It's been a while since we heard any news on the rumored fifth Die Hard movie. However, sitting down with MTV in a junket to promote his upcoming action flick Red, Bruce Willis would amend some comments he made at Comic-Con about the film's "imminent" green light. Giving more of a clear status update on the project, Willis revealed that "imminent" may have been going a bit far, but the film is definitely still in the works, adding that "It's probably going to happen in 2011." After 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, fans were beginning to wonder if age was finally catching up with not only the film's star, but with the franchise itself. However, with the recent success of the The Expendables, whose sequel is expected to seriously upgrade Willis' role (and will hopefully have Van Damme,) the "old guys shooting and beating the crap out of people" genre is not going away anytime soon. So, where would a potential Die Hard 5 stack up in that field?
Earlier this year, rumors which have yet to be refuted, had screenwriter Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hitman) lined up as its scribe. As Willis would go on to say, "We have a script. They're making a couple changes right now." General speculation and fan sentiment seem to lean towards the series returning to its "one man army" roots with another claustrophobic thriller similar to the 1988 original film. Whether or not the mentioned re-working of the script is in reaction to that sentiment remains a mystery. However, there's just as much risk in going back to concepts in a franchise as there is to trying new things.
Does Die Hard 5 try to make lightning strike twice? Or does it yet again reinvent the wheel? Fans were divided on Live Free or Die Hard seeing it as a franchise, downgraded to PG-13, that's lost its original mojo with the cyber-thriller entry. Yet, at the same time, it could also be argued that it maintained that mojo perfectly and evolved it naturally, given the absurdity of a changing world that's both super-connected and alienated by technology. Character-wise, the ornery John McClane of Live Free was maintained as that same wise-cracking New Yorker who stormed terrorists at Nakatomi Towers all by himself with bloody, shoeless feet. The world around him was just radically different. As for the next film, can we realistically send him back into a similar situation as the first film, be it on a cruise ship (yuck, Speed 2 flashback,) luxury jet, or even the same building? Would fans buy that?
How are you feeling about a fifth Die Hard movie? What direction should it take?