Len Wiseman is the man being tapped to helm the forthcoming fifth installment of the Bruce Willis-led Die Hard franchise. Plans for a sixth film have been developing since 2013 upon the release of John Moore’s A Good Day To Die Hard.
The film was tentatively titled Die Hard: Year One a few years later by Wiseman on Twitter upon news of the director’s deal with Twentieth Century Fox and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura for the film as a prequel set in 1979 focusing on a young iteration of New York City police officer Jon McClane. The Die Hard franchise launched in 1988 with each film adapted from respective novels, articles and screenplays, with the additional involvement of helmers such as John McTiernan and Renny Harlin. Wiseman would helm the 2007 installment that would also re-introduce McClaine’s all grown-up daughter, Lucy, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The most known draft for a sixth installment was a speculative script from screenwriter Ben Trebilcook whose story partly sees Willis once again caught in the wrong place at the wrong time – this time in Japan on the 30th anniversary of the siege of L.A.’s Nakatomi Plaza. “I can say that it actually feels like a Die Hard film;”, says The Action Elite‘s Eoin Friel who reviewed Trebilcook’s spec in 2014. “McClane doesn’t seem bored and finally has his personality back. Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) returns and so do several other familiar faces. It’s rated Hard R with McClane and Zeus firing expletives and abuse back at each other in classic Die Hard form. Yes, it is a sequel and acknowledges parts 4 and 5 exist, it is, however, like a continuation of ‘With a Vengeance’.”
Willis is currently the only actor reportedly set to return to the new film while further details remain pending on cast and other matters of studio level progress before more official trade news circulates.
The news also comes packaged with reports that Wiseman is shepherding a reboot of the popular action horror film franchise, Underworld onto television. The five-film saga led by actresses Kate Beckinsale and Rhona Mitra in their respective narrative stories began in 2003 m with Wiseman involved in some capacity (be it director or producer), telling of one woman’s integral means to advancing the end of a longstanding political and often bloody war between vampires and lycans.
Wiseman will executive produce the new TV reboot series via his banner at Sketch Films with Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Eric Reid, and Sony Television. (Deadline)