Die Hard

I don’t usually cover “wish fulfillment stories”. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, an interviewer at a junket asks a movie star, director or screenwriter if they’d ever do another sequel or remake of some popular movie. When faced with this question, the interviewee almost always says something like they’d love to do another one, if the story was right, and all the creative team came back. But lets be honest, thats the only politically correct way of answering that question. And the answer gets turned into headlines like “Richard Kelly Is Interested in Making a Donnie Darko Sequel!”

That said, MTV talked to Bruce Willis at the Cop Out junket in New York City and the actor says that not only would he like to do another Die Hard film, but “I think we’re going to do a ‘Die Hard 5‘ next year.” But what does that really mean? Is a screenplay in development? I’m not sure. I’m not sure there is any studio development on the project at all.   I’m not going to pretend like this story isn’t one step away from being a “wish fulfillment story”, because it is… But I still wanted to comment on it.

Willis also says the series has to expand in scope. The original film had John McClane “trapped in a building”, in Die Harder he was “trapped in an airport”, Die Hard With a Vengeance expanded the scope to “New York City” and Live Free or Die Hard expanded the threat to the United States. So as you might have guessed it, Willis says the fifth film would have to go further: “Well it’s got to go worldwide.”

I completely disagree. I think one of the things that made Die Hard such a great action film was the containment of the story in one building. Die Hard with a Vengence worked, but on an entirely different level (and to be fair, it wasn’t even written as a Die Hard script). Live Free or Die Hard suffered from the expansion in scope. It’s harder to believe that one guy can save the whole country, without huge help from the police or government agencies. If they do make a fifth Die Hard film, I’d love to seem them bring it back in a bit, contain it in a small location (Die Hard in a mall?), and bring it back to a character-driven plot.

Could the story work with McClane stuck overseas? Maybe. It would be easy to set him as the American who the Foreign government doesn’t care to work for…

Discuss: If they were to make a Die Hard 5, what should the story be about, and where should it take place? Do you agree with Bruce?

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