Bruce Willis to Retire John McClane after Die Hard 5 & 6

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:24 pm,

die hard 6 bruce willis retires Bruce Willis to Retire John McClane after Die Hard 5 & 6

The first three Die Hards were immensely enjoyable, thus the reason it was so disappointing to see Live Free and Die Hard cannibalize so much of what made them that way. Out was the brutal gun-violence, the hilarious smartassery, the fantastic antagonists, and in was the PG-13 videogame violence, the Kevin Smith jokes, and the computer programmer bad guy.

Recently, series star Bruce Willis confirmed that Die Hard 5 was on the way with a script by Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and today, Willis indicated that Die Hard 6 is on deck. What about 7, 8, 9, and 10? According to Willis, he plans to retire as John McClane after number six.

Check out the quote from Willis:

“In the next few years, they could easily find a replacement for me or call the character someone else. But for me, I want to do Die Hard 5, then one final Die Hard movie — Die Hard 6 — before finally hanging that white vest up for good. At the moment, I can run and I can fight on screen. But there will come a time when I no longer want to do that. That’s when I’ll step away from the Die Hard films.”

Is it too much to ask that one or both of these movies randomly take place around the holidays? I’m not even asking for 5 or 6 to take place on Christmas, like 1 and 2, but what about Thanksgiving? It could be the Planes, Tranes, & Automobiles of the Die Hard series.

die hard planes trains automobiles Bruce Willis to Retire John McClane after Die Hard 5 & 6

I smell a franchise!

Willis also revealed that the infamous “Yipee ki-yay (et cetera)” line was something he ad-libbed:

“Take the first Die Hard, I was the one who came up with the line, ‘Yippee ki-yay motherf****r!’ The producers were trying to give me their take on how I should say a certain line at that point in the movie, and I disagreed. […] So they said, ‘You do it’. So I did. Yippee ki-yay was some goofy thing that cowboys used to say in those movies, so I added the ‘motherf****r’ bit as I thought it was a nice, contrasting combination of the two images. And it worked. That expression’s really stuck around, that’s for sure.”

Not that I don’t trust Willis implicitly, but I would love to see this little on-set anecdote confirmed by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. DeSouza, the writers of the original Die Hard.

die hard movies Bruce Willis to Retire John McClane after Die Hard 5 & 6

Despite the fact that I was, shall we say, less than satisfied with the fourth Die Hard, I’m really looking forward to number five (and number six, for that matter). I’m not one of those fans who gets disheartened by a bad sequel or two: I’m the type who gets extremely frustrated and yearns for the filmmakers to redeem themselves.

Take Indiana Jones and the Kindgom of the Crystal Skull, for example—I would honestly love to see an Indiana Jones 5, sans Shia LaBeouf, in hopes that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg can undo some of the damage that they did with number four. I mean, it’s not like the series can get any worse, right?

What are your feelings on the Die Hard franchise? Do you want to see it end with Die Hard 6, or would you prefer to see the series go on in perpetuity without Willis attached? Maybe by the time 6 is being developed John McTiernan (director of 1 and 3, my personal series favorites) will be out of prison and ready for a third Die Hard go around.

Bruce Willis fans can currently see him kicking ass in Red alongside Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich.

Source: Showbiz Spy

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  1. nice 5 and 6, is the man

  2. I can’t see doing it with anyone but Bruce. If he’s done at 6, so am I.

  3. Why not stop now, Bruce? The last movie was terrible.

    • i found it very entertaining :) and thats all a john mcClane movie needs to be!

      • sorry that comment was meant for the guy above your comment

    • i have to respectively disagree with you on that one. Live Free or Die Hard was even better than the 2nd and 3rd movies.

  4. I’m with you. This isn’t like James Bond where there’s more movies than actors. Bruce is John Mclain and I have to say that he seems to die harder and harder in each movie judging by those pictures. Diffinitly love the older Bruce to the young Bruce.

