Fox is seeking to place producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (RED) and director Len Wiseman (Underworld) on board to develop an origin story of sorts for Bruce Willis‘ fictional alter ego John McClane tentatively called Die Hard: Year One. The plans will make it so that Willis can be able reprise the character that launched him into the movie stratosphere back in 1988 with the original Die Hard by offering bookends to the movie.
The story will follow McClane as a New York City cop in 1979 and we will get to see what events lead to him becoming the invincible hero that he is in the previous five Die Hard installments. The story came as a stand-alone spec script for Fox, but the studio is hoping to convert it into the Die Hard universe- a similar course that occurred with Die Hard: With a Vengeance, the third entry in the franchise. If plans work out, Die Hard: Year One would mark the sixth in the franchise overall.
Wiseman previously directed the 2007 entry Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth in the series and the one that helped revitalize the dormant franchise (Die Hard: With a Vengeance opened in the summer of 1995). Wiseman’s film was well received with critics and audiences, only to be soured with the fifth entry, 2013’s A Good Day to Die Hard. John Moore (Max Payne) directed that feature which saw Willis’ John McClane teaming up with his son (played by Jai Courtney, Unbroken) on a mission in Russia. While critically savaged (remember the first Die Hard film earned four Academy Award nominations back in 1988), A Good Day to Die Hard still managed to earn upwards of $300 million worldwide.
While Willis isn’t officially on board yet, reports say that he is being kept in the loop throughout the whole process. Di Bonaventura has worked with the A-lister in the past, which, presumably, may pose fewer obstacles for getting Willis signed on to this project.
We will stay tuned.