Cast This: Young John McClane
It was announced last year that we were going to be treated to yet another installment in the DIE HARD franchise. After A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD was almost universally panned by critics and audiences, it wasn’t too surprising that people were not exactly jumping for joy at the news. For better or worse, DIE HARD: YEAR ONE, as it’s being called, is in the works with LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD director Len Wiseman and Lorenzo di Bonaventura stepping in to take the franchise in a “new direction”. We’re talking a sort-of prequel/sequel hybrid movie that will take place both in present day while also following a young John McClane in 1979 New York City, presumably showing how he became the lovable asshole we know today.
DIE HARD’S John McClane is one of the most popular action heroes of all-time; he’s a no-nonsense cop who always lands on his feet after some ridiculous 24-hour periods of mayhem. Bruce Willis made the character what it is, nearly thirty years ago, and now, producers are looking for a new, younger actor to wear John’s wife-beater alongside the veteran actor.
Creative direction and Willis’ habit of phoning it in for the last decade aside, decisions are going to have to be made about who will take on the younger character role. Willis was 33 when the original DIE HARD came out and the studio is looking for a twentysomething John McClane, fresh out of the academy. So if my math is correct, with Bruce Willis being 60-years-old today, and in 1988, when DIE HARD came out, he was just 33, in DIE HARD: YEAR ONE McClane would be 24. That’s a fresh-faced actor they’re looking for, that’s for sure.
We can get the most obvious casting out of the way first, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Obvious because JGL already played a young Willis in Rian Johnson’s LOOPER, pretty damn convincingly too. If we’re going with my math however, JGL is 34 years old and may not work as a 24-year-old McClane. But hey, that’s what movie magic and pretending is for, isn’t it? I’d happily look the other way if it meant getting JGL to put on his Willis face again.
A young talent whose name has come up a few times for Cast This is Taron Egerton. He showcased a lot of action and comedy chops with KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE and is currently working on another franchise that should be familiar with most people around the world, ROBIN HOOD: ORIGINS. He’s got the look too! My last suggestion is also one of my favorite young actors right now, Jack O’Connell. Check out the movies STARRED UP and '71 to see why his cocky confidence could do wonders for the young McClane role. Any of these actors would make me happy to put up my money to see this questionable entry into the series.
What do you think? Do you have some suggestions of your own for the upcoming role? I’ve heard some people suggest Christopher Abbott. He’s mostly known for his role on the HBO series Girls but has that swagger about him that could be right for the part. There’s also Logan Lerman from PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, and FURY. He’s got the look and a very passionate fan base. I’ve heard Anton Yelchin’s name tossed around as well; his star has certainly been on the rise with roles like Chekov in the STAR TREK franchise, and the buzzed about GREEN ROOM coming out later this year.
Who would you cast in the role as young John McClane?
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|Extra Tidbit:||Sam Neill turned down the role of Hans Gruber.|