die hard story

/Film has been following the development of McClane, formerly titled Die Hard: Year One closely. Originally, rumor had it that Bruce Willis would only appear in the beginning and end, to pass the torch to the younger McClane in flashbacks. In 2016, weeks after posting the title Die Hard: Year One on social media, director Len Wiseman told /Film that Willis would be in the whole movie. This year, Wiseman told us that a younger Holly McClane is in the script, with a present day reunion between the older characters possibly in the cards.

Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura was especially surprised Wiseman had talked about Holly when we spoke with him about the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee. Di Bonaventura wanted to keep the Holly details close to the vest. However, he would discuss another aspect that has been a sticking point for Die Hard fans.

Wiseman directed the only PG-13 Die Hard movie, Live Free or Die Hard, where McClane’s iconic catchphrase had to be muffled by a gunshot. Although Live Free or Die Hard was a hit, fans felt it wasn’t right to make the franchise family-friendly. Di Bonaventura won’t make that mistake again. He wants McClane to be rated R like the rest of the series.

“I hope so,” Di Bonaventura told /Film. “Look, I’m not in charge of that. Would I prefer it? Absolutely.”

There is a lot more to making a good movie than a rating. 2013’s A Good Day to Die Hard was rated R, but Die Hard fans were also unsatisfied by that film. Even though McClane could drop F-bombs again, he didn’t feel like John McClane, with all of the cavalier destruction of civilian vehicles in Russia, and his seemingly superheroic powers. He was far from the vulnerable everyman of the original films. But it’s promising that the filmmakers involved with McClane value the original tone as a place to start.

The premise for McClane is that a present day case makes 60-year-old John McClane (Willis) reflect on his 20-something rookie days. Holly will factor into those rookie days, as well as some other Die Hard favorites.

“Part of what McClane is is to get to know the mythology before the movies started,” Di Bonaventura said. “So that’s where we’re going to meet characters that we may know from before.”

Just don’t say John McClane had a high midichlorion count, okay?

We’ll bring you the full interview with Di Bonaventura before Bumblebee opens on December 21.

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