Papa Vinyard here, now here's a little somethin' for ya...
We knew sometime around the release of A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD that there were plans for a sixth go around with the unstoppable New Jerseyan, John McClane. Fox hired Ben Trebilcook to pen the script for HARDER TO DIE THAN IT WAS LAST TIME (or, you know, whatever goofy shit they conjure up), and in an interview with WhatCulture, he revealed several of his plans for the mega-popular franchise. Some of the stuff he's talking about makes the prospect of this fifth sequel surprisingly enticing; read on!
Hmm, what can I say? What can I say? What am I allowed to say? OK, without spoiling too much, I can say that McClane is invited to Tokyo by the Nakatomi Corporation to be commended for his bravery and efforts in saving 36 lives, celebrating this on the 30th anniversary of the Naktatomi Hostage Crisis. It’s by no means BLACK RAIN. Perhaps has a slight Rising Sun type tone. It’s also not a double-act buddy-buddy story. McClane began on his own and should end on his own. Of course he’s had assistance in various guises, aiding him in his ventures; but it’s not LETHAL WEAPON or a Jackie Chan film. McClane is a gunslinger. A now retired, worn-out, tired, busted and broken cowboy. Everything he’s been through has to be taken into account. Yes, it’s a movie, but he isn’t invincible. He was never Bond. That’s what was so appealing to me with Bruce’s character. He got hurt. I see the first one as a drama with elements of action. It took its time to set up the story and unfold great characters. I believe I got that and also what I call ‘the hose-reel moment’. You know, when McClane, in the first Die Hard leaped off the building with a fire hose, before it went kaboom; in the second, he ejects himself from the plane when he’s surrounded by grenades and in the third, he’s shot out the tunnel, through the air with a gush of water. I’ve got that ‘hose-reel moment’, as well as that cringing ‘glass pulling from the feet’ type scene. Man, that gets me every time. Pursued by bad guys; does he face them and die, or retreat, barefoot, across broken glass? THEN picks out itty bitty shards from his cut feet.
My story, being set in Japan, obviously has Nakatomi playing an extremely significant role; in a way that.. well, it’s John McClane in Japan and if you’ve seen any Japanese movies or at least know anything about their culture at all, you know it would have a lot of potential to be nuts. It’s not ICHI THE KILLER, but it is crazy and as real as you can get in these realms. It’s violent, but not over the top nor unnecessarily Loony Tune like Olympus. It’s well researched, faithful to the franchise, yet giving a possible audience such a refreshing punch to the face, they’ll be saying ‘Wow. I really wasn’t expecting that.’
Then, Mr. Trebilcook throws out this gem of a tidbit that claims that this new film will do something the last two DIE HARDS didn't care to attempt: bring back an old favorite.
You want a nugget, don’t you? I’m pretty sure it’s out there. A few Japanese fans on Twitter put two and two together when I uploaded a picture of a Katana (Samurai Sword) with some kanji reading ‘Zeus’. Yes, I’ve written Zeus Carver in for Samuel L Jackson. Like I said before, it’s not a buddy-buddy script, but you can’t ignore him. Zeus played a major part in McClane’s life. They went through a lot together. They would certainly, without a doubt, still be in contact. A guy I know, Stel, wrote the 51st State (aka Formula 51) with Sam the Man. I put the idea to him and he said Sam would probably love to have a sword in a movie; that’s how you could woo him. Let’s say I have A BETTER TOMORROW 2 vibe.
The screenwriter for DIE HARD 6 is planning on bringing Samuel L. Jackson back, and is citing A BETTER TOMORROW 2 as inspiration for his script. Do we party now or later? Either way, you're gonna have to bring the ice cream.
Also interesting is this bit about a DIE HARD TV series that Trebilcook was developing for Fox:
I had written a really cool proposal and 22 episodes for a Die Hard TV show called MCCLANE (Trebilcook revealed to me that this television series was also known as DIE HARD 24/7. At one point, sites were falsely reporting it as the title of the fifth film and suggesting the title meant a team up between McClane and 24’s Jack Bauer. This was never true according to Trebilcook)...
A DIE HARD TV show…yeah that sounds a lot like 24. And they would've had to recast, which...doesn't sit quite right with me. Say what you will about the weaker DIE HARDs, but at least the character is truly 100% Bruce. I'd rather see him old and weathered than young, handsome, and cheap, so I'm glad Mr. Willis, as contemptful as he seems to be of his action oeuvre, is sticking with the role that made him an international superstar.
What do you think? Does this guy's comments get you excited for a sixth go-around with John McClane, or have the last two entries soured you on the franchise completely?