Ever since it was revealed that the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, would include one new major character in the form of John McClane’s son, rumors have been circulating about who might be up for the gig. Now a new report has surfaced claiming that the studio and director John Moore are getting closer to casting the role. They’ve apparently narrowed down their options to just four actors: Aaron Paul, James Badge Dale, D.J. Cotrona, and (because no casting search is complete without him, apparently) Liam Hemsworth. More details after the jump.

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The Die Hard 5 news continues Thursday. We recently learned that the film, directed by John Moore, would be called A Good Day To Die Hard and released February 14, 2013. It’ll focus on John McClane, once again played by Bruce Willis, heading to Russia to get his son out of prison which then escalates into some kind of massive terrorist threat. With the McClane’s son seemingly the second lead and possible torch-bearer for the franchise, it surely will be a sought after role.

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The fourth sequel to Die Hard — a movie I’m not convinced that anyone really wants to see — has gone through a few permutations, as Die Hard sequels tend to do. The last director was Noam Murro, who dropped out earlier this year when he was hired to direct 300: Battle of Artemisia. When he bailed, Max Payne director John Moore was quickly mentioned as a possibility, even as further shortlist options were said to include Joe Cornish, Justin Lin and Nicolas Winding Refn. Reportedly, Gary Fleder, Paul McGuigan and Mikael Hafstrom were also approached.

John Moore has made basically his entire feature career at Fox with films including Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix, The Omen and Max Payne. Now we’ve got confirmation that he’ll work with Tom Rothman once again to bring John McClane back to the big screen in Die Hard 5. Read More »

The potential Die Hard 5 excitement level is going up and down like an express elevator from Hell. For months we’d just assumed that Noam Murro was going to direct the inevitable next chapter in the Bruce Willis action saga, but when he signed for 300: Battle of Artemisia, it looked like the job was going to John Moore. Now, mere hours after that news broke, it turns out that’s only a half truth. Moore, who directed Max Payne, The Omen, Flight of the Phoenix and Behind Enemy Lines is still in the mix, but he’s reportedly on a short list with the, no offense to Moore, much more exciting directors including Joe Cornish, Justin Lin and Nicolas Winding Refn. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Earlier this year, we reported that Noam Murro (Smart People, those Halo: Reach commercials) had been hired to direct Die Hard 5. More recently, however, Murro was chosen to helm 300: Battle of Artemisia (formerly titled Xerxes), and the demands of that project have forced him to drop Die Hard 5. But the project appears to still be on track– 20th Century Fox hasn’t wasted any time finding a replacement, and has already put an offer out to a new director. Meanwhile, the first details for the plot of the new film, scripted by Skip Woods (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), have been revealed. Hit the jump for more info on the director and the plot.

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On Monday we heard about a couple sci-fi pitches that had been picked up by studios, with the general box office success of Battle: Lost Angeles probably not hurting that process.

Now two more have been picked up. Fox grabbed a new story idea from Jurassic Park III writer Peter Buchman, and Paramount grabbed the new pitch from Brian Miller, who wrote the low-budget ‘found footage’ sci-fi thriller Apollo 18. What little info we have on each is after the jump. Read More »

John Moore to Direct Final Orbit

Final Orbit art
John Moore will direct a big screen adaptation of the graphic novel Final Orbit, produced by Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator series, Aliens, The Incredible Hulk). Moore was an Irish commercial director who became a feature filmmaker with Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix, The Omen, and most recently Max Payne. The graphic novel, which was originally slated for release by Platinum Studios Comics in early 2009, still is unavailable.

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Seems premature to be giving Taylor Lautner multi-million paydays based only on New Moon, doesn’t it? The film did amazingly well, and he became an instant heartthrob, but how much of that was Lautner and how much was just Twilight? Impossible to tell until he’s in a non-Twilight film or two. Which is why he’s being courted left and right for new films, including Max Steel and Cancun.

