So, “Die Hard: Year One” is still a thing because even though no one liked “A Good Day To Die Hard,” and everyone wishes 20th Century Fox would let John McClane and the franchise rest in peace, a brand is a brand is a brand, so the studio is pushing ahead. And helping shepherd it along is Len Wiseman (“Live Free Or Die Hard”), who is one of the producers, and he explains how the prequel/sequel will fit in the returning Bruce Willis, while also telling us the backstory of the character we didn’t know we wanted.
“[In the first ‘Die Hard’] He’s already divorced, he’s bitter, his Captain hates him and doesn’t want him back. So, what created that guy?” Wiseman told Collider. “We’ve never seen the actual love story. We know its demise, but we’ve never seen what it was like when he met Holly, or when he was a beat cop in ’78 in New York when there was no chance of him making detective. It’s always been something I’ve been thinking about, and now we’re doing it. And it ties in.”
Of course, what Wiseman is missing is that we don’t need to know story. Full credit to Willis: He imbues McClane with all the world weariness we need in “Die Hard,” and fully puts the audience on his side almost immediately. We didn’t need to know the backstory in 1988, and more than 20 years later, I’d say we still don’t really need to know. But of course, that hardly matters in the era of maximizing IP value. But just know, Wiseman and co. have nothing but good intentions.
“I’m…not going to do it with Bruce being a cameo bookend gimmick. It’s really working into the plot, with the ’70s having ramifications on present-day Bruce. It inter-cuts in a very fun, imaginative way with present-day John McClane,” he said. “The film itself will take place on New Years’ Eve 1979, so trying to gear things towards that would be fun, if we could come out around the same time, but these movies take their own paths.”
So, just to be clear, the “imaginative” way into this sequel/prequel is to give McClane yet another holiday-season-centered problem to deal with. I just hope the other ideas they’ve got on the table are a bit more inspired.