  5. Would they think of killing him off? I would honestly love to see that. Maybe a nice quiet passing of sorts.

    None of this im retiring crap. Have it truly end with Willis.

    • Aknot, that would be fine with me, its not like a Bond franchise where just anyone could fill his shoes :)

  6. bring back the R, lose Long, get some as good as McTiernan, and im sold

    • I don’t know that we’ll see a return to the R rating – PG-13 didn’t seem to hurt it too much.

      Inflation-adjusted US and total worldwide grosses for each of the films:

      Die Hard: $160MM / $272MM
      Die Hard 2: $220MM / $452MM
      Die Hard 3: $183MM / $669MM
      Die Hard 4: $155MM / $443MM


      • you just had to go break my heart there didnt you Vic lol.

      • But if you look at that, the three R rated ones are the highest grossing. It did hurt it. It isn’t far behind #1 (domestic), but once it established a name and was still R, it dominated world wide too.

  7. I didn’t mind Long, but bring back the R. Bring back Jackson!! He can take a break from the Avenger films and kick some ass again with John. I don’t mind 5 and 6. I didn’t mind 4 though. Just maybe scale it back some and bring back the R.

    I don’t mind the killing him off in the end of 6. Would be interesting to see how they could do that. I have a feeling though that most wouldn’t like that.

  8. Eh. I think he should stop at 5. And i want rated R this time.

    • Are you allowed to see R rated movies without adult supervision?

      • hahahaha

        • All too easy…

  9. its just not the same without the F-bombs we’ve come to get from McClane. i know Vic disagrees with me on that but its just a staple of the character.

    • Anthony,

      I don’t disagree with you. What I said was that in the last movie, in the unrated version the language didn’t feel natural, like it was part of the flow – it felt tacked on.

      And I’m surprised they didn’t include the Yippe-kay-ay MFer line in there since it seems to be a MPAA rule that you can have one f-bomb in a PG-13 film.


  10. to answer the question can i see Die Hard with anyone other then Bruce? NO, but will we? YES you know we are abd 6 will bring him in another young cop with a chip on his shoulder and will be some up and comer or maybe Sam Worthington lol im sure like me we will all be pissed and curse the studio’s who make it

    • not if the character is killed off we wont see anything like that happen

      • I’ve heard that he would be partnered with an up and coming smart mouth cop. Sort of a minime of McClane. At some point in the movie, the new partner will get beat up pretty bad and spend the rest of the movie in the hospital…until the end. McClane is about to kill the bad guy and says, “Yippie ki yay…” and the bad guy is shot by someone off screen. Voice says, “You talk too much” and McClane is shot. The camera pans over and there is a hooded man in a red and black jumper and he turns to the camera and says, “What’d you expect? I’m Deadpool, B****!”

        Okay, so I just made it up

  11. more movies need to be R. Adults are the ones buying all the tickets anyways and there is enough kids stuff out there so pump out more adult stuff please hollywood.

    • KanTstandYa,

      Actually PG-13 movies tend to make a LOT more money than R-rated films.


  12. I completely disagree with the first paragraph in this article. I thought the new Die Hard was a fantastic movie and one of the best action movies ever. And Die Hard 2 was a terrible movie that was nothing more than a cheap knock of the first movie. The foolish Al Powell cameo, having John’s wife in distress…again. Such a terrible movie.

    • I agree about Die Hard 2. I disliked it when it first came out, and was unhappy. I watched part of it again for the first time it years a couple of weeks ago, and it truly is terrible! My girlfriend and I did get some enjoyment out of laughing at how bad it was…

      As for the Die Hard 4, I wasn’t a huge fan, but I think I was less judgmental of it due to the nostalgia factor.

    • I don’t adore Die Hard 2: Die Harder or anything, but it’s an enjoyable movie. The action is brutal and top-notch. Very Die-Hard-esque. Despite how ridiculous it is in a couple “typical action movie” ways, it’s incredibly fun, in my opinion. The reason it’s better than 4 is it is, through and through, a Die Hard movie. If you hadn’t told me Bruce Willis’ character was John McClane in Live Free, that could’ve been any generic action movie circa 2007.

