Returning Characters and Franchise End in Next 'Die Hard' Sequel?

November 20, 2013
Source: WhatCulture

Die Hard

Towards the beginning of the year, John McClane (Bruce Willis) went to Russia for the mostly panned action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard, but shortly thereafter we heard that a sixth film was already in the works with the working title of Die Hardest. At the time, Ben Trebilcook was hired to write a treatment for a sequel that would take McClane from New York City to Tokyo, which made us think that it sounded similar to an unused spec script that the writer handed in to Fox for Die Hard 4. Well, the writer recently spoke to WhatCulture and he revealed tidbits of what he wrote including returning characters and more.

First of all, Trebilcook's spec script saw McClane's son working for the Nakatomi Corporation, the owners of the building from the first Die Hard. That detail would likely need to be changed in order to coincide with the events of the last sequel. When he was hired, Trebilcook said, "It is extremely faithful to the franchise and characters and is a natural progression. It's also a very plausible storyline. I feel it could be the Rocky Balboa of the Die Hard franchise." So just what kind of details are we looking at for what will be the sixth outing with John McClane? The writer says:

"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."

That one little tidbit implies that this would be the end of the series. Is that intentional? Trebilcook says, "Yes, I’ve written it as the last John McClane Die Hard adventure." And that means bringing back old characters and referencing the film that started it all. The writer explains:

"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 violent, but not over the top nor unnecessarily Looney Tune like Olympus. 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.’"

Trebilcook sensed that the interview wanted a taste of the unexpected and revealed:

"A few Japanese fans on Twitter put two and two together when I uploaded a picture of a Katana (Samurai Sword) 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, 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. A guy I know, Stel, wrote the '51st State' (aka 'Formula 51') with Sam the Man. I put the idea to him and he said Sam would probably love to have a sword in a movie; that’s how you could woo him. Let’s say I have a 'Better Tomorrow 2' vibe."

Since Die Hard with a Vengeance is probably the best sequel in the series, we're completely fine with Jackson being brought back in to play Zeus, but we're also wondering how he gets a hold of a samurai sword. So where do we find McClane in this final installment, especially after seeing that he's nearly invincible in the last two sequels. Thankfully, Trebilcook brings him down to Earth again for his farewell:

"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. Man, that gets me every time. Pursued by bad guys; does he face them and die, or retreat, barefoot, across broken glass? Then picks out itty bitty shards from his cut feet."

Of course, we're not sure if we'll end up seeing this version of the script on the big screen. After all, the previous Die Hard films have all gone through several script iterations with details changing dramatically between drafts, and when he was hired, Trebilcook said:

"There are many hurdles to leap yet and two of those are called Bruce Willis and [producer] Alex Young. Producers might go back and find some other source material to base the next one on, like they did with the first and second."

If Trebilcook's script isn't used, let's hope it at least lays the groundwork for a solid end to the franchise (if Fox will even let them end it here). Oh, and just for good measure here's two more fun tidbits. The writer says this version of Die Hardest has "probably the best 'Yippie Ki Yay' one could ever hope for." And for those who have been wondering where the hell Bonnie Bedelia (Holly Gennaro McClane) has gone, Trebilcook adds, "McClane is of retirement age and his ex-wife would definitely be retired, but hang on. Didn’t Holly work for Nakatomi? Yippie ki yay." For tons more from the writer, head over to WhatCulture for their full interview. Stay tuned to see how this all plays out as the sequel develops. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Development, Movie News



I don't mind another die hard on two conditions. 1. It's the last one they do. 2. It's at least as entertaining as number 4.

Jon Odishaw on Nov 20, 2013


A good day to die hard is the worst movie I've seen this year in the theatres ... its an embarrassment ... ROC

cabo on Nov 20, 2013


DIE HARD in Japan? Alright. But yeah, make it better than the last one.

DAVIDPD on Nov 20, 2013


Wow I am really impressed with the direction Trebilcook is going into. I really hope they consider his script. Next thing to worry about is the director which Fox will probably cheap out on once again. A Good Die To Die Hard was an embarrassment to the franchise. As long as the next one gets back to it's roots it will be fine. A conclusion would be great too.

Charlie Hard on Nov 20, 2013


I think 5 would have been better with an interesting villain. It's failures were just in the story for me, the action hit pretty hard, I think. Maybe I'm only remembering the long car chase though.

