Yep, despite the lackluster reception that
greeted super cop John McClane's last adventure LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (I'm not
calling it by its insulting, dumbed-down UK title), Willis is pressing on with
a fifth entry into the increasingly absurd action franchise. The story this
time around? McClane vs. Russia.
Some good news - Len Wiseman will NOT be returning to helm the movie. Which means that anybody taking the directorial reins on this one has every chance of saving this franchise by dialing down the more outlandish action sequences - chucking cars into helicopters, fighting an F-16 - and returning the character of John McClane back to his rightful 'everyman' status of the original. After all, that's what made DIE HARD interesting in the first place. While admittedly fun, LIVE FREE was not a DIE HARD movie.
So who will take over from Mr Kate Beckinsale? Seems that there's already a shortlist, and there's one or two surprises. Let's examine the candidates shall we?
* Justin Lin, he of the FAST & FURIOUS fame (he directed 3, 4, and 5).
* Danish writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn - who is currently garnering a lot of praise for heist drama DRIVE.
* John Moore, who last gave us the staggeringly dull MAX PAYNE in 2008.
* The UK's very own Joe Cornish, whose debut movie might have caused a lot of heated debate amongst Starburst staffers, but is going down a storm in the States.
Obviously it's Cornish who comes as the biggest surprise initially, but when you consider the projects he's already been attached to outside of BLOCK - he wrote TINTIN for Spielberg and ANT-MAN for Marvel Studios - it's not as outlandish as it seems. As much as I had issues with BLOCK, they were with Cornish's screenplay, not his ability as a director. It was an assured debut, and I've no problem picturing him calling the shots on this. But it's highly unlikely. I'm sure Cornish would rather follow the career of his peer Edgar Wright as a writer/director. And since Skip Woods (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE *gulp*) has already delivered the screenplay for DIE HARD 5, there's little wiggle room for a future auteur to really leave their mark on something like this.
As for Lin, also unlikely due to his previously reported involvement with FAST 6, and the TERMINATOR reboot. Also, it would be futile switching Wiseman for somebody with such a similar aesthetic.
Personally, I'd like to see Nicolas Winding Refn handle this one - it'd be a very different direction for the franchise, but like I said earlier, that's exactly what McClane needs right now.
But if this turns out to be another 12A certificate, family-friendly DIE HARD - I'm going to have to think hard and long on whether I can put myself through it.
Who am I kidding. I'll be there opening day regardless.
What say you guys? Who would you like to call the shots on DIE HARD 5? Do you even want to see a DIE HARD 5?! Let us know with your Comments below!