The fifth instalment in the indestructible Die Hard series, A Good Day to Die Hard, is now in pre-production. A host of young actors have already been considered for the opportunity to play Jack McClane, son to un-killable New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis), but it now seems that Australian actor Jai Courtney is officially attached to the project.
Here’s a quick recap for those who haven’t been keeping up to date with the movements of John ‘Yippee-ki-yay’ McClane and his trademark white vest. In Die Hard (1988) he outwitted hostage-taking terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), eventually throwing him to his grisly death from the top of a skyscraper. In Die Hard 2 (1990) he was pitted against mercenaries who took over an airport control tower and threatened to start crashing planes. In Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) Hans Gruber’s brother Simon (slimily played by Jeremy Irons) turned up in New York bearing a massive grudge and a whole lot of bombs, intent on stealing all the gold from the Federal Reserve.
Die Hard 4.0 (2007) brought McClane’s daughter Lucy, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, into the action after an internet terrorist mounted a full scale attack on the infrastructure of the United States. This was the film in which, after running out of bullets, McClane managed to knock a helicopter out of the sky by launching a car at it. Originally, the film was meant to include an appearance from McClane’s son (Justin Timberlake was even in talks for the role), but this was written out in favour of his daughter.
Even so, the producers have held onto the idea of bringing McClane’s son into the franchise, and he looks set to have a starring role alongside his father in A Good Day to Die Hard. At this early stage, not much has been given away about the plot of the new film (which is set to be released in 2013), but apparently it will involve McClane rescuing his son from a Russian prison.
Many actors have so far been connected with the role of Jack, including Aaron Paul, Liam Hemsworth and even Paul Dano, star of such films as Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood (whose quirky, alternative acting style would probably have been a little out of place in an action franchise). Jai Courtney is now officially attached to the role; the young Australian is most famous for playing Varro in the television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and has just finished shooting a role in crime drama One Shot, which stars Tom Cruise.
Patrick Stewart, more commonly known as Captain Picard, is rumoured to be playing a Russian General in the film. Speculation about other possible castings is now gearing up, especially around actress Bonnie Bedelia, who starred as McClane’s on-again off-again wife Holly in the first two Die Hard films. Bruce Willis has openly expressed his desire to bring Bedelia back to the franchise. This would make the next Die Hard film even more of a family affair than usual, and perhaps wrap things up for the long suffering McClane (and his vest) once and for all.