Word went around over the weekend that Fox is moving forward with Die Hard 5. The proposed project would be about Bruce Willis’s iconic character John McClane and his now adult son getting into some terrorist related hijinx over in Russia, and reportedly Max Payne director John Moore had an offer to direct on the table if he wanted it. Well, it turns out that’s half true. According to Deadline Vershina the movie is definitely going forward, it will most assuredly be set in Russia, but Moore is far from a lock to direct. As a matter of fact, they say he’s one name on a short list that contains far more interesting choices.
Joining Moore on Deadline’s short list is Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, Bronson director Nicolas Winding Refn, and Fast Five director Justin Lin. Despite the fact that I didn’t seem to be as taken with Lin’s revival of the Fast and the Furious franchise as everyone else, I would have to say that every one of these names is more interesting to me than John Moore. Refn showed that he can handle darker, action oriented material with Bronson, and he’s riding a lot of momentum right now due to positive buzz on this year’s Drive, but he might already have too much on his plate to step into the Die Hard franchise. He already has two more films planned in Only God Forgives and a possible remake of Logan’s Run, both set to star Ryan Gosling. Lin as well is scheduled for a ton of projects. He not only has another Fast and the Furious sequel in the works, he has long been named as the guy who will take the Terminator franchise forward as well.
Cornish might be the wild card that can turn this project into something really interesting though. Despite the fact that Attack the Block was his first feature and was made on a shoestring budget, it showed that he can handle action, he can handle effects work even when saddled with budget constraints, and it proved him to be an excellent writer. Plus, seeing as the only project I know of that Cornish has in the works is co-writing Ant Man with Edgar Wright, he looks to be the one most likely to be available. At first glance he might be an off the beaten path choice for Die Hard 5, but actually they could be perfect for each other. Cornish is clearly inspired by the action and genre films of the 80s, and the original Die Hard is the king of that mountain. His name attached would definitely be more interesting to me than John Moore, and I’d go as far as to say it would accomplish the impossible task of making me want to see more Die Hard movies. I’m starting my letter writing campaign now!