'Die Hardest' Writer Reveals New Details on John McClane's Last Ride

Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:28 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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'Die Hardest' Writer Reveals New Details on John McClane's Last Ride

Like its indomitable hero, the Die Hard series has been beaten, bludgeoned, shot, and knocked around way past any reasonable point.

Yet, just like John McClane, the Die Hard franchise trucks on, whether we want it to or not.

Even after the forehead-slapper that was this year's A Good Day to Die Hard, another installment is virtually guaranteed at some point.  Screenwriter Ben Trebilcook has revealed some of the big ideas and story details involved in his proposed Die Hard 6, aka Die Hardest.

Back in 2007, when the franchise returned after a twelve-year hiatus with Live Free or Die Hard, Bruce Willis himself declared his intention to make a total of six installments in the grand saga of a widecracking New York cop-turned-indestructible superhero.  Even though A Good Day to Die Hard represented a commercial franchise low Stateside, grossing just $67 million domestically, the Russian adventure grossed $237 internationally, so 20th Century Fox still has plenty of incentive to drag McClane through the mud one last time.

In April, word emerged that A Good Day to Die Hard consulting producer Larry D. Webster had tasked British screenwriter Trebilcook with writing a Die Hardest script, one that would take our hero to Tokyo, Japan.

In an interview with What Culture, Trebilcook said of his proposed storyline, "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."

Sounds like the writer is keen on paring things down but also leaving open the possibility of returns for the likes of Bonnie Bedelia and Reginald VelJohnson.

If Die Hardest isn't a two-hander, it would be the first in the series since Die Hard 2 not to pair McClane with a sidekick, from Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard With a Vengeance all the way up to Jai Courtney in the last entry. 

Speaking of Sam Jackson's Zeus, though, Trebilcook revealed that the character could participate, saying, "My story, being set in Japan, obviously has Nakatomi playing an extremely significant role; in a way that.. well, it’s John McClane in Japan and if you’ve seen any Japanese movies or at least know anything about their culture at all, you know it would have a lot of potential to be nuts. It’s not Ichi The Killer, but it is crazy and as real as you can get in these realms.  It’s well researched, faithful to the franchise, yet giving a possible audience such a refreshing punch to the face, they’ll be saying ‘Wow. I really wasn’t expecting that.’ You want a nugget, don’t you? I’m pretty sure it’s out there. A few Japanese fans on Twitter put two and two together when I uploaded a picture of a Katana 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," he continued. "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."

While A Good Day to Die Hard demonstrated a consistent misunderstanding of pretty much everything that made John McTiernan's original so great, Trebilcook explained, "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."

Despite all this talk, Trebilcook hasn't actually been locked down by 20th Century Fox to write the sequel.  Until that happens, this speculative. 

Asked about the status of Die Hardest and his screenplay, he replied, "It’s in some very cool people’s hands and the talent who has read it so far is a boost enough, but saying the positive comments about my script is something else. Who knows? This business is exactly that, a business. Businesses are fickle, so positive thinking and a great deal of Trebilcook flag waving is still called for."

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. - See more at: http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/die-hard-6-screenwriter-shares-some-details-on-how-he-is-bringing-john-mcclane-back-to-basics#sthash.NgBYSE1n.dpuf
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.
Read more at http://whatculture.com/film/die-hardest-screenwriter-ben-trebilcook-exclusive-interview-everything-need-know-die-hard-6.php#2WWpVT8T9VflGKqC.99
It’s in some very cool people’s hands and the talent who has read it so far is a boost enough, but saying the positive comments about my script is something else. Who knows? This business is exactly that, a business. Businesses are fickle, so positive thinking and a great deal of Trebilcook flag waving is still called for.

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