  13. I agree with the first half of what Mike stated above, the 2nd Die Hard film was abysmal. The third was absolute brilliance but the 1st is still definitely the best. Live Free or Die Hard, while I enjoyed it, destroyed the very essence of the films and the character by replacing the gritty realism with visual un-realities. I mean John McClane on a fighter jet!? REALLY!?
    Granted I have no brilliant ideas for a fifth film but I would not be against re-teaming him with Sam Jackson since they have unbelievable chemistry on-screen.
    However, for a 6th film I’d like it to be a final-mission-esque situation where he’s ready to retire but chooses to undertake this last guy (someone he’s been chasing for a long time perhaps, another Gruber?) maybe even sacrifices himself to save New York or whatever the situation is.
    I don’t care about the rating as long as he can say the line in it’s original form. “Yippee ki-yay Motherf***er” that is all I ask.

  14. The more John McClane, the better. I’ve enjoyed all the movies, even the 2nd one and the last film. I don’t think we’ll ever see them rated “R” again, Anthony. PG-13 allows a larger audience to see the films in the theater…especially since you KNOW the next 2 will be in 3D. Oh, and they BETTER not recast John McClane or “reboot” this franchise. Bruce IS John!! It would be like recasting Indiana Jones!

    • doesnt matter Andy, underagers get into R rated movies easier than th3y get into bars these days.

  15. I disagree with the person who wrote the article ( I could scroll up and check but then i would lose my ranting rhythm, although whilst writing this little aside I could have easily checked…anyhow…),I loved Die Hard 4.0, well the dvd cut anyway.

    And kill Mclaine off at the end. Why not?

    • i’d love too see him killed off lol. better than the role be given to anyone else.

      • This is Hollywood we’re talking about. Who says killing McClane would stop them from bringing him back with a replacement? “Ha ha! I didn’t really die after all! But I was horribly scarred, so now I’ve had plastic surgery, and I just happen to look like Ashton Kutcher now.”

  16. What do you all have against Die hard 2???? Its not that bad for the love of god!!!! Its a damn sight better than 4! That was just silly,and did´nt feel a Die hard movie to me. He could have had a different name and it would have been another alright Bruce Willis action flick. 16 Blocks even felt more like a Die Hard movie than that I thought.

    • i prefer 4 to 2, renny harlin killed that movie

  17. die hard 7 = lucy his daughter now i would call that sexy seeing her kick a$$

  18. Then what the hell was RED all about? He retired already (sort of.)

  19. I love the Die Hard Series, The only thing I ask for 5 and 6 is simple…R Rated! I want full on John Mclane, Yippie Ki-yay.

  20. If you’ve seen the unrated version of Live Free or Die Hard,
    it has all the things Die Hard that we loved about the originals,
    It’s almost completely different in terms of tone because all the blood and language was previously censored.
    That’s what I think anyways, check it out if you haven’t already

  21. I would love to see Bruce in action again with sequels to the movies that really brought him up top. I just hope that after he does retire those films that they don’t make any more movies relevant to Die Hard, I hate it when they make movies with different characters involved instead of the original ones.

  22. I find it kind of funny.
    “Just two more,And I am done”

    • I know right! Like he’s about to hang it up any minute now lol.

  23. Maybe he could discover his long-lost son in 5, who will become his “partner”, then he could actually “die” in 6 and his tradition carried on in his son in 7, 8 etc. … I don’t know … whatever will keep the movies flowin’ until the interest dies.

    • long lost son? lol oh brother

  24. Ok, shoot both films back to back. Set up some terrorist plot, and find some way to bring back the Gruber name, end part 5 on a cliffhanger then kill him off in a heroic fashion at the end of part 6.

  25. @Ben

    You may not have liked Part 4 but by all measures that fiscally count, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD was the biggest success of the lot. Even if you take into adjusted dollars , DH4 still did very well by more then tripling its budgeted cos, that’s not something many films can lay claim to especially these days.

