Die Hard is truly the franchise that just won’t die… hard. While the original came out thirty years ago in 1988, it’s gone on to be not only an action movie classic, but also a Christmas holiday favorite. It’s also noteworthy not just for its own sequels (of which this latest iteration will be its sixth), but for being credited for spawning a whole genre of itself.
Bruce Willis in 'McClane'
A sixth Die Hard has been reportedly been in the works for some time, but the big current news is in regards to its title and plot. In an interview with /Film, we learn that Bruce Willis is indeed back on board, but also that the film will be a prequel and will feature an extended plot with a young version of Holly McClane - Bruce Willis’ John McClane’s estranged wife in the original Die Hard.
It’s not out of the question for there to be a young John McClane too, which could mean Bruce Willis may get some of the same CGI magic which Scorsese is using on Robert De Niro in The Irishman. (Read the full article on that process here.)
The Die Hard Film Formula
However, while we may not much more about the plot of McClane, you can be certain that this next Die Hard will follow the film formula so expertedly laid out by its predecessors. It’s worth noting that Die Hard is not the first drama disaster film to be set around being trapped in a building. The Towering Inferno starring Paul Newman and Steve McQueen came out 14 years before Die Hard.
But Die Hard, with its cowboy motifs and 80s action, made it into a genre and formula of its own. In the years that followed, countless other “Die Hard but in a [blank]” movies hit the theaters, often to blockbuster results.
A shortlist would include Air Force One, Speed, Under Siege, Sudden Death, Passenger 57, Paul Blart, and Skyscraper, to name a few. Here’s a longer list put together by The New York Times!
For filmmakers looking to shoot action movies (or, you know, just use action scenes in their regular movies), here are some tips on How To Pull Off Convincing Action Scenes on a Budget, How to Write the Best Fight Scenes and 3 Things You Can Learn About Editing from Watching 'Die Hard’.