By: Kofi Outlaw
Earlier in the year we brought you the report that in light of A Good Day to Die Hard‘s box office success, the producer of the film had tapped up-and-coming screenwriter Ben Trebilcook (Knockout) to pen the sixth installment in the franchise, titled Die Hardest. At the time, the only real story detail we had was that John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be headed to Tokyo – but today, thanks to a new interview with Trebilcook, we have some interesting new facts about the film to share.
…The most interesting being Die Hardest‘s connection to the original Die Hard movie, as well as some returning character who could make an appearance (if only briefly).
What Culture spoke to Trebilcook, who dropped this tidbit about the premise for Die Hard 6:
Hmm, what can I say? What can I say? What am I allowed to say? OK, without spoiling too much, I can say that McClane is invited to Tokyo by the Nakatomi Corporation to be commended for his bravery and efforts in saving 36 lives, celebrating this on the 30th anniversary of the Naktatomi Hostage Crisis. It’s by no means Black Rain. Perhaps has a slight Rising Sun type tone. It’s also not a double-act buddy-buddy story. McClane began on his own and should end on his own. Of course he’s had assistance in various guises, aiding him in his ventures; but it’s not Lethal Weapon or a Jackie Chan film.
I think most Die Hard fans would agree that the best sequel so far has probably been Die Hard: With a Vengeance, a film that drew its plot directly from the events of the first installment. While that fun factoid may have no bearing (at all) on the chances for Die Hard 6 to be a success, the superstitious part of me wants to believe that it absolutely does. The fact that the premise of part 6 seems logical at all makes this a standout from more recent installments – and Trebilcook buys himself quite a bit of street cred with his statement that John McClane should be a solo act in his own movie – something we haven’t truly seen since the second film, Die Harder.
Indeed, Trebilcook’s instincts about McClane seem pretty spot-on, as evidenced by his explanation of where Die Hardest finds the character:
McClane is a gunslinger. A now retired, worn-out, tired, busted and broken cowboy. Everything he’s been through has to be taken into account. Yes, it’s a movie, but he isn’t invincible. He was never Bond. That’s what was so appealing to me with Bruce’s character. He got hurt. I see the first one as a drama with elements of action. It took its time to set up the story and unfold great characters. I believe I got that and also what I call ‘the hose-reel moment’.
You know, when McClane, in the first Die Hard leaped off the building with a fire hose, before it went kaboom; in the second, he ejects himself from the plane when he’s surrounded by grenades and in the third, he’s shot out the tunnel, through the air with a gush of water. I’ve got that ‘hose-reel moment’, as well as that cringing ‘glass pulling from the feet’ type scene. Man, that gets me every time. Pursued by bad guys; does he face them and die, or retreat, barefoot, across broken glass? THEN picks out itty bitty shards from his cut feet.
That sort of reverence is a far cry from the generic superman version of McClane that we’ve come to know – and the reverence doesn’t stop at McClane, as Trebilcook reveals that he is also going to be tapping one of Die Hard: With a Vengeance‘s most beloved elements:
A few Japanese fans on Twitter put two and two together when I uploaded a picture of a Katana (Samurai Sword) with some kanji reading ‘Zeus’. Yes, I’ve written Zeus Carver in for Samuel L Jackson. Like I said before, it’s not a buddy-buddy script, but you can’t ignore him. Zeus played a major part in McClane’s life. They went through a lot together. They would certainly, without a doubt, still be in contact.
For more from Trebilcook – including other returning characters, a different type of action, more story details, the tao of McClane and why HE may have invented Lara Croft – head on over to What Culture.
Die Hardest is still taking shape, with no announced plans for production quite yet. Stay tuned.