It’s kind of strange that everyone stopped buying Die Hard as a franchise the moment John McClane threw a car at a helicopter. It would have been a crowning achievement in any other action flick, but for glass-footed everyman McClane, it proved to be the ultimate betrayal of the character (and/or the final step in his evolution from hardened cop to absurd superhero).
Whether or not that superhero mentality will continue into Die Hardest is the main question facing fans who still maintain a sense of optimism, but now screenwriter Ben Trebilcook has revealed a few plot details and at least one familiar face that he wants back in the mix.
In an interview with What Culture, Trebilcook explained that his vision of the movie features a massive call-back to the first:
“McClane is invited to Tokyo by the Nakatomi Corporation to be commended for his bravery and efforts in saving 36 lives, celebrating this on the 30th anniversary of the Naktatomi Hostage Crisis. It’s by no means Black Rain. Perhaps has a slight Rising Sun type tone. It’s also not a double-act buddy-buddy story. McClane began on his own and should end on his own. Of course he’s had assistance in various guises, aiding him in his ventures; but it’s not Lethal Weapon or a Jackie Chan film.”
He then confirmed that he’d written in Zeus, Samuel L. Jackson‘s character from Die Hard with a Vengeance.
“Like I said before, it’s not a buddy-buddy script, but you can’t ignore him. Zeus played a major part in McClane’s life. They went through a lot together. They would certainly, without a doubt, still be in contact.”
They would? Really? Without a doubt? Here’s where I get off the logic train. Obviously there’s a way to write Zeus in without being completely bewildering, but the idea that the now-globetrotting supercop and the Harlem electronics store owner are still Facebook friends years after a single, admittedly intense day together is as ridiculous as assuming Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock’s characters from Speed are still blissfully dating.
Don’t get me wrong. The thought of seeing Jackson rocking a samurai sword is enticing, but it’s going to be a challenge of the imagination after two movies without him to suddenly pretend like Zeus and John are old fishin’ buddies. Or, you know, that the small business owner is keen to fly to Japan with the guy who almost got him killed multiple times.
Or maybe I’m not giving this news a fair shake because I’m bitter. After all, it’s not a terrible idea, but we all know that if Bruce Willis is heading to a Nakatomi commemoration, it should be Reginald Veljohnson along for the ride.