To be titled McClane, the Die Hard prequel was planned to be set in the 1970s and show the early years of John McClane’s police career, way before Hans Gruber came into his life. It was said to involve a story in two time periods, like Godfather Part II, with flashbacks to young McClane and connections to Bruce Willis in the current era.
Now producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has told Polygon that it’s just not happening:
“Yeah, no, It’s not happening. But what was really interesting was we actually came up with an idea to do it. It was a project that wasn’t Die Hard that then, eventually, shifted over to Die Hard. What was interesting about our idea was it allowed you the ability to meet the young John McClane and use Bruce. So it was really interesting in that way. So you sort of got to see both versions of him.”
Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman was set to direct. It has now been eight years since A Good Day to Die Hard and, arguably, 26 years since the last good entry in the franchise. The films have grossed a combined $1.4 billion worldwide.
The character and concept of John McClane riginated with Roderick Thorp’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever. Die Hard 2 was adapted from the 1987 novel 58 Minutes by Walter Wager.
Die Hard with a Vengeance was adapted from a script called Simon Says by Jonathan Hensleigh, which was originally intended as the script for Lethal Weapon 4. The heroes to be targeted for revenge by someone from their past was to be Riggs and Murtagh. The character of Simon was switched to be the brother of Hans Gruber.
Live Free or Die Hard was based on the 1997 article A Farewell to Arms written for Wired magazine by John Carlin. It also drew on a script 20th Century Fox owned called WW3.com, which dealt with a massive cyberterrorism attack against the U.S.
That movie was canceled after 9/11 due to several elements in the story too closely resembled the September 11 attacks.
Die Hard and any further movies was also a victim of the Disney / Fox merger and now the media giant is said to be rebooting the property as a streaming series on Hulu.