return, as will an actor tapped to play young John McClane. But director Len Wiseman says casting has just begun, explaining:
The right casting for this role is crucial. Those bare feet have some very big shoes to fill.
Die Hard: Year One will follow a storyline that addresses John McClane in the present day, as well as when he was a rookie beat cop in the 1970s. It's expected to be loosely based on a graphic novel by Howard Chaykin, which followed McClane during his first year on the force in New York City. But they haven't made a Die Hard movie without Bruce Willis yet, and Die Hard: Year One isn't going to break that mold.
Plot details of the movie are being kept under wraps for the moment, so we simply have to assume that Die Hard: Year One will be using flashbacks to John McClane's past (with the younger actor in the part) to fill in gaps on whatever dilemma McClane finds himself in this time. To date, McClane has stared down terrorist threats in L.A., NY, Washington, DC (twice) and Moscow. We're hoping this new movie will be more personal than the horrendous A Good Day to Die Hard. Truthfully, anything will be considered an improvement.
Len Wiseman knows a thing or two about Die Hard, having helmed the decent Live Free or Die Hard. So his comments to Deadline about having to search for the right casting strikes a chord, because he found a solid Lucy McClane in Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and he doesn't get the blame for miscasting Jai Courtney as Jack McClane. (Shudder) If the bulk of Die Hard: Year One is going to rest on the shoulders of whomever they cast as young John McClane, then they absolutely have to find someone who can lead us into the Bruce Willis that we met in John McTiernan's original movie. And I don't know if you have looked recently, but the landscape isn't exactly overflowing with charismatic action heroes who exhibit that type of cocky swagger.
Die Hard: Year One doesn't have a release date yet, but with a concept, director and star in Bruce Willis willing to move, I can guess they'll jump as soon as that Young McClane is acquired. Who would you cast?