SPARTACUS Star Jai Courtney Lands DIE HARD 5 Lead as John McClane’s Son; Plus an Image of Courtney’s Screen Test with Bruce Willis

by     Posted 2 years, 137 days ago

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20th Century Fox’s months long search for the lead in their upcoming fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, has finally come to an end. Bruce Willis is back as John McClane, but a major character in the new film is McClane’s son. The studio finally landed on Jai Courtney, an up-and-comer who most recently starred on the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The role was highly sought-after, with names like Aaron Paul, James Badge Dale, Paul Walker, and Milo Ventimiglia thrown around as contenders for the part. In the end, it was down to Courtney and Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth. Hit the jump for more, including what to expect story-wise from A Good Day to Die Hard.

die-hard-5-jai-courtneyJack McClane is described as someone who may be even more of a hardass than his father (not possible). The story finds the two working together “to keep each other alive and the world safe for democracy” despite their differences. John Moore (Max Payne) is set to direct, and the action this time around takes place in Moscow. I’m still not high on Moore as a director choice, but I think it’s smart to position someone to possibly take over the franchise/take it in a new direction once Willis bows out. Courtney will also be seen alongside Tom Cruise in One Shot and opposite Aaron Eckhart in I, Frankenstein. A Good Day to Die Hard is slated to open on February 14th, 2013.

Here’s the full press release, followed by an image from Courtney’s screen test with Willis:

LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2012)  Following a global casting search spanning several months, Jai Courtney has nabbed the coveted role of John (Jack) McClane, Jr., the son of Bruce Willis’ iconic action hero, in A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD puts McClane on an international stage — truly a NYC fish out of water in Moscow — and introduces his estranged son Jack.  An apple that has not fallen far from the tree, Jack may even be more of a hardass than his father.  Despite their differences, they must work together to keep each other alive – and the world safe for democracy.

The film begins production this April, for a February 14, 2013 release.

Courtney, studied drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), where he graduated in 2008. Following graduation Courtney quickly landed guest star roles on two hit Australian shows, Packed To the Rafters followed by All Saints. Later that year, Courtney won a Theatre Critics Award as Best Newcomer for his performance in The Turning for the Perth Theatre Company. In 2009 he landed the role of Varro in the international television hit, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Fans of the show created an uproar over Varro’s death and to this day continue to lament about it on the many Spartacus fan sites and blogs.  Last year, Courtney landed a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in One Shot, directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

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  • mattedscreen

    A Good Day to Die Hard, sounds like a good time to end the franchise. And a Feb release for a major action film is never a good sign, especially if they go PG-13 on this one. Like Indiana Jones… Die Hard should have stopped at 3, everything after has been and sounds like complete crap.

    • Northern Star

      Agreed, mattedscreen dude, the whole ‘Die Hard’ enterprise should have stopped with 1995′s ‘…With A Vengeance’ (if only it had a better ending), if it should have had ANY sequels at all (which I’m still on the fence about, although I’m in the minority who thinks ‘Die Hard 2′ was almost the equal of the original)!

      The last one was so OTT and cartoonish, and this one sounds even worse, and the idea of PASSING ON the franchise, gimme a sick bag, pronto! Instead of wasting time and money on ANOTHER ‘Die Hard’ movie, how about hurrying up the ’24′ movie, huh Fox?

      And the only Indiana Jones film I care to acknowledge is ‘Raiders…’, PERIOD!

    • mike

      Just like Indy 4…die Hard 4 was freaking awesome…

      People who can’t look past their own outrageous expectations to enjoy a great movie really need to just quit putting themselves through the misery of even trying.

      Indy 4 was EXACTLY what Lucas/Spielberg promised…and precisely what they had delivered with the earlier installments…Die Hard 4 has less pre-press but it felt just cool as the prior ones…

      I honestly just don’t get all the hate…does belittling something online just make folks feel powerful? Laughable

  • McClane

    I still think the fan choice of “Old Habits Die Hard” was a better choice of title…oh well. Still looking forward to number 5!

