Die Hard 6 is still in active development, director Len Wiseman has confirmed. The project was first announced by Wiseman back in 2015, and the story will be a prequel/sequel hybrid. The prequel side will find young John McClane as a beat cop in 1979, while present-day McClane – once again played by series star Bruce Willis – will have to deal with a threat from his past.
Fan reaction to the movie’s concept has been mixed – to put it mildly – with many questioning the logic of the prequel aspect. What made McClane such an intriguing, relatable hero in the original Die Hard is that he’s just an ordinary cop who's never been in such an extreme situation before; retroactively bolting an origin story onto the character feels like a bad move.
While the project has been quiet for awhile, Wiseman confirmed to Deadline that Die Hard 6 is still very much in development. While the role of young John McClane has yet to be cast, the director knows the right actor will be key to the movie working.
"The right casting for this role is crucial. Those bare feet have some very big shoes to fill."
Wiseman also spoke of his plans for the film in a past interview, and why he feels the need to explore McClane’s past.
"For sure, because he can’t be the superhero… It’s a delicate balance of giving you a sense of what started McClane, because McClane when he comes into Die Hard 1 has a lot of emotional baggage, baggage in general moreso than a lot of our other action characters in the sense that he’s already divorced. He’s got an incredible chip on his shoulder. He’s bitter. His captain hates him, doesn’t want him back in New York. What caused all that? Why was he already that guy?"
Longtime fans will probably remain skeptical of the project for now, which is following 2013’s A Good Day To Die Hard – a film that many feel was the nadir of the franchise. Also of concern is Bruce Willis’ general lack of passion for movies in the last few years. He looked bored out of mind the last time he played McClane in Good Day, and many of his recent performances have been lackluster cameos in straight to VOD action movies. However, the recent trailer for his remake of Death Wish was seen by many as the start of a big screen comeback for the star.
If nothing else, Willis seems excited by the prequel/sequel idea, saying it's a neat concept. Hopefully, his enthusiasm for the project is a harbinger of its good quality and the Die Hard franchise - once the standard of what action cinema should strive for - can bounce back and deliver another thrilling installment.
Die Hard 6 currently has no release date. We'll keep you updated on the latest information.