The sixth installment of the Die Hard franchise got its official title this week, named after the no-nonsense cop that serves as its hero.
The new sequel is titled simply, McClane, according to a new report by Empire Magazine. Producer Lorenzo diBonaventura told the outlet that a script has been turned in for the upcoming action movie, and the title is now set for certain. Early on, rumors suggested that the next Die Hard film would be titled Die Hard: Year One, taking a page out of Batman's book by giving fans a detailed origin story. DiBonaventura did not discount this possibility — in fact, he made it sound even more likely.
“You can tell our intention by the fact that the title page we handed in says, ‘McCLANE,’” he explained. “We want you to get invested in John McClane more than ever before.”
The movie will reportedly be split between a current continuity version of McClane, and a younger version in his 20s. The dueling time lines will tell a story from both ends, and it will also give some insight into McClane's background, even before that night at Nakatomi Plaza.
DiBonaventura cleared up the rumors that the younger McClane — somewhere in his 20s — would get more attention than the older version. He said that time would be split evenly between Bruce Willis and whoever comes in to fill his shoes next. As far as diBonaventura is concerned, it would not be Die Hard without Willis.
“I don’t know how you do Die Hard without Bruce,” he said. “The idea that he’s not very significant in this movie is not accurate at all. We are gonna explore John McClane in his twenties. But just as prominent is the 60-year-old version.”0comments
Still, the split plots combined with the bold new title hint that the movie is meant to make the character larger than the star. Much like cinematic superheroes or horror franchises, the people behind Die Hard appear to want the character to be bigger than the star himself. If John McClane transcends Bruce Willis and becomes a hero that can be re-cast, it opens up the potential for years of smart-mouthed, bare-footed action movies.
Fans have not gotten a new Die Hard film since 2013, with the release of A Good Day to Die Hard. In that one, John McClane teamed up with his son, CIA operative Jack McClane, for a mission in Russia. There is no word yet on how McClane will build on the plots of its predecessors, or when we can expect the film to reach theaters.