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.
The 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.
It’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!