Mark Millar Die Hard Pitch

The Die Hard franchise is in a bit of rut. The last installment in the series, A Good Day to Die Hard, not only completely missed the appeal of John McClane (Bruce Willis), but it was also just a bad movie. For the next sequel, Die Hard Year One, Fox has decided to take a different approach by bringing back director Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) and setting part of the story in 1979, showing how McClane became the cop we all know.

A few days ago Eric D. Wilkinson, a producer and writer of indies, took out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter with his pitch for the next Die Hard, which comic book writer Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) has now expanded upon.

Read Mark Millar’s Die Hard pitch after the jump.

Wilkinson’s idea is simple: a 60-year-old John McClane is wrongfully convicted of a murder. While the wisecracking cop is in prison, a riot, orchestrated by a terrorist organization, breaks out. The story would also cut to 1979, showing McClane’s younger days.

Wilkinson’s heart is in the right place. He simply wants a good Die Hard movie, as we all do, and he took a chance by posting his ad. Will anything come of it? We’re 99% certain nothing will, but it’s actually not a bad idea. However, I don’t think anyone has a burning desire to see John McClane’s origin story. Just let him be John McClane.

Comic book writer Mark Millar is a fan of Wilkinson’s idea, though. He posted some thoughts on the pitch over at his site (via Hollywood News). Here’s the direction he would take the story in:

To get McClane in this high-security prison much faster and much more smoothly how about he’s arrested as he comes off a Christmas flight and he has no idea what the Hell he’s being charged with? He’s been busted under a Homeland Security provision, the last twenty five years of his life having him involved or certainly at the centre of…

The attack on the Nakatomi building
The terrorist incident at Dulles airport
The bomb-threat to New York City
Die Hard 4’s cyber-terror threat
And, more recently, whatever actually happened in Die-Hard 5.

I think the genius of Die-Hard is staying simple and getting him into that situation as quickly as possible. It’s a third act spread over THREE acts. If this is any help to anyone they are more than welcome. [Producer] Lorenzo’s [di Bonaventura] a pal of mine and producing Jupiter’s Legacy so I’m going to shoot this over to him too as I’d love to see that guy get this gig. This is a movie I just want to see.

It’s certainly generous of Millar to support Wilkinson. After all the conversation that Hollywood Reporter ad has sparked, surely someone at Fox read the pitch. Wilkinson’s story certainly sounds like a better film than A Good Day to Die Hard, but then again, most movies sound better than A Good Day to Die Hard.

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