Last week, we discovered that Live Free Or Die Hard director Len Wiseman was developing the idea of a Die Hard prequel that takes place largely in a “gritty” 1979 New York and shows how John McClane “became a die hard kind of guy.” (Never mind that the original 1988 film already told us how McClane became a die hard kind of guy, or that the point of the first movie was that he’s not really a die hard kind of guy, if, by such opaque phrasing, one means “badass action hero.”) And it was just a matter of time until Bruce Willis himself—the actor who starred in and then endorsed the lugubrious A Good Day To Die Hard—gave his blessing to the plan.
At the premiere of Rock The Kasbah on Monday, Willis told Entertainment Tonight that, despite all rational arguments to the contrary, a Die Hard prequel is “a good idea.” He then went on to call it both “a cool idea” and “a tricky idea,” which instilled hope in us that he was just listing adjectives before eventually arriving at “putrid” and “the worst.” Alas, Willis then re-established his position by saying, “I’m very happy about it.” (But did he perhaps mean, “I’m very sad about it,” or maybe, “I’m suicidal about it”?)
The only development of note here is that Willis said that the film is “going to bounce back and forth” in time, which sounds like there will be more Old McClane scenes than just the modern-day bookends we learned about last week. Perhaps what everyone has been reporting as a prequel is actually just an extended set of flashbacks meant to bolster Old McClane’s newest explosive conflict. Please let it be that. Let it be that questionable, Tokyo-based Die Hardest idea from a few years ago, only with a bunch of flashbacks where Joseph Gordon-Levitt dons his cartoon eyebrows and gives his best Willis side-smirk. Sure, news outlets are reporting that the new film is tentatively titled Die Hard: Year One, but that could be a misprint of Die Hard: Year Fifty. Really, the only thing stopping this Die Hard from sounding like a good idea are most of the words used to describe it.