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Written by Len Wiseman, Ben Trebilcook,
Directed by Len Wiseman
Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Starring Bruce Willis
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release Date Unknown
Preceded by A Good Day to Die Hard
Followed by -

McClane[1] (also known as 'Die Hard 6' and 'Die Hard Year One') is the cancelled sixth installment of the Die Hard franchise, which would have possibly served as a prequel and a sequel. Bruce Willis previously confirmed that he would return as John McClane when the time comes; however, as of 2022 no further Die Hard films have materialised, and Willis has since retired from acting for health reasons, casting the future of the project in doubt.

Speculated Plot

The '1979' plot is rumored to begin in present day New York City with retired NYPD detective John McClane in action, chasing down a criminal. Severely wounded and hospitalised, McClane, surrounded by close colleagues and family, reminisces his life, flashing back to 1979 when he was a rookie cop and ultimately solving who had shot him.

The 'Japanese' plot. (based on the novel 'Old Habits' by Ben Trebilcook). To commemorate the 30th anniversary, retired police officer John McClane is invited to go to Japan by the Nakatomi corporation to receive a commendation for his act of bravery in saving 36 hostages from the terrorists attack at Nakatomi Plaza in 1988. McClane is accompanied by his long suffering friend, Zeus Carver. They meet with the current heads of Nakatomi, the Takagi family, as well as McClane's ex-wife Holly, who is on the board. Nakatomi has become a global super-brand (like Virgin, Sony, Apple, etc).

During this time, In a secret CIA black site prison in Japan is infiltrated by a lone, highly trained, yet psychologically unstable European, who aids a number of inmates to make their escape. One prisoner, an 80 year old German, held captive for 30 years, is freed by his grandson. McClane is due to give a speech at Nakatomi Grand Plaza, a hotel 'Smart' building, where his past soon catches up with him. The real Nakatomi is about to be revealed as well as McClane's worst nightmare.

There was a tremendous backlash relating to the 'Year One' concept and apart from a brief image depicting a 'Die Hard Year One' storyboard on director Len Wiseman's Instagram account, no other information has so been released since its initial announcement. [2]

Praise, however, for the Trebilcook 'Tokyo-set' screenplay (based on his original novel), has been plentiful. [3]

Similarities to the 'Die Hard: Year One' concept

Old Habits NOVEL (basis of Japanese themed Die Hard Six) - The novel has retired NYPD detective Joe Brady as its central character. Brady has a significant chapter detailing his rookie days in 1977, especially during the historic riot that was the New York Blackout. The novel also mentions Brady's father was a cop. [4]

'McClane: Die Hard 24/7'. British writer, Ben Trebilcook, pitched a TV concept to Fox UK (FX) in 2007. A prequel television show for Fox-owned FX Channel centring on characters from the Die Hard franchise, led by John McClane. Set in 1977, the show focused on new NYPD recruit, John McClane. Entitled 'McClane: Die Hard 24/7', the proposed series was perhaps the cause for rumor linking both Fox properties '24' and 'Die Hard' and its leading, unorthodox characters Jack Bauer and John McClane. Episode one of the show was titled: 'Die Hard: Year One'. [5] [6]



Bruce Willis has confirmed on several websites and interviews that he would sign on to do a sixth Die Hard film, even though the cast and major details of the plot are unknown at this time. On April 30th, 2013 a sixth film was confirmed under the working title Die Hardest. aka 'Old Habits Die Hard', based on the original screenplay 'Big in Japan' and his novel 'Old Habits', by UK based screenwriter / producer Ben Trebilcook.

Bruce Willis has claimed 'Year One' will be an eight month project, however in an interview in 2013, he expressed interest in the 'Japanese' plot and is awaiting Fox's views on this script.

The 'Trebilcook' script, in October 2015, was requested by executives at Fox.

[7]Bruce Willis has also personally expressed interest in having both the characters of Al Powell and Holly Gennero making some kind of appearance in the film.[8] However, Bonnie Bedelia has said that she has no interest in reprising the role of Holly Gennero. [9]

Original logo for Die Hard: Year One

In October 2015 the film was announced to be a prequel, with the working title Die Hard: Year One. Bruce Willis is expected to reprise this role as McClane, with another actor playing a younger version of the character.[10] It is not known whether it is connected to the 2007 Trebilcook / Fox TV concept or the 2009-2010 Boom comic of the same name, or a combination of both.

Trebilcook was in close contact with the McTiernan household, as well as corresponding with the director in prison to attach him to his script. [11]

In September 2018, the title was confirmed to be McClane.

When Disney acquired FOX they cancelled the theatrical release in August 2019. Disney later revealed plans to reboot the Die Hard franchise as part of a streaming series on Hulu.

In 2020, Scottish filmmaker Brian Trainor (RoboDoc - RoboCop documentary / Cops & Monsters) optioned Ben Trebilcook's 'Old Habits' novel. A teaser trailer was shot featuring Meridean based acting talent Jeremy Sande as an identifiable 'young John McClane' in all but name. Sande was featuring opposite Bruce Willis at the time in both 'A Day To Die' and also 'White Elephant', with Michael Rooker, who expressed his amazement at watching the treailer online in a break of filming. Much of Willis' entourage were impressed with what had been achieved and despite all knowing the condition Willis was in at the time, believe(d) he still had one last good Die Hard in him.

On March 30, 2022, Willis's family announced that he was retiring as he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder that damages the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. At the time of his retirement, Willis had completed eight films awaiting release in 2022 and 2023.

Speculated Information

  • The film might be released in 2018, the first film's 30th Anniversary. (This never happened as the year passed without any Die Hard film)
  • John McTiernan is rumored to be in talks to direct Die Hard 6/Year One, even though it is unlikely.[12]
  • It's been suggested that Samuel L. Jackson may be back, due to Trebilcook's spec, to reprise his role as Zeus Carver.[13]
  • Bonnie Bedelia is hinted to have a significant role, finally reprising her role as Holly Gennero.[14]
  • It is also rumored some of the other villains from the past Die Hard films will have descendants serve as henchman to stop John McClane.
  • It was rumored in the 'Japan Trebilcook Old Habits spec' that McClane will receive a commendation for the thirty year anniversary of the events of the first film, meaning it may take place on Christmas Eve.[15]
  • The roles of Jack McClane and Lucy McClane have been rumored to be reprised by Jai Courtney and Mary Elizabeth Winstead respectively, though only briefly.
  • John McClane will be retired from his law enforcement career, because of all the battles he had with Hans and Simon Gruber, Colonel Stuart, Thomas Gabriel, and Yuri Komarov in the 5 previous films.[16]
  • McClane will likely be on his own for the majority of the film, much like he was in the original Die Hard.
  • Zeus Carver, Matt Farrell and Al Powell are expected to all feature, as well as Richard Thornburg. Bruce Willis himself expressed interest in having Reginald VelJohnson (who played Al Powell) make an appearance.[17]
  • Directors Louis Leterrier (Grimsby) and Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers) have given the thumbs up to the Trebilcook 'Old Habits' spec.
  • Al Powell (in the Tokyo script) is a Miami-based private investigator. McClane calls for his assistance whilst in Japan. [18]
  • Joe Takagi's 5 children may appear.
  • It has been rumored that Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a character written especially for him, in the 'Old Habits Die Hard' script, by British writer Ben Trebilcook. The character is rumoured to be a 'Gruber', possibly the father of Hans and Simon. [19] [20]
  • The Japan-themed script was influenced by John Woo's 'A Better Tomorrow 2', Ridley Scott's 'Black Rain' and 'Rising Sun', starring Sean Connery'. [21] [22]
  • Writer Eric Wilkinson took out an ad in the Hollywood Reporter on why his script should be the next Die Hard sequel. [23]
  • In 2021 Scottish filmmaker Brian Trainor teamed up with Sande and writer Ben Trebilcook to take on the 70's set 'McClane: Die Hard 24/7' TV project that Fox UK developed with Trebilcook in 2007 with a view to reel in Disney and 20th Century Studios. A teaser for the show is set to be released in mid 2022.
  • 'McClane: Die Hard 24/7' features Jeremy Sande as new NYPD recruit John McClane. The tone has been described as NYPD Blue meets The Wonder Years and although there is some action, it does not take away the legend of the reluctant hero of Bruce Willis' John McClane that audiences are familiar with. "That would take away everything that matters and make Die Hard a walk in the park,' Trebilcook has commented. "It's ('McClane: Die Hard 24/7') a cop show with some gritty themes and historical situations that centres around a rookie Irish-Amercian cop and an Italian-American business woman amongst a familiar New York City backdrop." [2]
  • Die Hard and Die Hard With A Vengeance director John McTiernan gave his approval of the 'Old Habits' trailer and the Trebilcook scipt for 'Old Habits Die Hard'. Trebilcook is a friend of Gail McTiernan, John's wife.


  1. https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/die-hard-6-title-mcclane-exclusive/
  2. https://www.instagram.com/lenwiseman/?hl=en
  3. http://www.tubechop.com/watch/7173936
  4. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Old-Habits-Ben-Trebilcook/dp/1530240646/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
  5. hard.wikia.com/wiki/Die_Hardest
  6. www.twitter.com/BenTrebilcook
  7. https://twitter.com/BenTrebilcook/status/372827720519933952
  8. http://moviehole.net/201361865bruce-willis-on-holly-mcclanes-disappearing-act-from-the-die-hard-series
  9. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/02/25/bonnie-bedelia-parenthood-die-hard/
  10. http://deadline.com/2015/10/die-hard-6-len-wiseman-lorenzo-dibonaventura-bruce-willis-prequel-1201582142/
  11. http://www.hollywoodintoto.com/man-behind-die-hard-spec-script-trebilcook/
  12. http://whatculture.com/film/die-hard-6-5-ways-to-save-the-dying-franchise.php/5
  13. https://twitter.com/BenTrebilcook/status/372827720519933952
  14. http://moviehole.net/201361865bruce-willis-on-holly-mcclanes-disappearing-act-from-the-die-hard-series
  15. http://www.themoviebit.com/2013/05/die-hard-6-writer-and-plot-update.html
  16. http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/10160-die-hardest-writer-reveals-new-details-on-john-mcclanes-last-ride.html
  17. [1]
  18. tionelite.com/2014/11/weve-read-the-spec-script-to-old-habits-die-hard/
  19. tionelite.com/2014/11/weve-read-the-spec-script-to-old-habits-die-hard/
  20. www.manlymovie.net/2014/12/review-die-hard-6-spec-script-featuring-schwarzenegger.html
  21. http://whatculture.com/film/die-hardest-screenwriter-ben-trebilcook-exclusive-interview-everything-need-know-die-hard-6
  22. http://www.hollywoodintoto.com/man-behind-die-hard-spec-script-trebilcook/
  23. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/die-hard-fan-who-took-839526