Whether you like it or not, director Len Wiseman is making a Die Hard prequel, tentatively titled Year One. Though many conclude the story of John McClane has run out of gas, Wiseman thinks there’s more to tell.
Speaking with Collider, the filmmaker gave us a peek at what to expect in the origin story, including Bruce Willis’s involvement. Yes, the movie will take place years before the original Die Hard and, yes, a young McClane will be played by a new actor but Willis is still involved.
What’s the inspiration for the film? Says Wiseman:
“After doing the fourth one, there were so many conversations that Bruce [Willis] and I were having about what he put into the character for Die Hard 1. That character comes in with so much baggage, emotionally, and experience. He’s already divorced, he’s bitter, his Captain hates him and doesn’t want him back. So, what created that guy?”
The classic “what created that guy?” question that has spawned so many origins. But there’s more. Here’s Wiseman framing the film as a doomed love story:
“We’ve never seen the actual love story. We know its demise, but we’ve never seen what it was like when he met Holly, or when he was a beat cop in ‘78 in New York when there was no chance of him making detective. It’s always been something I’ve been thinking about, and now we’re doing it. And it ties in.”
Many Die Hard fans were already very, very cautious about this production and these quotes will probably only worry them more. It’s not that John McClane shouldn’t have love in his life but is that enough of a reason to make a prequel? John McClane became the John McClane we know and love on that fateful night in Nakatomi Plaza. Fun as he is, this isn’t a character whose past many are dying to explore.
Apparently Bruce Willis is on board though. Wiseman says Willis is in the movie and not just as a “cameo bookend gimmick.” He says he’s come up with a clever way to work modern day McClane into the origin story, dubbing Year One a “prequel/sequel.” Again, this seems unlikely to calm the worries of Die Hard fans. All you can do it cross your fingers and hope it’s not as painful as stepping barefoot on broken glass.