The Die Hard franchise might not be done with Bruce Willis just yet. The 65-year-old action star, whose last apperance as supercop John McClane was in 2013's A Good Day to Die Hard, may yet pull off one more big screen appearance in the role, if a new rumor is to be believed. Daniel Richtman, and entertainment journalist who has built his reputation on this kind of casting scoop and who lays out tips via his Patreon page, says Willis is in talks for a sixth outing as McClane, but offers nothing else in the way of specifics.
A planned Die Hard prequel, tentatively titled McClane, was cancelled after Disney bought 20th Century Fox and went through its list of upcoming projects with an eye toward trimming the budget. In that version, rumor had it Willis would appear as McClane, but only in a framing device, with a younger actor taking on the role of '80s beat cop McClane.
That project began its life as Die Hard Year One, which would have shared its name with a prequel comic from BOOM! Studios and writer/artist Howard Chaykin. The title shifted to Die Hard Origins before settling on McClane which, now that we come to think of it, basically means it loosely followed the naming conventions of a Wolverine solo movie.
The film would have supposedly brought back Willis as present day McClane, who would be working a case that somehow connects to his days as a 20-something rookie cop. As executive producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has previously explained it:
"I don't know how you do Die Hard without Bruce. The idea that he’s not very significant in this movie is not accurate at all. We are gonna explore John McClane in his twenties. But just as prominent is the 60-year-old version."
With Willis aging and the 2013 movie not especially well-received, Disney might find itself forced to choose between putting the franchise on ice, or recasting a role that is closely associated with one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Finding a way to give him a sixth installment might buy them time to figure out which of those is the lesser of two evils for a studio that seems to be struggling to figure out what to do with a lot of the IP previously owned by Fox.
Would you be on board for another Die Hard with Willis in the lead? Sound off below.