Before those get a chance to get off the ground, however, he’ll earn $7.5m to star as Tom Cruise‘s son in Northern Lights, a film that sounds like Top Gun, Jr. Read More »

A PG-13 rating can open a film up to a wider audience than an R-rating, making a big box office take just a tad more attainable. It’s not a huge mystery, then, why Max Payne director John Moore is none too pleased with the MPAA’s decision to give his upcoming film, Max Payne, an R. In a recent interview with Das Gamer, John Moore, who is apparently trying to cut the film down to qualify for a PG-13 (its original target rating) expressed some of his frustration, saying:

We’re suffering from what I call Batman blowback. The Motion Picture Association of America gave The Dark Knight a PG-13 rating and basically sucked Warner Bros. cock…The MPAA changes their rules willy-nilly and it depends on who’s seeing your actual movie at the time. It’s very difficult to get a hold on what’s acceptable. The only thing you can use is current standards. So I go and see The Dark Knight and I say, “Gee, that’s pretty gnarly for PG-13,” but I felt good about Max Payne after coming out of the theater. I thought Max wasn’t going to have a problem. And that’s not the case. They’re coming down on us pretty hard.

Moore goes on to say that the MPAA’s inconsistencies are really coming back to haunt the organization:

[The MPAA] really hung themselves with The Dark Knight. Every other filmmaker in town is knocking on their door saying, “Please sir, may I have my PG-13 rating and be as fair to my movie as you were to The Dark Knight.”

Be sure to head over to Das Gamer to read the rest of the interview.

I am very sympathetic to Mr. Moore’s plight and I couldn’t agree more about the MPAA’s horrendously inconsistent guidelines and its shameless kowtowing to big studios. But The Dark Knight? Really? The movie was certainly dark and Two-Face’s makeup/CGI job might have been a bit too intense for some of the young ones, but the movie was almost completely bloodless and very few deaths (Joker’s “magic trick” being the most notable exception) are shown on screen. This was actually one of my original complaints about the film: By not going full-bore with an R-rating, it didn’t have the flexibility to fully and visually explore the horror of some of Joker’s crimes.

Until Max Payne comes out, we wish Mr. Moore the best in his battle to get his film the rating he thinks it deserves. But in the meantime, what do you guys think of Moore’s remarks?

Discuss: Should “The Dark Knight” have been rated R? Or did the MPAA really fellate Warner Brothers, as Moore describes?

via Kotaku

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Max Payne Trailer #2

Even Bruce Wayne is beginning to think Max Payne will be a sizable hit and worth seeing. A new theatrical trailer for Fox‘s video game adaptation contains even more shots of the hypnotic angels-of-death that continue to puzzle the games’ followers. We learn herein that the winged beings are referred to as “valkyries,” and reward people who “die in violence.” Clarification, meh. Backed by the vocals of Marilyn Manson (our second reference today, k), the new trailer better emphasizes a brooding, escalatory tone that plays the right notes of fanboy nihilism. Also present are the high-charged visuals that wowed our staff at Comic Con. For a PG-13 video game gun-porn flick with many doubters, my latest impression? For what it is, Max Payne clicked.

Current comparisons online to the R-rated, totally cheeseball Hitman are predictable and warranted, but the confidence expressed in the press by Mark Wahlberg and John Moore—once attached to X3—doesn’t seem like a contractual shill-routine to me. This trailer’s vague mix of occult imagery and organized crime recalls past genre fare like The Crow and middling efforts like End of Days, and Constantine, but there’s also the sense that TDK‘s rating boundary-pushing was a real inspiration. And, c’mon, Mila Kunis firing a machine gun is equal doses ridiculous and hormone-tickling. I hereby move my chips over from Punisher: War Zone to Max Payne; admittedly, this is not a major gamble, but Payne does feature Ludacris in a fedora. Hope I’m right.

Max Payne opens on October 17th.

Discuss: Will Max Payne be a hit? What’s your impression of the final theatrical trailer? Is it cool or stupid or both? Are the valkyries symbolic or real?