    I don’t know what it is so many seem to have found dissatisfying about DH4 but enough people did like it to make it a financial hit.

    • well seems like you are basing ticket sales on whether people liked it or not. just because it did well at the box office doesnt really mean everyone came out of the theater satisfied, it just means a lot of people were hungry enough for McClanes return.

      • @Anthiny,

        You make a good point however when you look ath the weekly breakdowns the movie did well after it had been out long enough for folks to heard about how good or bad it was. the ilms domestic gross was 134.6 Million. Opening weekend was $33.3 Million, just about 1/4th of its total DOMESTIC take. It saw a %46.9 drop the next weekend which meant $17.7 Million which isn’t that unsual for a film.

        For the next 4 weeks the movies brought in over $1 Million each week with the breakdown being: Week3 = $11.2 Mil; Week4 = $7.1 Mil; Week5 = $5.6 Mil & Week6 = $2.1 Mil.

        So for 6 weeks it stayed above the 1 Million mark which is not the sign of a bad movie, not when its in the middle of the Summer and competing with the other big releases like TRANSFORMERS which released when DH4 was in week 3 of its release. Even if you didn;t like TRANSFORMERS (the first one) it was a big winner at teh box office and serious competition for anything else released around that time especially anything that had been out already for a week or 2 when TRANSFORNMERS was released.

        I know this box office record isn’t the top one of all time, but it does show a solid perfromer in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD.

      • Forgot to mentyion that the week after TRANSFORMERS released, HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX was released. Thats 2 big competitors to go up against.

        While TRANSFORMERS was pulling in $37 MIl in week2 and HP & THE PHOENIX was pulling in $77 Mil its first week, LIVE FREE still maanged to piull in $11.2 Mil that same week.

        In my mind thats a prettyu good record when compared to the comptetaion. I of course also liked Live Free or Die Hard and so I admit I might be a little biased.

      • Aorry to not put this all in one post but I did not realize just how big a Summer 2007 was till I started looking at what DH4 had to compete with.

        Here’s a list of what was released SUMMER of 2007 (May – Sept) and while more then just a few were dissapointements all were highly anticipated. And the below are just the ones that broke 100 Million (I may have one or 2 wrong so bear with me) and does not include the highly anticipated that bombed and did not make moeny like SHOOTEM UP.

        SPIDER MAN 3
        SHREK The THIRD
        SURFS UP
        OCEANS 13
        RUSH HOUR 3

        Summer 2007 was certainly a big SUMMER.

        • I guess I don’t get the point you’re trying to make. Many of the movies you list actually made bank but were utterly terrible, including Spider-Man 3, Pirates 3, and The Simpsons movie. Aren’t you proving how little it matters–with regard to quality–that a movie made money?

          • you call pirate 3 and spiderman 3 utterly terrible? theres a reason they made that much money, they were entertaining. maybe not as good as the first ones were but they were far from utterly terrible.

            • My take on that situation is a little different. The studio perception that name recognition and reputation count for something and that it can substantially carry a movie to profitability isn’t as flawed as some wish. Unfortunately or fortunately people often want to see for themselves whether or not a movie lives up to critical judgment. Besides, plenty of people will attend a favorite situation of the past even if the current story is flawed. It could be for a variety of reasons too, including such mundane ones like a patron has simply seen everything else playing that they have even the remotest interest in. The real test I feel is the follow on sequel to a lousy sequel of a franchise. Is the franchise strong enough to take a hit in the story or acting department and still bring the box office dollars? That’s the question that needs answered for a number of those franchises BlueCollar lists…

  26. Went and saw “RED” today and quite frankly It’s not the “Die Hard” name recognition that keeps me coming to the theater but the story and Willis, and to a lesser extent who plays with and off of him. After four it’s kind of late in the game for them to recognize this, but if the formula is stale why continue to use it? The point being you can branch out and make a much wider, maybe even a more appealing story by not having to tie yourself to the whole McClane mythos. “Red” is a good example of this. That doesn’t mean another McClane story can’t be good, though I don’t know how much stock to put into a Skip Woods script. The Wolverine script didn’t wow me. It just seems if Willis is bringing his action career to a close he would search high and low for the most interesting and best action stories to be made, and not worry so much about whether it must be a “Die Hard” script. Certainly want to see him back in the “Expendables” sequel, so we can’t burn him completely out yet…

    • @TheOldMan,

      So did you like RED within its own and not as a Die Hard tie-in?

