The Die Hard John McClane Prequel Sounds Like A Cool Idea, So What Happened?

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Whether or not you agree that Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not, I think we can all agree that Die Hard is an awesome movie. We can probably also agree that some number of the sequels are also pretty great. And so it was no surprise when talk started up about a sixth Die Hard movie a few years ago. What was perhaps a little unexpected was the idea that it was going to be a prequel story that would focus on a young John McClane, though reports were that Bruce Willis would still be involved.

While the idea of a Die hard prequel was intriguing if nothing else, anybody who was looking forward to seeing it can let their hopes go, as producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has now confirmed to Polygon that the film is not happening. The producer had previously stated that the movie's fate was up in the air following the Disney/Fox merger, but it seems that the project simply didn't survive the process of deciding what movies should move forward and which should not. And di Bonaventura is clearly disappointed by that as he seems to have been really enthusiastic about the idea they had. The producer explains...

Yeah, no, It’s not happening. But what was really interesting was we actually came up with an idea to do it. It was a project that wasn’t Die Hard that then, eventually, shifted over to Die Hard.

The fact that the idea for Die Hard 6 actually started life as another story entirely is par for the course for the franchise. That's happened before with Die Hard with a Vengeance being the most famous example of a script that wasn't written to be a Die Hard movie but it eventually became one.

Not a great deal is known about Die Hard 6 beyond the fact that it would have included two parallel stories, one with Bruce Willis playing the role of John McClane again, and a second one set decades in the past with a younger actor playing the same role. This certainly had potential as it would have given fans of Bruce Willis as McClane another chance to see that, while potentially starting the franchise fresh with a new face as well. As di Bonaventura continued...

What was interesting about our idea was it allowed you the ability to meet the young John McClane and use Bruce. So it was really interesting in that way. So you sort of got to see both versions of him. A bit [like The Godfather Part 2].

The fact that this version of Die Hard 6 isn't happening doesn't mean the franchise is entirely dead. Disney still owns it via 20th Century Studios and it's still a popular series of films and nothing that popular stays dormant for too long. Disney will likely find something to do with John McClane eventually.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.