John McClane cannot be killed, and the same goes for the “Die Hard” franchise. Even though the series is circling the bowl creatively, going through the motions with barely any inspiration the last time out with “A Good Day To Die Hard,” Fox is determined to continue. And thus, “Die Hard 6” has been developing for a while now, and has morphed into “Die Hard: Year One,” a prequel that will take audiences back to the ’70s to learn about young John McClane. It’s a concept that already has the thumbs up from Bruce Willis. But most agree, it’s not what anybody wants to see from a “Die Hard” movie, but screenwriter Eric D. Wilkinson is doing everything he can to get some eyeballs on his pitch for the movie.
Eric D. Wilkinson, whose biggest film credit to date is a probably as a producer on the comedy spoof “Paranormal Movie,” put his treatment in a full page spread/open letter in the print edition of The Hollywood Reporter, addressed to Bruce Willis, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Len Wiseman, the trio shepherding the sixth “Die Hard” movie. The gist of it is that McClane gets sent to prison, accused of committing a crime he wasn’t able solve back in the ’70s. While on the inside, his wife comes to visit with evidence that could clear his name, but a riot breaks out, and McClane has to save the day, which will including tangling with some MIddle Eastern terrorists. Here’s the meat of it:
Former hero cop John McClane, 60 years old and beat to shit, is a convicted felon, being carted off to a Federal prison. Why?
Flashback to 1979, where 24-year-old New York City Patrol Officer John McClane is part of a team of cops assigned to investigate the murder of 6-year-old Ethan Peller, working under the direction of an up-and-coming Detective Stan Winshaw. Strong police work leads McClane to suspect possible sex trafficker Clarence Sutton, who mysteriously vanishes moments before McClane can make the arrest. The rule-breaking McClane and his superior Winshaw butt heads. The trail goes cold and the case is never solved. When McClane makes unprovable accusations about Winshaw he is transferred to the city’s bleakest division.
34 years later, Detective John McClane takes a personal leave and heads to Moscow to help his estranged son, who is being tried in a Russian court. While McClane is out of the country, the remains of Clarence Sutton are discovered, not only with DNA evidence linking Sutton to the murder of Ethan Peller, but additional evidence that ties John McClane to Sutton’s killing.
Upon McClane’s return from Russia, he is arrested, tried and convicted for the murder of Clarence Sutton. He is given a 30 year prison sentence in ADX Florence, an ultra-maximum-security, or ”supermax” prison which houses some of the most dangerous criminals in the country, including Omar Al-Maqdisi and Abdul bin Saeed, masterminds of the two worst terrorist attacks on American soil.
Following the Russian adventure, John had successfully reunited his family and reconnected with his wife Holly. Now, while he serves his sentence, Holly has been spending all of her time and effort on his appeal – especially once new evidence surfaces which may not only exonerate McClane, but also implicate Stan Winshaw (now a decorated police Captain) who may have framed John for the murder of the suspect they were chasing nearly forty years ago. However the day Holly goes to the prison to deliver this news personally to John, a riot breaks out, and before she can safely leave, the prison is put on lockdown.
But this is no ordinary prison riot.
By nightfall, inmates control the facility, holding Holly McClane and many other hostages. We soon learn that the riot itself was a distracting subterfuge… part of a plan to break both Al-Maqdisi and bin Saeed out of prison so they can help complete a horrific new terrorist attack in New York City.
However the one thing the terrorists didn’t count on was the one man who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time… And when it comes to John McClane, old habits die hard.
So yes, this will reference “A Good Day To Die Hard,” which doesn’t really seem necessary, and it’s essentially the Nakatomi Plaza battle rewritten for a prison setting. It’s certainly better than a full blown prequel at any rate. Check out the ad the below and share your thoughts below. [AV Club/Reddit]