A Good Day To Die Hard. I still can’t get used to that title, no matter how many times I repeat it in my tiny mind. It sounds like a title generated by a computer program, or by throwing darts at a load of random words taped to the back of an office door.
Nevertheless, it’s the title we’re stuck with, barring any last-minute changes of heart in the corridors of Hollywood. And besides, the title’s less important than the action, one-liners, car chases and explosions that will inevitably pepper the film itself. And as we learned yesterday, the aging John McClane won’t be battling the bad guys alone in his fifth outing – as the synopsis informed us, he’ll be teaming up with his “estranged son Jack” for an adventure in the former Soviet Union.
When a rogue Russian leader escapes from his prison confines, “Father and son McClane must work together to keep each other alive and keep the world safe for democracy.” It sounds like electrifying stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.
But the big question is, who will star alongside Bruce Willis in the 2013 sequel? As you’ve probably gathered, we have a few suggestions – though be warned, some of them are less serious than others. See if you can guess which is which, and feel free to chime in with your own choices in the comments…Taylor Lautner
Lautner’s already proven his action hero credentials (well, sort of) in this year’s Abducted, and with Good Day To Mr Die Hard (or whatever it’s called) out on Valentine’s Day, his presence will surely have young ladies everywhere pestering their boyfriends to buy a ticket. Of course, the freezing cold Russian weather will make it difficult for the producers to find a reason for Lautner to get his man chests out, but we’re sure they’ll find one in any case.
What better way to shake off the heavy mantle of Ron Weasley than appearing as the son of one of cinema’s most iconic action heroes? Rupert Grint was honoured with a best actor gong at this year’s Radio One Teen Awards, and he’s used to appearing in special-effects and action laden films, so who knows? He may be the perfect choice to play Jack McClane – he simply has to exchange his 14-inch unicorn hair wand for a handgun.
Having helped Optimus Prime defeat wave after wave of evil Decepticons in the Transformers franchise, and vanquished Tom Hardy in mortal combat (so the story goes), LaBeouf’s already proved his worth as the potential son of Die Hard. His presence in the poorly received Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps blighted his reputation somewhat, but his work with Michael Bay showcased his ability to run away from a computer-generated explosion shouting, “No no no no”, which is surely the primary function of any John McClane sidekick.Casey Affleck
In films such as To Die For and The Killer Inside Me, Casey Affleck’s proven that he’s the perfect choice for screen characters with a violent edge, and his performance in Gone Baby Gone proved that he has the charisma and screen presence to stand alongside any actor in Hollywood – even a star as commanding as Bruce Willis, perhaps.
So while Affleck’s older than the other actors on this list (he turned 36 in August), he’s still young enough, potentially, to appear as the son of McClane – Bruce Willis is 56, and John McClane is surely around the same age.
On the topic of Afflecks, why not cast big brother Ben as Jack McClane? He (sort of) played Willis’ son in law in Michael Bay’s Dirty Dozen in space extravaganza, Armageddon, so Die Hard Another Day could be the perfect reunion for them. Ben Affleck has form in the action genre, having starred in The Sum Of All Fears – in fact, maybe there’s the possibility of some sort of franchise crossover here, where it turns out that John McClane is, in fact, the father of Jack Ryan.
Jackson’s first attempt at playing a sidekick in the frankly hideous Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son didn’t go too well, but at least starring alongside Bruce Willis wouldn’t entail wearing a dress – unless the producers have a surprise plot twist in mind for him, that is.
If the producers of A Die Hard Day’s Night want to introduce a bit of naturalistic grit to the proceedings, the UK’s own Thomas Turgoose would be a great choice, even if he is rather young at just 19 years old. Maybe they could stick a fake beard on him, or something. At any rate, he’d make for a refreshingly alternative choice among all the prettier young actors on offer.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
This is a left-field choice, granted, but given that Hollywood movies are all about transformative performances – whether it’s Sean Penn in Milk or Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady – there’s no reason why, with a bit of a haircut and maybe a few sessions down the gym, Winstead can’t play McClane’s son. At the very least, it would ensure that Jack Mclane resembles his sister Lucy, providing some much-needed continuity between the fourth and fifth films.
Who better to star alongside one of the best-known action heroes of the 80s and 90s than Macaulay Culkin, one of the biggest stars of the 80s and 90s (he appeared in Uncle Buck, released in 1989, so he just about qualifies). Now 31, he’s the right age to play Jack McClane, and appearing as the son of a rock-hard cop may be the perfect way to shake off the final wisps of his child-star past. He’s also the nephew of Bonnie Bedelia, the actress who played Mrs Mclane in Die Hard and its sequel, so there’s another tenuous link A Good Day To Dye Hats’ producers may want to explore.
They could even work in the immortal line, “D’you guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?” after he’s killed a hapless goon with a frying pan or a steam iron.
Aged 48, William Baldwin’s another actor that could be dismissed as rather too old to play Jack McClane. But wait! Readers with a sharp memory will remember that Sean Connery played the father of Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, despite there only being a 12 year gap between them.
Age, therefore, shouldn’t be a barrier for an actor of Baldwin’s calibre – they could always make him look a bit younger by putting a backwards baseball hat on him, or maybe saying youthful things like “Sick!” or “Get me?” Or something.