Director Len Wiseman on ‘Die Hard: Year One’ and Bruce Willis’ Involvement

     January 16, 2016

len-wiseman-die-hard-year-one Opinions have not been in short supply since filmmaker Len Wiseman‘s announcement of a Die Hard movie prequel called Year One. Early reports on the plot, which would go back and forth in time, drove some fans into such a frenzy that one guy actually took out an ad in The Hollywood Reporter detailing what he felt would be a better script. Then Bruce Willis stepped in, and commented on the project himself, lending it and Wiseman his full support.

During an interview Christina Radish had with Wiseman about his upcoming TV project Lucifer on Fox (we will have that full interview up soon), the director gave a few more details on the project, including the shooting schedule as well as a clearer picture of what Willis’ involvement will look like.


Image via 20th Century Fox

Wiseman is describing Year One as a “prequel / sequel,” saying that after Live Free or Die Hard, he and Willis talked about John McClane’s origins, and how they could explore more about what made him the man he is, saying

“After doing the fourth one, there were so many conversations that Bruce [Willis] and I were having about what he put into the character for Die Hard 1. That character comes in with so much baggage, emotionally, and experience. He’s already divorced, he’s bitter, his Captain hates him and doesn’t want him back. So, what created that guy?”

Wiseman continued,

“We’ve never seen the actual love story. We know its demise, but we’ve never seen what it was like when he met Holly, or when he was a beat cop in ‘78 in New York when there was no chance of him making detective. It’s always been something I’ve been thinking about, and now we’re doing it. And it ties in.”


Image via 20th Century Fox

Wiseman also detailed more of Bruce Willis’ involvement, assuring fans that it will be more than just a cameo used as a framework for the rest of the film:

“The reason I say prequel/sequel is because I wasn’t going to do it without Bruce. I’m also not going to do it with Bruce being a cameo bookend gimmick. It’s really working into the plot, with the ‘70s having ramifications on present-day Bruce. It inter-cuts in a very fun, imaginative way with present-day John McClane.”

As far as when the movie might start shooting, Wiseman said his focus on Lucifer has kept Year One on a shifting timetable. However,

“The film itself will take place on New Years’ Eve 1979, so trying to gear things towards that would be fun, if we could come out around the same time, but these movies take their own paths.”

Wiseman also suggested that the production will be looking to cast an unknown actor, since McClane as a character is so inextricably linked to Bruce Willis. As far as any specifics, though, Wiseman did say,

“It has to be somebody that has the swagger and the confidence, but also the charm, the wit, the charisma and the toughness. It’s asking a lot, especially in somebody that’s younger. It has to feel like the guy owns it, rather than is trying to put it on.”

And that sound quite a bit like the search for a young Han Solo

So what do you say, fans? Do these updates appease you, or make you want to take out an ad in a trade so you can detail your better idea for the prequel/sequel? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for more from Wiseman.


Image via 20th Century Fox

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