‘Die Hard 6′ Writer Reveals Story Ties to Original Film & Returning Characters

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Die Hard 6 Nakatomi and Samuel L. Jackson Die Hard 6 Writer Reveals Story Ties to Original Film & Returning Characters

Earlier in the year we brought you the report that in light of A Good Day to Die Hard‘s box office success, the producer of the film had tapped up-and-coming screenwriter Ben Trebilcook (Knockout) to pen the sixth installment in the franchise, titled Die Hardest. At the time, the only real story detail we had was that John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be headed to Tokyo – but today, thanks to a new interview with Trebilcook, we have some interesting new facts about the film to share.

…The most interesting being Die Hardest‘s connection to the original Die Hard movie, as well as some returning character who could make an appearance (if only briefly).

What Culture spoke to Trebilcook, who dropped this tidbit about the premise for Die Hard 6:

Hmm, what can I say? What can I say? What am I allowed to say? OK, without spoiling too much, I can say that McClane is invited to Tokyo by the Nakatomi Corporation to be commended for his bravery and efforts in saving 36 lives, celebrating this on the 30th anniversary of the Naktatomi Hostage Crisis. It’s by no means Black Rain. Perhaps has a slight Rising Sun type tone. It’s also not a double-act buddy-buddy story. McClane began on his own and should end on his own. Of course he’s had assistance in various guises, aiding him in his ventures; but it’s not Lethal Weapon or a Jackie Chan film.

I think most Die Hard fans would agree that the best sequel so far has probably been Die Hard: With a Vengeance, a film that drew its plot directly from the events of the first installment. While that fun factoid may have no bearing (at all) on the chances for Die Hard 6 to be a success, the superstitious part of me wants to believe that it absolutely does. The fact that the premise of part 6 seems logical at all makes this a standout from more recent installments – and Trebilcook buys himself quite a bit of street cred with his statement that John McClane should be a solo act in his own movie – something we haven’t truly seen since the second film, Die Harder.

Die Hard 6 Die Hardest Die Hard 6 Writer Reveals Story Ties to Original Film & Returning Characters

Indeed, Trebilcook’s instincts about McClane seem pretty spot-on, as evidenced by his explanation of where Die Hardest finds the character:

McClane is a gunslinger. A now retired, worn-out, tired, busted and broken cowboy. Everything he’s been through has to be taken into account. Yes, it’s a movie, but he isn’t invincible. He was never Bond. That’s what was so appealing to me with Bruce’s character. He got hurt. I see the first one as a drama with elements of action. It took its time to set up the story and unfold great characters. I believe I got that and also what I call ‘the hose-reel moment’.

You know, when McClane, in the first Die Hard leaped off the building with a fire hose, before it went kaboom; in the second, he ejects himself from the plane when he’s surrounded by grenades and in the third, he’s shot out the tunnel, through the air with a gush of water. I’ve got that ‘hose-reel moment’, as well as that cringing ‘glass pulling from the feet’ type scene. Man, that gets me every time. Pursued by bad guys; does he face them and die, or retreat, barefoot, across broken glass? THEN picks out itty bitty shards from his cut feet.

That sort of reverence is a far cry from the generic superman version of McClane that we’ve come to know – and the reverence doesn’t stop at McClane, as Trebilcook reveals that he is also going to be tapping one of Die Hard: With a Vengeance‘s most beloved elements:

A few Japanese fans on Twitter put two and two together when I uploaded a picture of a Katana (Samurai Sword) with some kanji reading ‘Zeus’. Yes, I’ve written Zeus Carver in for Samuel L Jackson. Like I said before, it’s not a buddy-buddy script, but you can’t ignore him. Zeus played a major part in McClane’s life. They went through a lot together. They would certainly, without a doubt, still be in contact.

Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis in Die Hard 6 Die Hard 6 Writer Reveals Story Ties to Original Film & Returning Characters

For more from Trebilcook – including other returning characters, a different type of action, more story details, the tao of McClane and why HE may have invented Lara Croft – head on over to What Culture.


Die Hardest is still taking shape, with no announced plans for production quite yet. Stay tuned.

