Rumor: Shortlist of Actors to Play Bruce Willis’ Son and Possibly Inherit DIE HARD Franchise Includes Aaron Paul and Ben Foster

     October 13, 2011


The casting of John McClane was never in question, even if the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise did struggle with landing a director (they settled on John Moore). But McClane can’t keep dodging bullets forever; sooner or later his son will have to inherit the famous one-liner. The shortlist for actors to fill Bruce Willis’s shoes is rumored to be as follows: Ben Foster (The Mechanic), Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) and Paul Walker (Fast Five). All of the above actors are expected to test with Willis, except for Walker, who Fox has a strong interest in. Plot details are thin at the moment, though we do know the film will be set in Russia and will involve some father/son crime fighting. To see why this will probably be the first Die Hard to make me cry, hit the jump.

ben-foster-imageThe shortlist of actors, courtesy of Variety, isn’t what has me upset. Actually, there are some good names here that could make me have faith in the series once again. I’ve liked Foster’s performance in pretty much everything I’ve seen him in and Aaron Paul is due for a big time test, but chemistry (no pun intended) is key and Willis will have final say. Foster has worked with Willis before in 2005’s Hostage, as has Dano in Rian Johnson’s upcoming sci-fi pic Looper, but no actor reportedly has an inside track as of yet. Personally, I think Ventimiglia just doesn’t fit the role, and while I like Walker in The Fast and the Furious movies, he doesn’t have the particular brand of McClane charm. Keep in mind that this casting list is still just a rumor. Until recently the studio had not commented. Then Twitter proved itself somewhat useful when 20th Century Fox’s official account responded with a flat-out denial.

aaron-paul-imageIt’s easy to see why speculation abounds for the role of McClane’s son. There is fame and fortune to be had by continuing a storied property. (We’ve oft wondered if Shia LaBeouf would inherit the Indiana Jones franchise.) But I’m worried about this new installment for a few reasons. One, the name: A Good Day to Die Hard. Okay…I took Live Free or Die Hard with a grain of salt because it’s similar to an awesome license plate motto (New Hampshire, for the curious), though I suppose this is in the same vein. Two: taking Die Hard to Russia. Let’s see, Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; New York…now, Moscow? The reason I give the titles a pass is because they’re red-blooded, dyed in the wool, American phrases. I like McClane & Son on domestic soil, not behind enemy lines. Speaking of which…three: the director, John Moore. Moore directed Behind Enemy Lines, but also Max Payne. Max Payne, really?? I guess it’s a step up from romantic comedy director, Noam Murro, who left the project due to scheduling issues.

If this casting list pans out and Willis feels some solid chemistry with any of the above, my feelings could swing one way or the other. What do you think, about the casting choices or the movie in general? Fire away in the comments! Yippie-ki-yay!


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  • Dave Trumbore

    Forgot one gripe: Release date of Valentine’s Day?! C’mon, man!

  • oMaR

    AARON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Logan

    After seeing him in Breaking Bad, any time Aaron Paul’s name is in competition with others, I’m going to root for him.

  • Mark

    Oh come on, please tell me this is a joke.

    The franchise is John McClane, it should have ended with 3 anyway, 4 was a generic action film and could have starred anyone. No one will care about Die Hard 6 with Ben Foster or anyone else.

  • Jay

    Easily Aaron Paul, besides he definitely has great chemistry with a bald Co-star along side. 8) lol (see:breaking bad)

  • Rukia

    Get Shia LaBeouf!

    • Sam


  • Paul


  • Clark Griswold

    For the love of God, cast Aaron Paul.


  • Sam

    Yeah!!! Ben Foster!!! he was always my first choice ever since the film was announced, cast him for fucks sake!!!

  • Rev. Slappy

    They have a chance to cast Aaron Paul but Fox is interested in Paul Walker? The studios are indeed run by idiots.

  • Gustavo

    AAron Paul every day of the week. This guy is seriously tallented. More tallented than Paul Walker. He has his own franchise anyway.

  • Matt

    Aaron Paul Yo!

  • duder

    Paul dano lmao

  • jazzy jace

    As long as they don’t cast Justin Timbercock as his son, I’ll be happy (they screen tested a while back and Willis, clearly on drugs, liked him!) I don’t mind JT as a singer/dancer; but no way is he an actor, below average. He’s the reason I won’t see films where he’s the ‘star’, even though the rest of the ensemble might be worth it. Aaron Paul and Ben Foster FTW!

  • Becky Shaw

    The title should be ‘Die Hard 5: Die Hardest’.
    Shia LaBeouf, Anton Yelchin, Zac Efron, Ed Westwick, Penn Badgley, Chad Michael Murray, Chace Crawford or James Lafferty as John “Jack” McClane, Jr.

  • Nenad

    Oh man, my greatest fear is Moore… Max Payne could have been a great movie. Game had a great story, and the movie had great cast… And this guy manages not to give it justice… As matter of fact makes a very shitty movie…
    As for the Die Hard franchise, we had this coming. Bruce is getting older, probably has one more DH movie after this then we see the shift, like in Bourne, James Bond, MI…
    Personally I would like to see what Aaron Paul can offer cause I’m just a die hard fan of Breaking Bad (pun intended!), and I haven’t really seen him be an action figure, despite couple of shots in Breaking bad, followed by depression and PTSD lol.
    As for Russia… I don’t know. But I think that’s the big deal now, studios are all going to Europe or Asia to cut costs, and eventually make more money…

  • pi

    i’ve just seen the MECHANIC(i had no intention of watching that but my friend insisted i do).

    BEN FOSSSSSSSTTEEERRRRRR ALL THE WAY MAN!!!!! The Mechanic was good, but his performance, oh my. it didn’t belong on that movie. it was kind of weird seeing a “Sundance performance”(if you know what i mean) in an action flick starring Jason Statham. He outacted Statham in ALL of his scenes.

    plus i heard GREAT buzz on RAMPART(Woody Harrelson is getting lots of buzz, but Ben Foster, is “reportedly” unrecognizable)

  • Darren

    At 38, Paul Walker is way too old for the role and too recognisable as one of the faces for Fast & Furious. John McClane Jr was born in 1984, so they need to look at someone in their late 20s.

    Aaron Paul would get my vote. He’s a good young unknown and looks the part, though I hope this isn’t a “passing the torch” story, as Bruce said he wanted to do a Die Hard 6 before leaving.

  • irina

    How about Ben Mckenzie in Southland. That guy can do action scenes.

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  • Tarek

    Why not casting Daniel Radcliffe ? He could put some magic in the movie. Expelliarmus!

  • Mr.vMp

    for Aaron Paul, of course.

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  • Bruno

    They need to cast someone young. I love paul walker in the fast and furious movies but hes too old, and just doesn’t have that right charm. Ben foster is amazing, but he always plays really angry emotional characters, and i dont know if hes totally right for the mcclane roll either. Aaron paul sounds good to me :) yippie ki yay mother fathers!

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