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Len Wiseman Talks ‘Die Hard: Year One,’ Casting a Young Bruce Willis

by  in Movie News Comment

With the announcement of Len Wiseman’s “Die Hard: Year One,” fans were confused as to how exactly the sixth “Die Hard” installment would act as both a prequel and a sequel, but according to the director, the movie will primarily take place on New Year’s Eve 1979 and explore what makes John McClane the man he is today.

In an interview with Collider at the TCA Press Tour, Wiseman explained how he came to the decision to make the sixth “Die Hard” movie a partial prequel:

“After doing the fourth one, there were so many conversations that Bruce [Willis] and I were having about what he put into the character for Die Hard 1. That character comes in with so much baggage, emotionally, and experience. He’s already divorced, he’s bitter, his Captain hates him and doesn’t want him back. So, what created that guy?

…We’ve never seen the actual love story. We know its demise, but we’ve never seen what it was like when he met Holly, or when he was a beat cop in ‘78 in New York when there was no chance of him making detective. It’s always been something I’ve been thinking about, and now we’re doing it. And it ties in.

…The film itself will take place on New Years’ Eve 1979, so trying to gear things towards that would be fun, if we could come out around the same time, but these movies take their own paths.”

Wiseman went on to say he wanted the movie to be partially set in the present-day solely so he could have Bruce Willis back:

“The reason I say prequel/sequel is because I wasn’t going to do it without Bruce. I’m also not going to do it with Bruce being a cameo bookend gimmick. It’s really working into the plot, with the ‘70s having ramifications on present-day Bruce. It inter-cuts in a very fun, imaginative way with present-day John McClane.”

As for casting a young version of Willis, Wiseman said:

“It has to be somebody that has the swagger and the confidence, but also the charm, the wit, the charisma and the toughness. It’s asking a lot, especially in somebody that’s younger. It has to feel like the guy owns it, rather than is trying to put it on.”

“Die Hard: Year One” hasn’t been given a release date.