If you're at a party and run into a famous director, it's probably best to buy them a few shots and then start asking questions about whatever the hell they're working on next. So went /Film reporter Fred Topel's night at the Fox party for the Television Critics Association (where Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman was present, as he helmed the pilot for The Gifted). Being a seasoned vet, Topel did the right thing and began asking about Wiseman's in-development sorta-prequel Die Hard: Year One, which is rumored to showcase both Bruce Willis as terrorist-thwarting NYC cop John McClane, plus a young version of the unlucky detective in flashbacks to his earliest days in the gritty Big Apple.
What Topel didn't expect was Wiseman to go into detail about the Year One script Carey and Chad Hayes (The Conjuring) are penning - which tells two stories: one in modern day, and the other set during the '70s - starting with the inclusion of a young Holly Gennaro (who was played by Bonnie Bedelia in John McTiernan's '88 holiday shoot 'em up classic):
“There is [a young Holly]. I will tell you there is.”
Wiseman also said that John and Ms. Gennero may even reunite - despite being estranged (yet again) in the later sequels - in Year One's modern day scenarios.
But who's going to play Young Bruce Willy? Obviously, we've seen this done pretty successfully in the past (with Rian Johnson's Looper), so it'll be interesting to watch how Wiseman approaches the role-filling. Apparently, the filmmaker wants the iconic action star's input ("...together he and I, I want that...”) and the reasoning is pretty sound:
“The core idea has not [changed] at all. It’s still working in parallel, cutting back and forth, what we see in the ‘70s has ramifications on present day Bruce."
So, it'd make sense - seeing how McClane's emotional status would be affected by the performer who plays him in the past - that Willis has a say in who gets that part. That way (and this bit is me just spit-balling) the two could hypothetically work together to try and show us McClane as he matures throughout two different periods in time.
Now comes Topel's big question: when the hell should we even expect to see this damn thing?
"Die Hard’s going to be happening fairly soon. No dates. I’ve been asked about dates before and I’m always wrong. The date is when the script is right which is when we all want to go. The script has taken quite a long time. I want it to be right, as everybody does. The truth is we started prepping Live Free or Die Hard when the script was not ready. That process of working on the script as we were shooting the movie is not the funnest thing in the world to do. We pulled it together but nobody wants to go through that again.”
Well, that last part is certainly a relief. While some folks go to bat for Live Free or Die Hard - which arguably isn't that questionable of a stance to take, as it's a decent PG-13 action picture - It's a Good Day to Die Hard is a travesty of epic proportions. It's nice to hear that Wiseman is at least taking his time and trying to get a solid screenplay together out of the Hayes boys before moving forward, because Lord knows we don't want another Bruce/Jai team-up again. Scott Wampler may not survive that one.