You know how whenever somebody brings up Sylvester Stallone’s long-running Rocky films, it’s only a matter of time before someone else says, “Yeah, but the fifth one sucks”? That’s the sort of feeling that greets A Good Day to Die Hard, released in 2013 and, coincidentally, the fifth in the Die Hard series. But in the same way that Stallone offered up an apology of sorts with Rocky Balboa, Bruce Willis appears to be wanting to do the same with the newly-retitled McClane (from the original Die Hard: Year One).
Directing is Len Wiseman, who did a pretty great job with the fourth film, Live Free or Die Hard, from a script by Chad and Carey Hayes, writers of The Conjuring. And then, more importantly, the focus seems to be very much on character. In an exclusive interview with EmpireOnline, producer Lorenzo diBonaventura noted, “You can tell our intention by the fact that the title page we handed in says, McClane. We want you to get invested in John McClane more than ever before.”
The film is inspired by an eight-issue comic miniseries written by Howard Chaykin that told of the early exploits of a young McClane. The idea of both is to tell a story of the past that’s intercut with the present-day version of the character. As such, it serves as both a prequel and sequel to what’s come before, though one point Lorenzo makes is that anyone thinking Bruce’s role is a small one would be mistaken. Admitting that he doesn’t know how you could really make a Die Hard movie without the actor, he notes, “The idea that he’s not very sigificant in this movie is not accurate at all. We are going to explore John McClane in his twenties, but just as prominent is the 60-year-old version.”
And we are going to explore McClane through his previous film appearances by providing the following guide to, and behind the scenes look at, every chapter in the series — scroll down to see!