A new series where Steve takes a semi regular bash at planning some movies for the Hollywood bigwigs.
by Steve Norman (@stevepn86)
I have a theory about the Die Hard films. Not only do they get worse with every film made but the quality also dips the larger area John McClane covers during the movie.
In the original, and the best, McClane is confined to a single skyscraper. The movie also has the best villain of the series in Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber but the relatively small area it takes place in helps make the film what it is.
The second instalment sees our hero tackle terrorists in an airport. A sizeable area but again still quite confined. In Die Hard with a Vengeance McClane teams up with Samuel L. Jackson’s Zeus in a movie that spans most of New York City.
Then the franchise went away for a bit and everyone thought we had ended up with an excellent action trilogy. However it was bought back and in Die Hard 4 (I’m not bothering with ridiculous taglines) where we yippee-kayayed around most of the East Coast of the USA. This was the first Die Hard that was not good. It was OK though and in my opinion receives more flack than it deserves. It did sacrifice the 18 rating to get a larger audience which made the film suffer. Number 5 did the same with the rating and seemed to span an area of Eastern Europe that Vladimir Putin would envy. It sucked.
I do not like to see film franchises I love go out on a low. This is why I am optimistic that the new Star Wars films will be immense and this is why I want more Die Hard.
And I have a plan for the film.
It needs to be set in a confined(ish) space and only have one main hero, John McClane. No Samuel L. or Jai Courtney offering support. Just the former cop ass kicking and wise cracking throughout the movie.
You also need a reasonable ‘in’. In the first two movies he was picking up his wife. In the rest it was a bit more elaborate to get him involved.
So with this in mind my film starts in the White House. Ok, I know we have had White House Down and that other one with Gerard Butler but they were pretty mediocre.
Why is McClane at the White House? Maybe he is taking his grandchild (his kids in the film are old enough to have kids about seven or eight, right?) and their class on a tour along with a teacher. Maybe he is collecting a medal or award for his heroics during his life.
Either way he is there and some terrorists turn up. Part of me wants to introduce a third Gruber brother but it seems a bit stretched. Basically pick a bad guy/group. Their motive and origin is of little consequence to the story. The main bad guy needs a bit of psychological menace and their needs to be a henchman in a vest. Preferably Nordic looking.
Of course the President is kidnapped and held hostage in the Oval Office. McClane’s only help, other than ineffectual and ‘by the books’ jobsworth police and CIA officers is White House security guard Al Powell who was annoyingly absent from the last three movies.
There you have it Hollywood. Die Hard 6.