After a tumultuous summer of back and forth negotiating, the people behind Die Hard 5 have made it official that John Moore will be the man directing the further adventures of Officer John McClane. It was reported back at the end of July that Moore was a near-lock for the spot, and that the fifth Die Hard film would take place in Russia and see McClane sharing the action with his son, who was just a tyke in the first film, but who is now all grown up. Then, just a few days later, reports came out that while the story synopsis was accurate, Moore was just one name on a short list that also included Joe Cornish, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Justin Lin. That made me happy because those other three have all made movies that I’ve liked better than anything I’ve seen from Moore. But alas, it wasn’t to be.
It seems that the holdup in hiring Moore was that Bruce Willis wasn’t sold on him as the director. The studio, they love Moore, but Willis, not so much. That all changed when, after a series of meetings, Moore sold Willis on both his love for the McClane character and his practical effects over CG approach to shooting action. I have to admit, while I also love John McClane and practical effects, I’m still not sold that Moore is the guy for this franchise. If a franchise as long in the tooth as Die Hard is going to continue, I think it needs someone edgier and more stylish to give it a shot in the arm. What I’ve seen from Moore in Behind Enemy Lines and Flight of the Phoenix has been capable enough, but kind of pedestrian. And despite the fact that Deadline Glendale’s article says Willis is very protective of who he lets direct these Die Hard movies, that just means that he’s the guy who let turd directors like Renny Harlin and Len Wiseman on board. His batting average is suspect.
Despite all that, I’m certainly willing to give Moore a chance. Die Hard is one of my favorite films of all time, and I can’t fault anyone for wanting to get their chance with the McClane character. That’s got to be a dream come true. He’s going to have an uphill battle to climb to make something that impresses people though, because I don’t think anybody even wants to see a Die Hard 5. I mean, I know Live Free or Die Hard made a lot of money, but wasn’t that just all of us testing out whether or not we’re done with the franchise? And after seeing it, didn’t we all agree that we were?