Source: What Culture

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  1. Full Circle han? Hope it is the Last One. The First Die Hard in my Opinion is One of the Best Action Movie ever Made. It is Time He Retires. :)

    • I am not at all liking this whole referencing the original film thing. That’s a 80′s and 90′s sequel cliché that made Die Hard 2 so hard to watch… I don’t really think it needs to retire, if they make them as enjoyable as 1, 3, and 4, I’ll keep watching them, lol. The “old bad-ass” thing still works now…

      • Actually I thought part 2 was the best of the sequels when watching them all again recently. Perhaps because it was the most like the first, which I thought was up there among the best action films of the 80s.

        • @Pyronaut

          I know it’s just personal opinion, but I think the 2nd was the least like the first one. The premise of the first one was actually somewhat believable. The premise of 2 was, not in the slightest, believable… A political prisoner being transported by a military aircraft landing in a civilian airport during the busiest travel time in the year? That by itself is unbelievable in many ways. First of all, why not Edwards Airforce base? There’s no way they would land in a civilian airport. Security issues alone would make that not at all a possibility, but on top of that, military air fields have longer runways, needed for many military aircrafts…

          Then the ability to patch into the airport’s network of computers from the outside?? Yeah, even before 9/11, there’s pretty much no way they can do that. It would have to be done internally…

          And then there was the scene with McClane shooting blanks at the chief of the police force in that airport with nobody shooting him dead for it… There’s no way for him to be surrounded by cops not loyal to him (since he’s the outsider) and none of them would open fire on him when he does that. They wouldn’t wait until after he’s done firing to see that the police chief is unharmed before making their move…

          Then even the “fire hose” scene this guy is talking about for Die Hard 2 being the grenade scene, I mean, it took those grenades like 45 seconds to explode…

          And the fact that they mentioned the Nakatomi incident in the beginning of the movie, and the fact that McClane keeps referring back to the first movie, even Bruce Willis himself said that he hated having to do that, and I can see why, it’s cheesy and obviously a “look, this is a sequel to that other movie you all loved!” gimmick.

          The only thing I can see that resembles the first movie is the fact that they both happen mainly at nighttime and mainly in one location. But honestly, those were not coincidences, the makers of that movie intentionally made those conditions similar just for the sake of the whole “this is a sequel to that great movie” gimmick I spoke about. I mean, really, Christmas, nighttime, confined to one area, they pretty much just tried to steal what worked for the first movie and rehash it all for the sequel.

          My personal opinion is the first one is the best, followed closely by Live Free or Die Hard (theatrical cut, the unrated cut is actually much worse, I don’t care what anyone else says, the cursing in the unrated cut actually seemed very forced and unnatural…), then Die Hard: With a Vengeance, then Die Hard 2 and A Good Day to Die Hard are kind of tied for last place. But that’s just my opinion.

          • I guess I meant more in tone and situation – as in, he found himself in a place where terrorists were attacking and he had to take it upon himself to fight them alone. You could probably find a lot of improbable things about first too, but I guess you gotta just let some things go.

            Yes, they’d probably shoot him if he was firing on the chief of police, but it has a lot more dramatic effect if he shoots at the chief instead of just saying “hey, look, I’m going to fire at the ground and you’ll see it’s blanks”. And yes, those grenades would probably have killed him by exploding sooner, but it was just so damn cool to see him eject out of a plane on the ground as it exploded.

            And just like you, this is my personal opinion, and opinions change. I remember liking the 3rd film a lot more first time I saw it (many years ago), but when I watched them in succession recently, I liked the second a lot more and parts 3 and 4 were just alright.

            • @pyronaut

              But that’s actually part of the problem. The second one was just rehashing things from the first movie. It was pretty forced that he found himself in the exact same situation at the exact same time of year…

    • I’m also hoping it’s the last one. Give it a somewhat graceful ending before people stop caring and think “not ANOTHER one”. Don’t drag it on far beyond its expiry date like they did with The Simpsons.

  2. Hm…Live Free or Die Hard was my personal favorite sequel. Some of the action got extremely over-the-top at times, but I found the plot to be very interesting. But I do enjoy all the sequels, except for the fifth film which was very disappointing.

