Production is about to begin on the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise, bearing the punny title A Good Day to Die Hard. Bruce Willis will reprise his career-defining role as loose cannon, Irish-American cop John McClane - who's really a fish out of water this time around, as he ends up battling baddies overseas in Russia while also reuniting with his son Jack (Spartacus' Jai Courtney).
While there were rumors circulating a year ago that a member of the Gruber clan could be featured as the antagonist in Die Hard 5, that was long before any official plot details had been announced. Judging by today's casting update - which concerns what are believed to be the two primary villain roles in the movie - McClane and Son will be facing much more generic foes on their crazy trip overseas.
The most recent Good Day to Die Hard script draft penned by Skip Woods (Swordfish, Hitman) reportedly sees McClane travel to Moscow in order to get his trouble-making son out of prison. However, it turns out John and Jack are both being used as pawns in a global terrorist scheme - thus, forcing the estranged duo to (as Variety puts it) "team up to keep each other alive and protect the world from imminent disaster."
Parts for two sinister Russian characters named Komorov and Irina - who are almost certainly involved with the aforementioned terrorist plot in Good Day to Die Hard - have now been filled. The former role will be occupied by award-winning German actor Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Unknown), while Komorov's villainous female counterpart will be bought to life by Russian model-turned-actress Yulia Snigir.
As indicated before, Koch and Snigir's parts in Die Hard 5 read as being very basic villain archetypes, ie. a two-dimensional baddie and his lovely assistant, respectively. Combine that with John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Max Payne) sitting in the director's chair and it's all the more apparent: A Good Day to Die Hard could easily end up feeling like a pretty underwhelming addition to the franchise.
On the other hand: if Willis and Courtney's onscreen chemistry proves as entertaining as that between Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard: With a Vengeance, that could help to elevate the series' fifth chapter above the level of being a throwaway action movie followup. Such a turn of events would also help ensure that we get to see Willis saddle up as McClane for a sixth (and, according to the actor, final) time.
A Good Day to Die Hard remains scheduled to hit theaters in the U.S. on February 14th, 2013.