      • ^
        Hey BlueCollar, actually yes in the theater it felt easy to leave the McClane character behind. Over the years I’ve seen the original “Die Hard” numerous times, in this story Bruce’s character seems a little more mythological. Playing off veterans of Ernest Borgnine’s, Helen Mirren, and Richard Dreyfuss experience, though sometimes brief, was fun to see. Though Mirren as a shooter seems a little far fetched if you live in a big city and have frequented the firing range of late, you’ve no doubt seen plenty of nice looking ladies packing plenty of firepower. Least me and a buddy of mine have anyway. And really it’s actually less over the top than some of the McClane stunts but then not quite as entertaining in an alpha male sense.

        Karl Urban playing another heavy wasn’t as old as I thought it would be and I actually popped in my copy of “Chronicles Of Riddick” just to see the comparison. He’s shaping up into a leading man of note himself and I’m looking forward to his performance as Judge Dredd more and more. Plenty of action, story, and a couple of places Bruce rarely goes as an actor, plus a good ensemble cast that have each carried films on their own really punches this film up a notch…

  27. I agree with many others here – I wouldn’t go see a “Die Hard” film with anyone other than Willis. There’s no involved back story to the character. McClane’s only defining characteristic is that Willis has made him what he is. Anyone replacing Willis would either have to imitate him – which would likely suck – or would have to redefine him.

    The Bond character has evolved. Connery was tough with a wink. Moore was all wink. Brosnan was a tough wink. And Dalton and Craig were tough with just a hint of a wink. But they were all portraying a character that was well established before their involvement, and that was surrounded by the same framework of characters and situations.

    John McClane, on the other hand, seems to be all Bruce Willis, in the same way that “Dirty Harry” was Clint Eastwood. You could portray either of them with other actors, but then why bother to call them “Die Hard” or “Dirty Harry”? Take Willis or Eastwood out of the picture, and it’s just another action film. (To illustrate it in the opposite way, they could have made Eastwood’s “Tightrope” or “The Gauntlet” films into “Dirty Harry” chapters just by changing the character’s names to “Callahan”.)

    If you’re going to make a “Die Hard” movie, but put Sam Worthington or Justin Timberlake in it, do them a favor and just don’t call it “Die Hard”. You’ll only be raising the bar too high. There’s only one Bruce Willis.

    PS: No more sidekicks! They pulled it off with Jackson. Leave well enough alone. Because you know the next one will be Megan Fox….

  28. I liked the fourth film better than the third. The first one is in it’s own league though! Number two was pretty decent actually. I’d have to have a great plot to be great though. We all know McClane, so for it to be interesting the plot has to be great. And please, no more killing Helicopters with cars. What made the first one great was that it was realistic even though it shouldn’t be, if you get my point.

  29. I liked all the Die Hard films but the 4th felt water downed compared to the previous films. It’s tied with Die Hard 2 to me liking. But id like to see a Die Hard 5 & 6 but hopfully the next two films can be rated R. And when it comes time for McClane to retire after the 6th film, id like to leave the franchise end there. No Replacment, and hopfully no reboot. Like Stallone did with the 4th Rambo film, id like to see the Die Hard franchise end great.

    • WallyWest,

      That’s a good way to put it… watered down IS how it felt.


      • @ Vic

        Thanks Vic.

        • wally, i knew there was a phrase ive been looking for as a way to describe DH4, nice job man:)

          • @ Anthony