OfficialJab on Nov 20, 2013


The last movie was one of the worst films of this year..........and they're making yet another sequel?! Hollywood is an absolute embarrassment.

gbpackertime on Nov 20, 2013


Another? Maan, really is hard to die

toonfed on Nov 20, 2013


that actually sounds dope.

Linkfx on Nov 20, 2013


It's impossible to believe in this series any more after the lazy 4 and totally crap 5. How the mighty have fallen... 🙁

SV7 on Nov 20, 2013


Really? I love 4. 5 wasn't outstanding, but I like it more than 3.

OfficialJab on Nov 20, 2013


Yikes! Each to their own I guess. 5 was one of the worst movies I've ever seen in the cinema. It was a mess to a mind boggling degree. I love 3, even though it has some flaws, it's such a kick-ass movie. 4 was a wasted opportunity.

SV7 on Nov 20, 2013


$ was really fricken good! But I don't require him to say fuck every other sentence. 3 was good until it switched gears and got bogged down into the mud. 5 I have not seen yet so no comment. But really 2 was the worst one.

Jimmy Love on Nov 20, 2013


But I love 2! The three of us should avoid getting stuck in a room together.

OfficialJab on Nov 21, 2013


Die Harder is way more DH than any of the other sequels.

cobrazombie on Nov 22, 2013


Yeah Die Hard 2 lets do the exact same thing over again! But this time with less appealing characters and more dennis franz ( I'm surprised he didn't show his ass!)

Jimmy Love on Nov 22, 2013


I love where Trebilcook is going with this but I must confess, I'm jealous! I've been working on what one might call a glorified fan script. I have no connections in Hollywood nor do I have representation, but a good idea is a good idea. If we don't have our dreams, than what do we have? I would hope that Fox would end the franchise with a bang rather than a whimper and A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD was...A whimper! Not only was it a bad DIE HARD movie, it was a bad action movie! I hope McClane gets the swan song he truly deserves. Be it Trebilcook's vision, someone else in the industry, or an unknown like me. Just don't let it end with A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD! Have a look at this. It includes art work, a teaser trailer, and other little odds and ends;

Adam on Nov 20, 2013


Surely he'll die in the last one, his life seems terrible anyway.

Carpola on Nov 20, 2013


If they want to end the franchise on a good note, John McTiernan is required.

grimjob on Nov 20, 2013


John McTeirnan now is the problem as George Lucas is for Star Wars!! Don't you understand that! As a producer is one thing but it needs more dynamic energy with his spirit within the next film executive producing the essence of anew Die Hard film but new directorial energy injected into the franchise... But the RIGHT energy!

Hyper Nova on Jul 30, 2015


No. McTiernan or nothing.

grimjob on Jul 30, 2015


I love em all! I dont care if Bruce makes another 5 more die hards, i'll continue to watch em. Bruce Willis is the tits!

Such heroic nonsense on Nov 21, 2013



Hyper Nova on Jul 30, 2015


Is John Mctiernan out of prison yet, if yes get him to direct it, parts 1 and 3 are the best ones imo.

Steven Elliott on Nov 21, 2013


Again, Die Hard 2 was pretty impressive! It doesn't needJohm McTeirnan at the helm to make it a good watch!

Hyper Nova on Jul 30, 2015


I'd pretty much given up on the idea of getting another good Die Hard movie, but this treatment sounds really good. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that it puts an awesome cap on the franchise and then we can all pretend that 1, 3 and 6 were the only 3 movies. GET JOHN MCTIERNAN BACK TO DIRECT

Buttass on Nov 22, 2013


What's wrong with Die Hard 2? Die Hard 3 was fucking stupid! Just a bunch of people shouting over each-other... A convoluted mess! They wanted to be on a cruise liner but Underseige put-paid to that!....

Hyper Nova on Jul 30, 2015


Why can't the Nakaomi Corperation own an entire, modern-day, top-of-the-line cruise liner. And right now FORGET the obvious Speed 2 reference. Take the first Die Hard film and the Nakatomi Corporation's building, turn it on its side and you effectively got a giant, ocean-going skyscraper situation on the water! For added complication, let the ship get caught up in the siege of the Panama Canal with Mexican cartels involved and you have Die Hard 2 crossed with Beyond The Posideon Adventure and towards the end the whole top deck can explode while McLane jumps free into the waters below!!!

Hyper Nova on Jul 30, 2015

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram