Over the last few days, I’ve looked back at the Die Hard franchise, and tried to explain what makes these films unique. The obvious answer is John McClane (Bruce Willis). Willis helped to craft a memorable character who was the wise-cracking, scrappy, desperate hero we can all root for. But it’s not simply an attitude. Die Hard is a matter of circumstance and response, and the two best films—Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance—back McClane into a corner and force him to rely on his wits and strength to survive. He gets the shit kicked out of him, swears constantly, but laughs in the face of near death. John McClane’s personality lives in A Good Day to Die Hard. Everything else dies horribly.
The Square Enix game Hitman had its chance at launching a feature franchise with 2007′s adaptation starring Timothy Olyphant, but Fox International Productions is giving it another go. Starring Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious), the reboot will be titled Agent 47, referring to the genetically engineered and cloned assassin who sports a bald head and a barcode. Skip Woods penned the screenplay for the original Hitman and will return for another try along with Mike Finch. Commercials director Aleksander Bach will make his feature film debut with Agent 47. Hit the jump for more.
Thanks to social networking, we now have the first image of Arnold Schwarzenegger in director David Ayer’s new film, Ten. Schwarzenegger tweeted the image earlier today, one that shows off a new look for the former Governor as he’s sporting a new haircut and a variety of new tattoos. He’s also armed to the teeth and ready for battle in a police-issue bullet-proof vest, complete with knives, ammo and at least three guns. Back when it was titled Breacher, Ayer said he wanted to “reinvent Arnold” during an interview with Steve. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not he succeeded. Hit the jump to check out the first image and for more on Schwarzenegger’s character.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has added yet another action-thriller to his list of upcoming projects. Open Road Films has sent out a press release announcing that Schwarzenegger will star in Ten for director David Ayer (Street Kings). Once again, Ayer will be working on a cops-and-criminals story, and this one focuses on a DEA task force who heists a drug cartel safe house, and then start getting picked off by an assassin. Screenwriter Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) penned original screenplay, although it sounds like a play off Agatha Christie‘s novel Ten Little N****rs (the missing letters are not “a-g-g-e”).
Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the official synopsis. Schwarzenegger will next be seen in The Expendables 2, and you can watch the trailer here. The ex-governor will also be seen in The Last Stand on January 13, 2013, and he’s currently shooting The Tomb with fellow sexagenarian Sylvester Stallone. Ayer’s next film, End of Watch, opens September 28th. Click here to watch the trailer.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, ladies and gentlemen. After announcing a return to acting following his tenure as Governor of California, Schwarzenegger chose the action film The Last Stand as his comeback project. Soon thereafter, he agreed to reprise his role in The Expendables 2 with pals Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, and now he’s chosen his follow-up project. Deadline reports that The Governator is set to star in the action pic Black Sands, which is said to be a cross between Man on Fire and High Plains Drifter. The stunt coordinator-turned-director duo of Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy are onboard to direct, with a script from Skip Woods (The A-Team).
Schwarzenegger will play “a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest.” Coincidentally (or not, depending on how you look at it), Schwarzenegger also plays a loner taking on a bunch of bad guys in The Last Stand. Waugh and McCoy recently directed Act of Valor, the action film starring active-duty Navy SEALs. You can watch the Call of Duty-esque trailer for that film right here to get a sense of their style. Production on Black Sands is set to begin April 1st, 2012.
Fox Filmed Entertainment Co-Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman went on Jim Rome this morning and since Rome is a big fan of the Die Hard franchise, Rothman answered some questions about the upcoming sequel. Rothman told Rome [via /Film] that the official title is A Good Day to Die Hard, because I guess John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now a Klingon. Shooting is set to begin in January 2012 for a February 14, 2013 release (President’s Day weekend, but it may also be a nice date flick). The story will have McClane traveling to Russia to save his son John McClane, Jr., “but nothing is what it seems.” (Russia’s been dead the whole time!) They’re still casting for John McClane Jr. and they’re not sure if the film will be PG-13 or R.
Hit the jump for more details on the sequel.
A couple weeks ago, we reported that rising star Rebecca Hall (The Town) would lead Stephen Frears’ adaptation of Beth Raymor’s Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling. Hall will play Raymor, who chronicled her years working in the world of Vegas sports gambling. Today, Vulture reports that Bruce Willis has signed on to play Raymor’s mentor/boss Dink Heimowitz in the flick, which is now titled Lay the Favorite, Take the Dog. In the synopsis of the book, “Dinky” is described as “lovable, irascible, and big-bellied.” I’m not sure Willis is willing to pack on the pounds, but he’s got “irascible” down to a science.
Vulture also mentions that Die Hard 5 isn’t as far along in development as we thought. Hit the jump for more on the project as well as the book synopsis for Lay the Favorite.
File this one in the rumor pile for now, but Die Hard 5 may be going in front of cameras next year. According to Puerto Rico’s second-largest newspaper, Primera Hora [via Latino Review], the next chapter in John McClane’s endless saga of getting the shit kicked out of him will start shooting in Puerto Rico in 2011. The report also says that Die Hard 5 (which is just a working title) will also shoot in Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver.
Die Hard 5 shooting next year wouldn’t be out of the blue. Back in May, we reported that Fox had brought on screenwriter Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) to write the script and in July, Bruce Willis said a greenlight on the film was imminent. Hit the jump for a recap on Willis’ other projects. [Update: We've spoken to 20th Century Fox and they have informed us that this rumor is false.]
Bruce Willis is poised to star in the upcoming drama Ten. Probably. To hear Deadline tell it, the ink on Willis’ contract is already dry, though a more cynical take at TheWrap deems his involvement “far from official.” Though no plot details are shared in either report, it sure seems like a project Willis would board based on his prior relationships with the personnel. Producer Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) is the man who enabled Willis’ three-picture deal with Disney, which resulted in hit turns in Armageddon and The Sixth Sense. (Also, The Kid. Two for three!) Likewise, Ten scribe Skip Woods is currently working on the script for Die Hard 5. And director Patrick Allesandrin (District 13: Ultimatum) was at one point set to helm a Willis-led adaptation of Kane & Lynch, though such is no longer the case.
The $35 million production is set for December, once Willis finishes filming The Cold Light of Day. After Ten wraps, Willis has Rian Johnson’s time travel thriller Looper on the books for January. The actor can next be seen in the spy ensemble Red, which hits theaters October 15th.
True to its title, Die Hard franchise is tough to kill. Risky Business reports that 20th Century Fox is in talks to hire screenwriter Skip Woods (Hitman, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) to pen a script for Die Hard 5. For those who are unfamiliar with the Die Hard movies (and if so, you scare and confuse me), the revolve around detective John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) and his very bad day fighting terrorists, getting the shit kicked out of him, and cracking-wise all the while. His most recent outing, 2007′s Live Free or Die Hard, was the first PG-13 installment, and while it was passable, Willis was showing his age and McClane lacked the bite he displayed in the previous three films. Also, elements like using fire hydrants and cars as projectile weapons plus single-handedly taking down a fighter jet didn’t feel true to the series.
But Live Free racked up $383 million worldwide so I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get some momentum on a new sequel. There’s no word regarding plot, whether or not Bruce Willis would return, or who will direct.