Bruce Willis Once Admitted This ‘Die Hard’ Sequel Has a ‘Difficult’ Title
In the world of action movies, few films are as widely beloved as Die Hard. The 1988 classic, directed by John McTiernan, not only launched a franchise but essentially invented the modern action movie. And it catapulted Bruce Willis — at the time, the star of TV’s Moonlighting — to an A-list movie career. The Die Hard sequels, according to most, generally had diminishing returns, however. Even Willis conceded one of the sequels carried a strange title.
Bruce Willis became an unlikely action hero in ‘Die Hard’
What made Die Hard such a revelation for action cinema wasn’t just the style McTiernan brought to the movie. It wasn’t even the way in which the movie counters the very credible threat of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his gang with a sense of humor. It was Willis’ performance as displaced New York cop John McClane.
While the character is a police officer, he also finds himself in an extraordinary situation in an environment he doesn’t understand and where he doesn’t fit in. This led to countless Die Hard imitators wherein an everyman rises to the occasion and overcomes seemingly impossible odds to win the day.
‘Die Hard’ spawned 4 sequels, including this one
But in the interest of keeping Die Hard alive as a franchise, the sequels eventually lost sight of what made audiences resonate with John McClane initially. In the latter sequels, the character becomes nearly invincible as he finds himself facing more and more over-the-top circumstances. Accordingly, the movie’s titles reflected this trend. Even Willis acknowledged how the name of the fifth and final Die Hard movie felt like a strange fit.
“It’s a difficult title,” the actor said according to The Guardian. “A Good Day to Die Hard? It’s like, have a sandwich and let’s go shopping — then die hard.” To Willis’ point, the title to that 2013 movie does sound like a pleasant greeting mashed together with the name of his signature movie series. At least 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard fits the Washington, D.C. setting.
The franchise will next reboot without Bruce Willis
While A Good Day to Die Hard did become a box office success, the negative response from fans and critics helped it serve as the final installment to date. Willis was then eyed to help reboot the series with a younger actor playing John McClane in a prequel. But given the actor’s announced retirement from acting, that’s no longer the case.
Instead, rumor has it that Die Hard could find new life as a Hulu series. The franchise was owned by Fox, but Disney has since acquired that company. So fans of Die Hard likely won’t have long to wait until the iconic franchise returns. But when it does, it will be without the actor who made fans fall in love with John McClane in the first place.