Shortlist for DIE HARD 5 Directors Includes Joe Cornish, Nicolas Winding Refn and Justin Lin

     August 1, 2011


It appears that Fox is eager to get Die Hard 5 going as quickly as possible. Just the other day we reported that Noam Murro is no longer attached to the project (he’s busy with the 300 prequel 300: Battle of Artemisia), and Fox is on the lookout for a new director for the Russian-set sequel. Now a short list of directors Fox is interested in has appeared and it includes: Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), Justin Lin (Fast Five) and John Moore (Max Payne). Hit the jump for more details, as well as my personal preference.

joe-cornish-imageWhile the report from the other day suggested that the job was Max Payne director John Moore’s for the taking, Deadline says him being a lock is premature, as the studio has yet to have any meetings with any of the directors just yet. Cornish is a bit of a surprise, as his directorial debut is the just-released Attack the Block which has been critically heralded for months now (I can’t see this movie soon enough). While it’s only his first film as a director, I’ve heard from many, many people that he does a bang-up job.

Refn’s latest flick Drive starring Ryan Gosling has been drawing raves ever since it debuted at Cannes. He’s an incredible director, but I don’t see him delaying his next team-up with Gosling, the thriller Only God Forgives that is set to shoot later this summer, in favor of a fast-tracked studio action film. Lin’s Fast Five did big business, and he’s attached to the new Terminator film, but he seems a bit too generic. I’m sure he’d do a fine job, but someone like Cornish or Refn would be so much more interesting.

nicolas-winding-refn-imageMoore is a bit of a Fox mainstay, as he’s made all of his films at the studio. Nothing on his resume is particularly outstanding, but nothing sticks out as offensively bad either. My personal pick would be between Cornish and Refn. Refn seems unlikely to take the job, as he’s not necessarily the kind of guy that takes on a studio-dictated project. He’s attached to do the Logan’s Run remake with Gosling for a big studio, but he’s been very careful to state that they won’t move forward with that film until their vision is just right.

While I’ve yet to see Attack the Block in full, from the trailers and the few scenes I’ve seen (and from listening to Cornish speak about the film), the director seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He has an interesting eye, and I’ll bet he’s learned a thing or two from working so closely with Edgar Wright. I’d love to see him take on the Die Hard franchise and do something completely out of left field. Lin and Moore aren’t terrible choices, I just feel like I can picture exactly what Die Hard 5 would be if they directed it. With Cornish, I have no clue what the finished film would be like, and that’s what’s exciting.

The studio is set to start meeting with the directors soon, so hopefully we’ll know who’s got the job in a few weeks. Until then, sound off in the comments with your pick for the director of Die Hard 5.

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  • Farzan

    Of all the people on that list, Id probably go with Justin Lin or Nicolas Winding Refn since both have experience directing action films. I kind of wish Noam Murro stayed on board since I’m sure he would have done a better job directing this film than the crummy 300 prequel/sequel or whatever the film ends up being.

  • KZ

    U should never voice ur opinions because not only are they condescending, they are also incorrect. If u r gonna put lin in moore’s category, there’s just no hope for u as a film journalist, or whatever u call ur current job. If max Payne doesn’t stick out as outright horrible, then I don’t know what is.

  • mrbatmatt

    Once they figure out who is going to direct, any idea if they are going to re-cast Bruce’s hair?

  • ark

    Refn would be an idiot to direct Die Really Really The Hardest #5.

  • Dave Trumbore

    I love the Die Hard series and if Moore gets the nod, it will be a sad, sad, day. Max Payne was nigh unwatchable.

    I’m not as familiar with Refn’s work and, though he comes highly touted, I don’t know if he has the sense of fun the Die Hard movies need.

    Cornish had a great debut with Attack the Block, but I worry that Die Hard 5 would be a massive jump and could overwhelm him. That being said, I’d love to hear his take on the story because it’s bound to be inventive.

    I’d say Lin’s the best choice here. The story has never been the major focus of any of the Die Hard movies and Lin has shown he can handle action over story any day, with this year’s F&F5 (and F&F6 set for 2013.) I think Lin has the best chance to bring the fun and action of McTiernan’s Die Hard 1 and 3 back to Die Hard 5.

    • Alex-mansy

      I agree.

      And Lin is a solid choice, he thrives on action and macho characters. I think he’ll bring a level of heart that’s been missing since the first Die Hard too. Hope he get’s the job.

  • carsett

    is FOX out of their minds? these candidates are only qualified to helm stuff like “you got served” or “scott pilgrim vs the world 2″.

    we want McTiernan. stop making ‘die hard for kids’ and go back to the original audience. and bring back the original title sequence of the first 3 films.

  • Guns Of Navarone

    I’d go with Lin. Fast Five was a pretty good action movie so at least he knows what he’s doing in the genre. Max Payne was an awfully dull film so I dread to think of what Moore would come up with. I think that would more or less put the nail in the coffin for the Die Hard franchise.

  • getyoasstomars

    Justin Lin and please bring BACK the anamorphic lenses.

  • dude

    With these lists the worst choice always gets picked. So it’s likely John Moore.

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