  • Dean

    I’m just glad no-one who’s careers I actually care about like Aaron Paul or Paul Dano got the job.

  • Elendil

    He only was in Spartacus Blood and Sand not in Vengeace.

  • Leo

    Sorry to be one of those guys who knicks and picks, but he never starred in Spartacus: Vengence, he was in the first Season, Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

  • Mark

    I wouldn’t mind so much if they weren’t using the good Die Hard name to market this crap. John McClane faces terrorists unprepared, with no shoes and his feet cut to hell.

    John McClane does NOT ride jets and save the Internet. Or apparently travel to Russia to bail out his lame son.

  • Blah

    I bet Aaron Paul passed on this flaming POS

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  • jymmymackiv

    Why has the Die Hard series turned to pairing up John McClane with someone? Part of the reason Die Hard is so good is because our hero is completely isolated from those who would help him (Al & Argyle).

    • hj

      because samuel was in no 3 they think they should continue it.

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  • Paul

    Please. This “Franchise Pass Ons” never work. Why? Because it’s always a case of the douchebag producers trying to recapture the “Lighting In A Bottle” magic of the original character. We haven’t seen any production made on a “Mutt Williams and the Journey of the CG BS” yet have we?

    Die Hard will end when Bruce Willis realizes he’s finally too damn old for this shit. Speaking of which? DIdn’t people talk about Chris Rock taking over the “Lethal Weapon” franchise from Gibson and Glover? Yeah… that never happened either.

  • vladimir sikorov

    Jai Courtney is best for part. Strong man smart man. Not like other choices. Men who are weak and small and Die Easy. He will crush roll. He is great actor.

    • Jesus

      JAI CRUSH PUNY HUMANS!! RRRRRRRRRRAAAAAGH!

    • Pooper

      The beauty of the original die hard was that John McClane was an everyman. He wasn’t some hulk who you knew had the upperhand.

      He was someone you could root for.

      That’s why noone watches these action movies, aimed at the lowest common denominator of audience, staring dumbass redneck wrestlers.

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  • J

    Horrible choice. Aaron Paul should of got this role. Movie will suck.

  • Evan

    I’m sorry, a February release? I lost all faith in this movie.

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  • Gary

    An NYC cops goes to russia to save the world! NO! He’s a cop god damn it! not a Mission Impossible team! If they had thought about the character for 10 minutes they would have known this is wrong! I don’t wanna watch Die Hard 5: Mission to Moscow!

  • Tarek

    Stop the mess Bruce. Don’t be a Crystal Skull maker

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  • ozzie

    this sounds terrible … at least in the last movie the side kick was clever … this is just going to be bad.

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  • peapod

    the fact itv has the max payne director on board is proving that this film will be dog shit, if anyone has seen max payne they will no how bad tht film is and will be expecting some gay ass demons coming up in the new die hard

    should of stayed at 3

  • Stinky

    Bless the Internet and the uniformed opinions that skid-mark across it.

    One bit of casting and a locale. That’s all we have. Suddenly it’s anointed as dog shit? Bravo, cinema psychics.

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  • Claude

    Everyone who thinks they should stop making Die Hard movies don’t have to see them! The rest of us who like Bruce Willis and the John McClane character will eagerly see them – no matter how bad they are. I recently rewatched all of the Die Hard films and while Live Free or Die Hard isn’t the best one, it certainly isn’t a bad movie, and is on par with the best action films of the last decade.

    I love the casting of Jai Courtney and can’t wait to see this film!

  • Mr. J

    well, it seems that what the gruber brothers, colonel stuart and thomas gabriel didn´t achieve the sequels will do: kill john McClane.

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  • Pooper

    The good thing about Die Hard was that McClane really felt like an everyman. He wasn’t some huge superhero.

    They should have looked for someone like that for McClanes son.

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  • Sparky

    He had a son?

    This sounds stupid; well actually it sounds like a porno but that’s beside the point.

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