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Die Hard: Why 20th Century Studios Should Invest in a Remake/Reboot

Since Bruce Willis announced his retirement from acting and studios continue to milk successful franchises, my suggestion to 20th Century Studios is, "Why not Die Hard?" Before anyone gets sanctimonious about touching this so-called sacred institution, let me remind you that Willis' final act as John McClane in 2013's A Good Day to Die Hard was about as low a point for the franchise as it got. By that point, it did become a senseless cash grab in an unofficial attempt to pass the torch to the character's son in Jai Courtney's Jack McClane, who works as a CIA operative in the film. So as far as starting points go, there are plenty to go off of here. Besides, it's November, Christmas is around the corner, and it's never too early to be festive around a Christmas movie.

Die Hard: Bruce Willis Returns Atop
Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988). Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

When, How, And Should We Reboot Die Hard?

Let me begin first by saying Willis starred in the 2018 remake of Death Wish, which nowhere near compares to the Charles Bronson 1974 original. As far as where to begin, there are plenty of characters within the existing Die Hard universe if you don't outright recast John McClane. If you follow up Courtney's Jack, you risk turning it into another espionage vehicle in the vein of Jason Bourne/Mission: Impossible, so that probably wouldn't work. Die Hard was always about a blue-collar every person figure who doesn't have John Wick's moves taking as much punishment as much as he/she can dole out. I wouldn't mind Mary Elizabeth Winstead taking up that mantle as Lucy McClane since she was already established the character in 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, not to mention the fact she's already a credible action presence and one of the few bright spots of 2011's The Thing prequel.

Die Hard Star Reginald VelJohnson on How He Lucked Out as Al Powell
Reginald VelJohnson in Die Hard (1988). Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

The franchise can also follow the Creed route and have the child or relative of Sgt Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) find him/herself in a similar situation dealing with terrorists. Powell was McClane's NYPD contact on the ground in the 1988 John McTiernan film, and the character made a cameo in the 1990 sequel Die Hard 2. One fan on Twitter pitched Atomic Blonde and The Old Guard star Charlize Theron for a lesbian-led Die Hard reboot, which she was certainly on board for. To that, I'd say, why the fuck not?! The action genre is only dominated by cis-male leads around 90-95 percent of the time still as we're about to enter 2023.

Charlize Theron attends the 70th Anniversary of the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 23, 2017
Charlize Theron attends the 70th Anniversary of the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 23, 2017. Photo credit: Denis Makarenko /

As long as platforms like Hulu remain viable, 20th Century Studios continues to hit gold on their R-rated franchises like Alien and Predator. In the latter's case, 2022's Prey. Disney has nothing to lose trying Die Hard again, especially if they can grab a David Leitch or equivalent.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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