The hardest part of making it in the business of show is getting started. For someone on the outside looking in, getting a foot in the door can be all but impossible without a few well-placed connections. One determined Die Hard fan, independent writer/producer Eric D. Wilkinson, took a decidedly unorthodox back route in his efforts to engineer the planned sixth installment in the popular action franchise. The man had a pitch, and a good one at that, but he had no way of getting an appointment with a hotshot Hollywood executive. So he did what he could, and left the pitch where he could be assured someone would see it.

Wilkinson took out a full-page ad in the upcoming November 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter and pitched right there on the page, outlining the plot of his own Die Hard: Year One. In Wilkinson’s vision, Bruce Willis’ hero John McClane gets back to the basics of the original film, a return to form following the over-the-top shark-jumping of the recent installments. Cross-cutting between McClane’s start with the NYPD in 1979 and 60-year-old McClane wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, the film acts as both origin story and sequel. Wilkinson makes a persuasive argument, and the clarity of his vision as well as the audacity of his pitch have begun to make waves online.

Word of this unusual pitch finally reached Willis over the weekend. Yesterday, as the curtain was set to rise on the stage adaptation of the Stephen King novel Misery in which Willis stars as the author taken prisoner by his biggest fan, a representative from THR asked Willis if he was aware of the pitch. He wasn’t, but that didn’t stop the rep from outlining the plot for Willis anyway. Willis made the dynamic following statement: “It seems far away right now… I don’t know.”

That’s about what one might expect from an actor with little oversight on the finished film, but it was Wilkinson’s response to Willis’ response (or lack thereof) that’s the real gem in this whole odd story. Upon hearing the news that Willis had caught wind of the pitch, Wilkinson gazed deep into the abyss and conceded: “I’m not going to hear from them… This is going to trend for a couple days, and then I’m going to go back to doing what it is that I do.”

So, uh, happy Monday.