The upcoming Die Hard prequel, Die Hard: Year One, will feature a younger John McClane, and Bruce Willis will help cast the role himself. The character's estranged wife Holly Gennero (played by Bonnie Bedalia in the first two movies) is also expected to appear in the prequel.
Based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, the original Die Hard follows New York City detective John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) as he visits Los Angeles to make amends with his estranged wife Holly. His plan is to visit her during an office Christmas party, only to discover that she and her co-workers have been taken hostage by a group of German terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (played by the late Alan Rickman). Unbeknownst to the terrorists, McClane uses his skills to infiltrate the tower undetected in hopes of thwarting Gruber's plan and saving his wife. Now, a planned prequel will feature a younger John McClane prior to the events of the original Die Hard, and Willis will have a hand in choosing the actor who will take over the role.
Slash Film spoked with Len Wiseman (who directed Live Free or Die Hard and will direct Die Hard: Year One), and discovered that the prequel will feature Willis as McClane, as well as a younger version of the character through flashbacks. He explained that Willis will play an active role in helping choose the actor who will play his younger self, and also added that the character's estranged wife Holly Gennero will appear. In fact, Wiseman hinted at a possible family reunion, reuniting Bedalia and Willis with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jai Courtney, who played their children in Live Free or Die Hard and A Good Day to Die Hard, respectively.
While it has yet to be confirmed whether or not the prequel will directly follow the events of the limited eight-issue comic book series of the same name, Wiseman confirmed that Die Hard: Year One will take place in two different time periods: present day and the 1970s. In the comic book series, McClane is a rookie cop attempting to earn a promotion, while also contending with the violent Son of Sam murders.
While the first two Die Hard sequels are well regarded by fans of the series, the last two were criticized for thematically distancing themselves from the format of the original. That said, Wiseman appears to have learned from past mistakes, admitting Live Free or Die Hard suffered on account of a rushed production. So, on one hand, the Die Hard prequel has potential to mark a refreshing return to the franchise, but, on the other hand, it could turn out to be just as problematic as a day in the life of Die Hard's own John McClane.
Source: Slash Film
- Die Hard Year One / Die Hard 6 (2017) release date: