Five movies in, it’s a wonder that the concept of a back-to-basics prequel hasn’t received more attention in the past. Across the franchise’s run, each Die Hard installment has been so focused on out-doing what came before it in the action department that the core spirit of John McClane – a reluctant hero who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time – has fallen by the wayside.
Yes, over the years, Bruce Willis’ cocksure character has definitely been through the wringer; from infiltrating the Nakatomi Plaza to scrambling across Manhattan in rush hour traffic in order to diffuse a series of explosives. Out of all the franchise’s outings, though, it was 2013’s A Good Day to Die Hard that seemed to sound the death knell for the bombastic action series – less of a yippee-ki-yay! And more of a what the Hell was that?
Nevertheless, the studio’s pushing forward with Die Hard 6 and now, we have an official title for the film. Speaking to Empire, producer Lorenzo diBonaventura revealed that the next installment will be known as McClane. As he tells the outlet, the intention here is clearly to place a bigger focus on the titular character, rather than the over the top action.
“You can tell our intention by the fact that the title page we handed in says, McCLANE. We want you to get invested in John McClane more than ever before.”
The producer also confirmed that Willis is indeed returning and will have a large role to play in the film, saying:
“I don’t know how you do Die Hard without Bruce. The idea that he’s not very significant in this movie is not accurate at all. We are gonna explore John McClane in his twenties. But just as prominent is the 60-year-old version.”
So, Bruce Willis may be set to reprise as the quick-witted reluctant hero for Die Hard 6, but given the general apathy felt by many fans following A Good Day to Die Hard, it remains to be seen whether this next installment can truly turn the franchise’s fortunes around.