‘Die Hard 6’ Being Developed as a John McClane Origin Story

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20th Century Fox

Great news if you’re a Die Hard fan, disappointing news if you aren’t a fan of the more recent sequels: Die Hard 6 is officially in the works, with Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman returning to take Bruce Willis’ John McClane on another action-packed adventure. But the current plan for the next installment in the franchise is to take it back in time, with Die Hard 6 serving as a prequel of sorts.

One of the biggest complaints about the Die Hard series is how much it’s digressed from its simple roots. The first Die Hard film centered on Willis’ McClane, a tough New York cop who foils a terrorist plot in a corporate building at Christmastime. Since then, McClane’s endeavors have escalated to near-unreasonable acts of action heroism, transforming him from a clever street cop into a superhero.

According to Deadline, Die Hard 6 may turn things around and take the series back to its roots — literally, perhaps, as director Len Wiseman and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura are searching for a screenwriter to develop a prequel story that will center on McClane in 1979 New York before the events of the first film. The movie would feature a younger, grittier version of the action hero, and ideally tell the story of how McClane went from a street cop to the badass protagonist in the 1988 film.

But where does this leave Bruce Willis? The report suggests that the plan is for Die Hard 6 to have bookends featuring the older McClane — whether those segments would involve McClane facing a new mission or simply recalling his history remains unclear, but it seems unlikely that Willis would sign on to reprise the role if it left him so little to do.

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