    Anyway, I like the general idea of this plot. Could be interesting.

    • I loved Live Free or Die Hard. Justin Long made an awesome addition to McClaines sidekicks. This does sound good as well, even if the most recent Die Hard was absolute garbage.

    • wow LFDH sucked

      • *in my opinion.

        There, fixed it for you. :-)

  3. That’s encouraging stuff, but there have been so many attempts to recreate Die Hard since it came out that I’m not sold on doing it again. If the only way to capture that magic again is to basically recreate it, then maybe they should just let the original stand on its own.

  4. Ben Trebilcook (Kockout) sorry Kofi it was funny haha

  5. It’d be nice to have Alyssa Milano cameo as a nod to the fact that Die Hard was originally a sequel to Commando before Schwarzenegger pulled out and they rewrote John Matrix to become John McClane.

    Die Hard 4 was only disjointed because it was written as a techno-thriller in 1998 and pulled off the shelf in 2002 when they decided to turn it into a Die Hard movie.

    • To be fair, it was rewritten as a sequel to Commando from its original form, because their original plans for it didn’t work out. The character’s original name from the books was Joe Leland.

  6. This definitely sounds interesting to me. I’ve never seen A Good Day To Die Hard since everyone was saying it sucks, but I’ll watch is for continuity’s sake before seeing the last one. I’m glad to hear that Sam will be returning as Zues, even if it’s just a cameo. They should get Reginald Veljohnson back as Al Powell too. And of course his family should at least be apart of it in a small capacity.

    • I liked A Good Day to Day Hard. It’s a fun, no frills action romp with great set pieces and some nice one-liners and McClaneisms. What more do we need? The stories were always the weak spot of the franchise anyway, so this one fits right in. ;)

    • @JHP

      I wouldn’t say that it “sucked” but it was definitely one of the worst in the series. I would say it’s about tied with Die Hard 2… Ok, Die Hard 2 kind of sucked in my opinion, but I think that’s just comparing it to the other Die Hard movies (which sets the bar high) instead of compared to other movies in general…

  7. Can they please just stop now with the Die Hard films already.

  8. I can’t believe people still watch these films.

  9. If this is the last Die Hard film it will be a little bittersweet but the way he makes it sound I think this would be a good way to end the franchise but Im most likely wrong that they would end it all cause money is likely to be made from it. I bet when the movie comes out Bruce Willis will say its the last one so a lot of people will see it and then just like that they reboot it.

  10. So far the only sequel that I haven’t liked is the fifth one, which was REALLY bad. I just hope this one is at least as good as 2-4.

    Some of the ideas sound pretty cool though. Bringing it full circle and bringing Sam Jackson back, that sounds awesome. I hope it’s good :)

  11. Seems like he gets the fact that John Mclane is a normal guy, not an invincible superhero (die hard 4/5). Still shocked the Bruce Willis himself let the character get so ridiculous.

  12. I do want to know what will happen to Jack. I throughly believe that Die Hard 5 was not any of the actors fault, just the writing. I really want them to find a way to fit him in. I really want Jai Courtney to have a career!

  13. I hope to God that Fox reconsiders “Die Hardest” as a title. There is no shame to slap a Roman numeral on the film to avoid the stadium wave eye rolls and groans that will immediately follow the end of the first trailer.

  14. Well if it is what they said that’ll be awesome to see it full circle(Espeically since Willis has stated the sixth will be his last) as for the BEST sequel of the bunch I think the 4th was the best but that’s me. I hope though this sixth can redeem it’s self after the travesty that was Die Hard 5

  15. i personally loved the last die hard. ppl that didnt need a chill pill

    • Or you’ve taken too many chill pills…

      • +1

  16. As long as it’s better than A Good Day to Die Hard, holy cow that paled in comparison to the previous entries

  17. the last DIE HARD sucked. I would like to see both Sgt. Powell and Zeus in this one and maybe the son of Hans Gruber seeking revenge for both his father and uncle

  18. Sounds cool, but you better have Carl Winslow as the cop! He was his best buddy, on the outside anyhow. He still went through solo, but he was the ever important moral support. Gotta have him involved.

