Other than Terminator, Die Hard is the other once great action franchise that has been completely ruined by modern-day Hollywood filmmaking.
Back in February of 2013, 20th Century Fox released the 5th entry in the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard. It centered on our hero, John McClane (played once again by a now tired and bored looking Bruce Willis) heading to Russia to save his estranged son Jack (played by the nice guy who I'm sure tries hard but sucks in everything, Jai Courtney). The McClane father-son duo get involved with the wrong Russian bad guys and well...chaos ensues from there. Safe to say, the film was an absolute disaster (despite being R-rated). It had terrible writing, shittier directing and probably some of the worst editing I've ever seen in an action film. It was a far cry from the original, all-time classic Die Hard, and made 2007's 4th entry, Live Free or Die Hard, look like Citizen Kane.
While the film was ripped by critics (14% on Rotten Tomatoes), it still made a sizable amount of box office worldwide with just over $300 million (but only about $70 million of that came from the U.S.). It was thought that after the film's terrible reception that we may not see another Die Hard film for a while. Well, thanks to our lovely, current day Hollywood, we might be getting another one soon, and man does it sound awful.
A new report suggests that 20th Century Fox is making deals with both Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (best known for the Transformers film franchise...Jesus), to develop a prequel of sorts which would still involve Willis' now older John McClane, but center on a flashback story set in 1979 when the character first became a gritty New York cop and learned how to...die hard.
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
This has to be one of the absolute worst ideas I have ever read in my over 6 years freelance writing about the filmmaking industry. First off, why would you now bring in a younger actor to play a character that has been world renowned and recognized as Bruce Willis? Say what you will about the guy and his current 'laziness' in Hollywood, but he IS John McClane. Secondly, we don't need to know how the character learned to 'die hard' because we already found that out in the original Die Hard! You want an origin story, just go back and re-watch the 1988 classic and greatest action film ever made.
I sincerely hope the studio execs and filmmakers behind this thing realize what a terrible idea it is. Apparently, Willis is being kept in the loop regarding this project but as we all know nowadays, he'll do anything for a paycheck. While I enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard, Len Wiseman is not a filmmaker, period.
My suggestion (and I know this story and rumor has been floating around the web for years) is to bring back director John McTiernan (Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance) and set the 6th (and FINAL) entry in Japan on the 30th anniversary of the Nakatomi Plaza terrorist/hostage takeover in L.A. The company flies in a now retired John McClane along with friends and family (so you bring back everyone from previous films) to honor his heroic efforts three decades ago, and from there...chaos ensues. You can make the villain a Gruber once again (maybe Hans' son), have McClane end up back in a high-rise Nakatomi building only this time in Japan, and make the series come full circle with McClane one last time saving all his friends and family from terrorists on his own. It is the absolute best and most perfect way to end the Die Hard franchise but will more than likely not happen because it makes too much sense for Hollywood.
We'll (sadly) keep you posted on further developments of this project as it becomes available. It the meantime, I might go watch the Die Hard with Vengeance and think about what once was.