The big franchise to ponder this week is Die Hard. Bruce Willis wants to do a fifth installment, and it will probably happen given the way Hollywood thinks. But what direction should it go in? Willis wants John McClane to go global. Monika wants the character to be killed off. Some studio exec out there probably just wants to reboot the whole thing with Sam Worthington as the average-Joe cop who finds himself fish out of water in the middle of a terrorist plot. I kind of like the idea of going back to the beginning, but not for a remake. Well, not of Die Hard.

I just want Alan Rickman to return as villain Hans Gruber. There will never be a better Die Hard villain than him, and thanks to the Harry Potter franchise (and Love Actually?), Rickman is now a more celebrated actor than he was 22 years ago. How on Earth could Gruber be back, though? The last we saw him, he was falling to his death via bad-looking blue screen from the top of Nakatomi Plaza. And we know he didn't survive, because in a later installment we had to settle for Gruber's brother, Simon (Jeremy Irons), showing up for revenge. And, well, because that was at least a 35-story drop.
Okay, so here's my idea, even though I know you'll all hate it: bring back original (and Die Hard with a Vengeance) director John McTiernan for a fifth installment that's also a remake of his Last Action Hero, which nobody remembers fondly anyway. We begin with a theater full of people watching a re-release of Die Hard, and Gruber escapes from the screen to hold the audience hostage. And average-Joe actor Bruce Willis is in attendance, because he's there for a Q&A or something, and he has to defeat Gruber for real this time.

Yeah, I'm all about reflexive movies that remind me of The Purple Rose of Cairo, so what? It's just that it's so fitting, given that any Die Hard 5 is going to figuratively hold us all hostage anyway in that we're all going to see it no matter what the plot. So at least this would be fun, or could be. A few franchises have attempted the self-referential or reflexive installment idea and most examples (such as New Nightmare) are better in theory than reality. But none of them had the real life Bruce Willis, who seems completely insane these days -- and showed in What Just Happenedthat he's great playing himself.

Hey, if you have a better idea for the Die Hard franchise, let's hear it.
categories Cinematical