    • hahaaa flashbacks with that Carl Winslow

  19. Are you people retarded? Die Hard With a Vengeance was an unfinished piece of s***. It’s the WORST movie in the series. Do they do drug testing at Screen Rant? If not, implement it now. That movie was so stupid it was beyond belief. It was the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of McClane films. Oh, we’ll jump into the water as an 80,000 ton ship full of SCRAP metal blows up. We’ll slid down metal wires and nothing will happen to our hands. It had ONE good scene, the elevator. Other than that, it was crap. Die Hard 2 is the best sequel. Not this piece of cinematic turd pie.

    • Um, no. The worst Die Hard film is publicly the 5th, and to me, the 4th. 3 was just pure awesome.

    • Before you insult us, learn to read, buddy:

      “I think most Die Hard fans would agree that the best sequel so far has probably been Die Hard: With a Vengeance,”

      That’s a statement about general fan opinion. For me Die Hard 2 was the best sequel. And please don’t try to argue implausibility, because ejector-seating out of an exploding plane is pretty implausible.

      Thanks for playing.

    • “Rob” is a strange name for a lady.

  20. yes yes yes for SLJ’s Zuez having a cameo! That would be awesome. The last Die Hard was underwhelming tbh…

  21. The last one was awful, probably one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time, Die Hard is all about Willis and the strength of the movie rests on how much effort he puts in. Willis has clearly been phoning in his performances for years, he clearly doesn’t care about movies anymore and just wants the paycheck, for me he is like all these stars that won’t just bow out on a high, for me Eddie. Murphy never made kids films, De Niro never made Rocky and Bulwinkle and Michael Jackson is still black

    Bruce Willis gave up and passed away after Surrogates flopped, shame

  22. Hans Gruber’s son?

  23. It sounds like it’ll be a great final installment.

    • Yes it will really be….Make it awesome….Make it R-rated..Even NC16 in Singapore….
      Yup,make it exactly 2h and 30 mins to complement this up….

  24. No love for Die Hard 2? The Die Hard’s go in order of their release, IMO. Die Hard 1 was and will always be best action movie of all time, DH2 was the second best of the series, DH3 was third best, and so on.

  25. It should take place in one building just like Die Hard 1.

    Have his son and daughter there (with Justin Long)… and his wife. Cameo in the cop (Urkel’s dad) from 1 and Samuel L.

    And yes, make Son of Gruber the big bad.

  26. are you kidding me another die hard even do a good to die hard was good

  27. Agreed…..I am surely agree with the Nakatomi plot….
    Hopefully,I would really want to see Justin Long reprising the role of Matt Farrell,who is apparently working with the law enforcement,in which Bowman(remember him from Live Free or Die Hard?)would be his boss…Also,Lucy McClane,his would-be wife and gf would cut her hair to a shorter bob for a fresher look as a lawyer-in-training…
    Yes,I also agree 100% that we would see Hans Gruber’s son as the main villain along with Tzi Ma as crooked Joe Takagi’s younger brother who is currently head of Nakatomi,secretly in cahoots with the Yakuzas with one Asian Karl Vreski,and since Trebilcook says his script links to the first 3,we would likely to see most likely a traitor in ratherly Farrell’s midst,revealing as Col. Bill Stuart’s youngest son,who is also happened to be Thomas Gabriel’s younger brother and Irina Komarov’s childhood sweetheart…Yup,Powell too as LA police chief and Zeus Carver,surely return as NY chief city engineer…Not forgetting Holly who is missing presumingly and in the end held captive in the midst…She is also CEO of Nakatomi too……Lastly,I really like if Len Wiseman would direct the final one…

  28. Just watched Die Hard #4 & #5, which I had never seen before. For a mindless adventure/action flick, they were OK. I am sure I will watch #6 as well, so I can say I saw the whole full circle.

  29. I remember Bruce Willis saying after Die Harder, that #3 should be called “Die Hardest” and that John McClane should die in it. If they’re calling this one “Die Hardest”, then McClane should die.