As we reported a few weeks ago, another installment in the Die Hard franchise is in the works. This time around, however, perhaps to give some sort of meaning to an otherwise unwarranted addition, rather than another edition of witnessing Bruce Willis’ John McClane making bad guys die hard, the audience will witness how John McClane came to be, focusing on his younger years as a police officer in New York City. This would obviously mean a new John McClane would step in Willis’ shoes (which feels just as strange as someone else other than Harrison Ford playing Han Solo).
Ever since the announcement, many people have expressed their opinion. First was John McClane himself. When Willis was asked by ET about it on the red carpet for Rock the Kasbah, Willis said:
“It’s a very good idea, a really tricky idea, and I’m very happy about it. It’s a really cool idea, because it’s the origin story. It’s gonna happen at the beginning of this. We’re going to bounce back and forth.”
It’s not exactly clear what he means when he says “We’re going to bounce back and forth,” but it’s safe to assume there may be some sort of flashback component to a story that would take place in the present with Willis still in the title role. But that wasn’t enough for some people, and one guy in particular. As we reported yesterday, Eric D. Wilkinson, a producer and writer of indie films like Sparks and Mischief Night, decided to color in those missing details, perhaps in an effort to make a head-scratcher of an idea actually worthy. And he announced his idea in a very public way: by taking out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter.
You can check out the full proposed-plot in the link above, but basically John McClane ends up in prison, convicted of a murder he did not commit. Of course, he finds himself surrounded by some bad people, including a few terrorists. A prison riot breaks out that is meant to serve as a way for the terrorists to escape and…I’ll let the man with the plan take it from here: “The one thing the terrorists didn’t count on was the one man who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time… And when it comes to John McClane, old habits die hard.” And throughout the film will be flashbacks to his early days on the beat.
So that’s a proposed idea from a guy who has no creative decision-making in the process. If they do indeed go ahead with a John McClane origin-story with flashbacks, this wouldn’t be the worst framework to work off of.
That being said, other people have some ideas of their own. Kick Ass and Kingsman creator Mark Millar posted his own spin on Wilkinson’s premise on his forum, has come up with his own spin on Wilkinson’s premise, which he believes to embrace the formula of the earlier films in which McClane finds himself in a dangerous and “enclosed” space.
He does, however, have some critiques, particularly the opening and the fact that the story will lean heavily on the plot points of Die Hard 4:
“I actually like the entire pitch, but wonder if the opening is a little overly complex and if you just want McClane in that building a lot earlier. Tying it into Die-Hard 4 also seems a little risky as nobody really remembers what happened in that movie.”
While he thinks McClane in prison should be the goal, Millar believes staying true to the story laid out by the original and its (first) sequel would provide a better blueprint to work from.
“To get McClane in this high-security prison much faster and much more smoothly how about he’s arrested as he comes off a Christmas flight and he has no idea what the Hell he’s being charged with? He’s been busted under a Homeland Security provision, the last twenty five years of his life having him involved or certainly at the centre of…
The attack on the Nakatomi building
The terrorist incident at Dulles airport
The bomb-threat to New York City
Die Hard 4’s cyber-terror threat
And, more recently, whatever actually happened in Die-Hard 5.
To be at the centre of ONE of these incidents is a rare and incredible thing. To be involved in TWO is deeply suspicious. But to be at the epicentre of FIVE DIFFERENT INTERNATIONAL TERROR-THREATS and always being the one man who walks away and you’re basically going to prison for the rest of your life. This ties all five Die-Hard movies neatly into Die-Hard 6″
Interesting. It would tie together the whole storyline through all five films, which is a pretty impressive thing to do since they lack a certain continuity. I really like Die Hard 3 (also known by its not-great-title Die Hard: With A Vengeance), especially because it has that thread of continuity with Hans’ brother’s involvement and a desire to seek, well, revenge. But wait, there’s more!:
“The man behind his incarceration… the guy who’s been tracking McClane all these years and building the case against him? Why, it’s none other than Richard Thornberg, the sleazy reporter who tried to screw McClane over twice and was humiliated by both he AND the ex Mrs McClane.”
Millar is certainly threading the needle. Now I still don’t think this film is necessary, but like I said if they really want to do this thing, this isn’t a terrible blueprint. It does lack the whole flashback/ origin story that seems part of the plan, but I’d take this additional story that ties the others together than one that precedes them all.
What do you think? Should Millar take out an ad as well? Sound off in the comments!