Die Hard 6 is apparently not only happening, but looks to be taking things to the Land of the Rising Sun. It is being reported by Total Film that the next big-screen barrage of butchery and one-liners of Bruce Willis' John McClane has procured a screenwriter in Ben Trebilcook and that that the Tokyo-set sequel is tentatively titled Die Hardest.
The London-born Trebilcook, though bringing a relatively thin scriptwriting resume, is currently working on what is reportedly a video-game-themed project featuring real martial arts stars called Knockout. It was through this project, that Trebilcook came into contact with Larry D. Webster, a consulting producer on the latest Die Hard film, A Good Day To Die Hard, apparently leading him to procure the task of penning this sixth "wrong place at the wrong time" film.
While the script is still reportedly in its treatment phase, the Total Film report was apparently able to extract some brief details in discussion with Trebilcook and Webster. According to Webster:
“It is extremely faithful to the franchise and characters and is a natural progression. It's also a very plausible storyline.”
However, besides bearing the task of completing the script, Trebilcook will have to do the inevitable dance of catering to a number of impending industry variables that will affect his final product. Nevertheless, the writer seems to be proud of what he has on the burner and even makes a bold declaration as to where it will ultimately stand in the context of the entire legendary Die Hard series. According to Trebilcook:
"Getting Larry's support was great, but there are many hurdles to leap yet and two of those are called Bruce Willis and [producer] Alex Young. [There's] the possibility producers might go back and find some other source material to base the next one on, like they did with the first and second. Mine though, I feel it could be the Rocky Balboa of the Die Hard franchise."
While this past February's A Good Day To Die Hard did manage to bring the unapologetic action one would expect, it was also quite apparent that the franchise's best days were firmly in the rear view mirror. Filled with an overly-irate father-son dynamic, predictable gags, and an equally cliched "American tourist" schtick emanating from Willis amongst the Russian backdrop, the gimmicks clearly dominated. (Despite a nice third act plot twist.) Conversely, the plot of Die Hardest, reportedly takes Willis from his home of New York to the new setting of lights and cultural oddities in Tokyo, where the majority of the film will take place. While the description sounds like we're simply moving John McClane's antics around the world again for cheap laughs, Trebilcook's qualification of his film being "the Rocky Balboa of the Die Hard franchise" speaks volumes, implying a complete reinvention of a tired series that goes back to its roots, while simultaneously moving it forward into a dignified, poetic close. -- As I said, a bold declaration.
While Die Hardest, or, as I would have called it, "John McClane Breaks Tokyo" certainly doesn't sound like anything that measures up to any kind of grandiosity, the newcomer scribe may very well be playing his cards close to his chest. Regardless, it does appear that we have more "yipee ki-yay" heading our way, which should still satisfy many fans.