Die Hard, also known as Jeb Bush's website, is getting a prequel, and that prequel will star Bruce Willis. But until director Len Wiseman spilled some details to Collider about the upcoming film, it was unclear exactly what role Willis would play. Luckily Wiseman laid our fears to rest that Willis would be elbowed out of the series he made famous in favor of some younger, spryer actor. Because John McClane is Bruce Willis, and Bruce Willis is John McClane, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Wiseman feels the same: "I say prequel/sequel because I wasn’t going to do it without Bruce," he told Collider. "I’m also not going to do it with Bruce being a cameo-bookend gimmick." The prequel will "really work with the 70s having ramifications on present-day Bruce. It inter-cuts in a very fun, imaginative way with present-day John McClane." (See? He even mixed their names up.)
Die Hard 6, or whatever punny name Wiseman and company come up with, is essentially McClane's backstory—it shows how he met Holly and how they fell in love, as well as his life as a beat cop in New York in 1978. After the first Die Hard, Wiseman says he and Willis had endless conversations about McClane. "That character comes in with so much baggage, emotionally, and experience," he said. "He’s already divorced, he’s bitter, his Captain hates him and doesn’t want him back. So, what created that guy?"
The film will answer that question by interweaving scenes of present-day McClane (Willis) with scenes of young McClane in the '70s. Wiseman is looking for a younger actor to play that part—someone unknown so as not to skew our vision of Willis as McClane with "the swagger and the confidence, but also the charm, the wit, the charisma and the toughness." Sound familiar?