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.
Jack 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.